The reason he is adored, despite his seemingly overarching requests for silence during a show, is because of the music he creates. Jeff Tweedy’s countenance alone demands attention – as he quietly strums his guitar and sings lyrics often of missing a lover or of needing nothing else, the room stays silent. Most people want to hear every note he plucks and every word he sings. Because of the unconditional love showered on him from everywhere around, he gets away with being an asshole.
As for the songs he played, they were what you’d expect, and what you’d be happy to hear – Sunken Treasure, I’ll Fight, Forget the Flowers, and Either Way to name a few – but you were never quite sure if he was losing himself in it or if he was just playing through the motions. Sometimes it felt like both, until the third song of the encore as he covered Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees, following a 12-string acoustic version of Heavy Metal Drummer, and preceding Dreamer in my Dreams, for which he came front stage and sang to the small, quiet theater without amplification or microphone before quietly heading off stage, head down and hand held up. From this we know, or can at least tell ourselves, the asshole is an act.