Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wilco Winter Residency, Day 2 (a.k.a. Look out/Here I Come Again/And I'm bringin' my friends)

A few hours before Day 2 of the residency, I received an e-mail from my friend Brian, who I haven't talked to regularly in ages. (I intend on posting an entry at the end of the 5 days regarding how I originally got into Wilco and part of that story involves meeting Brian through ebay after someone I had bought a ticket for declined the gift)
It read:

Dear Alyse,
I hope you had/have a blast at the Wilco shows. Do you still write the set lists in a notebook? If so, you certainly have your work cut out for you the next several nights! Well, have fun – I’m jealous! :)

I found it hilarious that he remembered that detail from way back when and smiled to myself as I made sure my blue "bible" was tucked safely into my purse.

As independent I consider myself, I have to say there is something to be said about sharing three hours of your favorite band with three of your best friends. Lindsay (my fellow Wilco addict...again, once I post about all my Wilco run-ins, the best story involves when she came out to NYC to see them play Radio City and we ended up spending the whole night hanging out with them...that's just a preview), Jenny (who's first time seeing the band live took place on my birthday when we were moved to the front row...another great story that will be included in the future post), and Shawna (who had never seen Wilco live (only JT) and is now a self-proclaimed Wilco superfan)
I warned them to wear comfortable shoes in the event we didn't get seats and to wear layers to avoid sweating to death. Luckily we got there right as the doors were opening, so Lindsay and Jenny jumped out onto Lawrence Ave. and held a place in the line that went around the block, while Shawna and I found parking--once again lucked out with a metered spot on Sheridan. We met up with them just in time to enter. This time I only brought my mom's point-n-shoot camera with me, in order to avoid any drama and risk not getting four seats together. Smart move on my part. We settled into our seats and awaited the band's arrival, chatting about which songs we really wanted them to play.

Jeff Tweedy came out solo with an acoustic guitar and jumped right into the first song.
1) Someone Else's Song--which he was then joined in the middle of by the rest of Wilco
2)Hell Is Chrome

"Welcome back," Jeff said. "To some of you." I turned to Lindsay and said, "Glenn [Kotche] looks like God." He was dressed all in white, illuminated in such a way that as he banged his drums it looked like he was addressing all corners of the world with every rhythm.

3) Handshake Drugs--one of two favorites off A Ghost Is Born (the other being "Hummingbird" which they played last night). I love watching Nels Cline play his guitars, calculated spastic movements. And all in bright red pants.
4) Muzzle of Bees--Lindsay grabbed my arm excitedly. This is the song she had hoped they'd play.
5) Via Chicago--I love when they play this song live because it's like a hometown heroes anthem, and they indulge in major jam sessions, which all begin and end impeccably. This one also included multiple blinding light displays, forcing me to close my eyes for a good portion of the song, but I didn't mind because it made me picture some of my favorite lyrics: "I printed my name on the back of a leaf/And I watched it float away/The hope I had in a notebook full of white dry pages/Was all I tried to save/But the wind blew me back via Chicago/In the middle of the night/And not without fight/At the crush of veils and starlight..."

6) I Am Trying To Break Your Heart--a repeat? Well, that's fine with me. They could play this song all five nights and I wouldn't complain.
7) Hotel Arizona
8) Shot In The Arm (repeat, but again, a favorite)
9) Impossible Germany (repeat, but glad Lindsay got it hear it)

John Stiratt, one of the nicest musicians I've ever met, suddenly took center stage and sang
10) It's Just That Simple--a wonderful twangy song from Wilco's first album, A.M., that gives props to their "alt. country" genre.
The crowd went absolutely nuts at the song's conclusion, as John shyly stepped out of the limelight. Tweedy approached the mic. "I think that's [mad applause/cheering] all for you, John," he said with a smile.

