Sunday, June 17, 2007

"I was there, I blogged the whole thing...."

Hello Syberworld. Last Thursday night, I caught Wilco at the Aronoff Theater in downtown Cincinnati. It was my first summer show and, on the heels of their new album, I was anxious to see these guys again. It,s not unusual for me to anticipate a show from a band I really enjoy, especially in my backyard. However, this was a different feeling. As I,ve mentioned in previous posts, I wasn,t feeling Sky Blue Sky that much. Frankly, other than a handful of songs, I found much of it boring. This was the first time I have felt that way about a Wilco album, including the much criticized A Ghost Is Born.

Here is the setlist:

Shake It Off
You Are My Face
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Shot In the Arm
Side with the Seeds
Handshake Drugs
Impossible Germany
Sky Blue Sky
Pot Kettle Black
Via Chicago
War On War
Jesus, etc.
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Hate It Here
Poor Places/Spiders (Kidsmoke)
What Light
Heavy Metal Drummer

As the setlist shows, we got 8 SBS songs. The overall impression: a great show, but no real change on my stance on SBS songs. Of the 8 that were played, my favorites on the album were Impossible Germany, What Light, and Walken. Live, these songs are plain kickass and simply fantastic. After Thursday, you can add Side With Seeds to that list. The other 4 have their moments. I can,t really complain about Nels lap steel work in the self titled track or his soloing in parts of You Are My Face. Simply put, I can find great sections in all the songs, but I haven,t been able to embrace the entirety like so many other Wilco albums and songs. Oh well, so it goes...perhaps I need more time?

Despite this realization concerning the SBS songs, I can,t complain about anything else. This band is tight, ya,ll. They,ve had a couple years now to gel and they play well and with lots of energy. Other great highlights from the show included Pot Kettle Black, a song I always considered the most underrated on YHF and, for the jamband fan in me that won,t die, a long, played out Spiders with some great Nels moments and a very cool stop start ending. Finally, I realized how much I love Jesus, Etc. I know it,s one of the trendy picks, but I can,t help but drool all over it. I love that song...I loved it so much that I didn,t even realize how much I loved it. I love every aspect of this song, from Tweedy,s lyrics to Nels lap steel to the groove set by Stirrat and Kotche to the soundtrack it played and still plays in my life. Sweet sweetness!

Check out these two Wilco tracks from their 2006 live release, Kicking Television, for a morsel of what you,ll hear at a live show:

Wilco -- Handshake Drugs
Wilco -- Shot In The Arm

[Buy Wilco here]

In other ramblings,

+ Dumbass of the week award goes to me for skipping out on The National in Cincinnati on Friday night. This includes my inability to make the 5 minute trip to Shake It Records to see their in-store performance. I am enjoying the hell out of Boxer and from all the indications, they did not disappoint with their "hometown" show. The excuse of being too tired/still hungover and trying to save some money for Italy is really pretty lame.

+ There's an article over at the NY Times concerning Ryan Adams and his new album Easy Tiger. You can check it out here, in addition to downloading some mp3s and seeing some clips of live performances.

+ Motorcycles are my favorite car. They are fast and dangerous.



Rose said...

I want to see Wilco! If only they were coming to a venue near me... :)

Bryan said...

Grrr...I heard they'll be in Italy sometime soon.