Last night, Wilco played their first show in Chicago in over two years. It also marked the band’s first performance at the spectacular Civic Opera House. The band wasted no time in playing new material for their hometown crowd as three of the first four songs were from The Whole Love. The driving bassline of Art of Almost got the crowd’s blood flowing while I Might featured drummer Glenn Kotche relentlessly pounding his drums as Nels Cline injected some razor sharp guitar riffs.
“Hello, It’s so lovely here. It’s good to be home. We’ll have to catch up later,” exclaimed Tweedy before the starting the crowd pleasing Impossible Germany. Tweedy was chatty and it good spirits all night, but his line of the night: “You guys are rowdy. I don’t know if they smoke this much weed at the opera usually. You smell high.”
Wilco reserved the middle of the show for some of their slower tunes including the country infused Far, Far Away, the uplifting What Light and Capitol City, which carries a similar feel to The Beatles Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.
Dawned on Me and A Shot in the Arm made up a formidable combination to the close the band’s set. While Wilco’s main set was very strong, the evening really got interesting during the double encore. Candyfloss was played for the second straight show and I’m The Man Who Loves You featured Jeff Tweedy playing his “best solo ever,” with my WILCO license plate. The first encore ended with only the sixth version of Outta Mind (Outta Sight) since 2008 complete with multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone playing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the xylophone, fake snow and some of the Wilco crew on bells and shakers.
[Jimmy's License Plate Is Now Famous]
The second encore was just icing on the cake. After Nick Lowe came out for Cruel to Be Kind, Tweedy welcomed Chicago gospel legend Mavis Staples to the stage for a version of the title track from her Grammy Award winning album, You Are Not Alone. What happened next is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. Mavis Staples remained on stage and Nick Lowe was welcomed back for a hair raising version of The Weight. It was the perfect ending to a show that set the bar pretty high for the rest of the week. Wilco continues their “Incredible Shrinking Tour” of Chicago tomorrow night at the Riviera Theatre.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Civic Opera House
Set: One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend), Poor Places > Art of Almost, I Might, Misunderstood, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, One Wing, Rising Red Lung, Impossible Germany, Far, Far Away, What Light, Born Alone, Jesus, Etc., Capitol City, War on War, Box Full of Letters, Pot Kettle Black, Dawned on Me, Shot in the Arm
Encore: Whole Love, Heavy Metal Drummer, Candyfloss, I’m the Man Who Loves You, Outta Mind (Outta Sight)*
Encore 2: Cruel To Be Kind&, You Are Not Alone# The Weight$
Notes: * w/ Wilco crew on bells and shakers, & – w/ Nick Lowe, # – w/Mavis Staples, $ w/ Mavis Staples and Nick Lowe