11) When You Wake Up Feeling Old

"It's not like there's going to be no repeats," Jeff informed us. He read my mind, I thought. "We still have to put on a show. How many of you were here last night?" I thrust my arm into the air. "There's no way you were all here." Laughter. "At last it's not as cold-waiting in line-so no one's frostbitten?" NO! everyone yelled happily. "One more question for you--how many of you hate to raise your hands?" Smart ass.

12) Too Far Apart (repeat, good one though)

"Moving right along..." Jeff said and went right into
13) Hate It Here (repeat)

"I'd like to bring out a friend," Jeff said. "Mr. Andrew Bird." What what what?? The handsome cowboy-dressing, violin-playing, expert whistler took the stage. And to, of course, play what song?
14) Jesus, Etc.-because that song isn't heartbreaking enough, now there's a live violin. Love it.
When the beautiful song ended, Jeff said to Andrew, "Will you stay up here with us for awhile?" And he did for the next few songs.

15) Forget The Flowers-the one Jenny hoped to hear and I'm a big fan of as well.
16) Dash 7
"That doesn't happen very often," said Jeff, which took the words right out of my mouth because I'm pretty positive I've never heard that one played live. "I was seven ft-three when I wrote that song." I'm still not sure what that means.
17) Christ For President
18) Walken (repeat)

"I love you Susie," Jeff directed to his wife again before singing,
19) I'm The Man Who Loves You (repeat)

Ten-minute intermission. I stood up and stretched my legs while piling my hair atop my hair, and we talked how our pants were soaking wet from the heat. So attractive.

20) The Late Greats
21) Heavy Metal Drummer (repeat)
Jenny: I remember listening to this in your bedroom whatever year that was.
Me: You mean when you jumped on my bed and cracked John's YHF case and I made you write an apology note?

Jeff: I'd like to thank the people over here [he motioned to a section of the dance floor] for handling that situation so beautifully. We gotta take care of the drunks in the room. Not beat them up. Or get beaten up by them. As I used to do.

Andrew Bird returned to the stage.
22) Red-Eyed and Blue--Jeff and Andrew whistled in tune with each other
23)I Got You--which never fails to follow #22
"So what'd you guys do during the break," Jeff asked. "Save your spot. Cause you're neurotic? Did you bring a catheter? Did you? I'm serious. Don't give me that look," he admonished someone in the front row. "I'd like to welcome back P-Prose (?? still haven't caught the name of the horn players!)

24) A Magazine Called Sunset--I've loved this unreleased song ever since I heard it in the Wilco documentary, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart!
"Let's take a map across your pillow/And breathe the sky in through your window/I'll stay in the riddle/And watch your books cave in..."
25) Monday
26) Casino Queen
27) King Pin--in which we did the call and response
Jeff: How can I?
Audience: WOO!
Jeff: I bet if we would have played this one last night that audience would have been much better. Yeah, I said it.

After the song ended, he asked us if we could handle a few more. Duh! Silly question, Jeff. He then called out, "Andrew!" and as he waited for the Birdman to appear, he said, "He's a swell guy that Andrew Bird."
28) Passenger Side
29) Dreamer In My Dreams

"Goodnight everybody. Thank you."
30) The Lonely 1

The house lights went up and the stage hands started unplugging guitars. And the sound system started playing "Peaches" by the Presides of the U.S.A. It appeared there wasn't going to be an encore, but no one would put up with that and everyone stood their ground cheering relentlessly.
Suddenly they reappeared.
"We just liked watching Glenn coming out to fix his drums," said Tweedy. "Encore?" Again, silly question.
31) ELT (repeat)
32) HooDoo VooDoo--they began, but Jeff stopped them and said, "Something's not right. Is it me?" Everyone started pointing fingers and eventually they figured it out and played straight through, including a great dueling guitar set between Nels and Pat.

What am I going to do on Sunday? Count down the hours until Monday's show. As my friend Brian so optimistically pointed out--I'm not even halfway done!


jennifer said...


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Tweedy was a little more talkative that night. It's also interesting that they did some repeats. Maybe even even Wilco has some must-do's. I'm waiting for the next post. (Tapping toes and drumming fingers.) GA