Unlock My Body and Move Myself to Dance
It’s been years since I last saw Wilco live — all the way back to September 2001, at the Roxy, right after Reprise Records rejected Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and they were looking for a new label home. That was a great, raucous show.
I went with the Scriveners in January to see the solo Jeff Tweedy show — with the always entertaining, always adorable Scott McCaughey as opening act. Fan-damn-tastic show, much different from what I thought I'd see. I really should have written about that one, but I was on a bit of a blog break. Scrivener tells that story well.
I see a fair amount of concerts every year, so getting my aural socks blown off takes a lot. Of the ten or so shows I’ve seen this year, Tuesday’s Wilco show is the best so far (followed closely, very closely, by January’s Glenn Tilbrook show; I may still write about that one, it was so fab).
I’m still mystified why Wilco doesn’t get any radio play. We have two alt-rock commercial stations in Atlanta, neither of which have played a Wilco tune to my recollection. Couldn’t they take three or four of those droning Dave Mathews songs (they all sound the same, so nobody will notice) and plug in some Wilco? My brother and sister-in-law heard some of the Wilco show broadcast from Bonnaroo last weekend, and they liked what they heard. I think most people would like the Wilco they hear. Programmers, are you listening (well, reading)?
How do you get the band enthused? By dancing in the rain. Atlanta’s been suffering through one mutha of a drought this year, one of the worst we’ve had in years. So bad that planned Fourth fireworks displays are already being canceled. But not Tuesday.
It was a dark and stormy night.
The sky blue skies faded into rain clouds, clouds that soaked the city. And the Wilco show was an outdoor one. It misted during the opening act (Low), but it started pouring as soon as Wilco hit the stage. And continued to rain hard throughout the show, until the second encore.
But did that stop the Wilco fans? Hell, no! We donned rain ponchos, wiped off running mascara, and danced the night away. Glances to the back of the amphitheater showed that maybe 95 percent of us hung in for the full show, standing and dancing and singing. Abandoning the adult in the rain probably added to the greatness of the show, but it would have been kick-ass show in sunshine, too.
The niece enjoys a night soaked with Wilco
The guys in Wilco got a kick out of it. Tweedy said they could see what we were standing in so he was going to “minimize the talk and maximize the rock.” And maximize they did. Those guys played their hearts out. Tweedy’s voice was lovely, perfect on a rainy night (on any night, for that matter). I think they’re better live than on albums … and they’re fabulous on their albums.
You Are My Face
Sky Blue Sky
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Shot in the Arm
Side with the Seeds
Shake It Off
War on War
Hate It Here
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Heavy Metal Drummer
Outtasite (Outta Mind)
Sky Blue Sky is one of my favorite albums so far this year … and what a thrill it was to hear Wilco kick off the show with the first four tracks. And they performed many of my favorites. I have way too many Wilco faves to expect to hear them all. The one I most wanted to hear and dance to was “Heavy Metal Drummer,” and I got that thrill during the second encore. The rain slowed to a trickle about halfway through that number.
The aforementioned Ms. Lemke was also at the show. A Wilco newbie, she left happy and thrilled. There were two songs she most wanted to hear — “Impossible Germany” and “Jesus Etc.” — and she got to experience both.
Six years is too long between Wilco shows, I discovered. From this point on, I’ll do my damndest to catch every Wilco tour.
p.s. My photos suck. My camera got too wet, I’m a bit too short to shoot in a crowd, and I’m not a great photographer. Click over to Scrivener’s page; he’s in the process of uploading his far superior photos on Flickr.
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UPDATE: Check out Scrivener’s photos of the show!
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