Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wilco Winter Residency, Day 3

Tonight I found a parking spot right on Lawrence Avenue, so not only did I avoid the $20 parking lot for the third night in a row, but this time I didn't have to pay a meter! Heck yeah. The trade-off, though, involved a bit longer of a hike to The Riv, and it was the coldest night yet.
The XRT radio personality who introduced the band also made reference to the weather. "On one of the coldest nights in Chicago, you've got one of the hottest tickets in town." I whole-heartedly agree.
The theater wasn't nearly as sauna-ish as it's been, which was a huge relief. I opted, though, to still sit in the balcony again and found an open single aisle seat next to someone who introduced herself as Amy and the guy sitting next to her as Steve. They both were able to get 5-day passes--lucky! She warned me that the guy sitting in front of me was really tall, which is why they had scooted down a seat, leaving mine available. I said that's ok because I was really tired and didn't plan on standing much anyway.
I took out The Best American Non-Required Reading 2007 and started reading. Amy asked how to book was because Steve is apparently a big Dave Eggers fan. As am I. I said I'd only read the intro so far but that was good because it was written by Sufjan Stevens. Amy's a big Sufjan fan (as am i) and said she'd seen him here before.
Before the show began I ran to the basement bathroom. By the time I got back to my seat I already had to go again. Wonderful. I silently cursed the grande cinnamon dolce latte I downed in record time earlier today. Then the lights went off and "tall man" stood right in front of me. I remained seated, though, for the first 6 or 7 songs, enjoying the music, while singing to myself and drumming along with Glenn with my imaginary drumsticks. There is something to seeing the music magically produced before your eyes, though, and for the remainder of the show I alternated between standing up and chillin' in my chair.

1) Blue-Eyed Soul
2) Remember The Mountainbed--which I had to look up with key words such as "turpentine," "pine," "eucalyptus," and "singing seeds of song"
Afterwards Jeff spoke (the earliest he's spoken in any show so far). "Andrew Bird everybody. The band gets bigger and bigger every night."

3) Bob Dylan's Beard

Tweedy said something but I missed it because of the people yelling, "DOWN IN FRONT!" and "GO DOWNSTAIRS IF YOU WANNA STAND!"
Tweedy: "Thank you guys. Are you warming up? Tonight's brutal. It's only going to get worse." He then made a comment about about people fighting for spots in front of the stage. "Fight it out," he advised.

4) Hesitating Beauty
5) That's Not The Issue--through the spaces of the people standing in front of me, I was still able to see Pat Sansone expertly play his variety of instruments as I comfortably remained seated

6) Wishful Thinking
7) You Are My Face (first repeat of the night)-When Wilco first streamed Sky Blue Sky online last year year in anticipation of their newest album release, the lyrics, "I trust no emotion/I believe in locomotion" were the ones I sang over and over in my head.

8) Side With The Seeds (repeat)
9) Shot In The Arm (3 for 3)
10) We're Just Friends
11) Kamera--I finally jumped out of my seat and started snapping photos (despite only having my mom's point-n-shoot).
"I totally forgot how to play that," Jeff apologized. "I'm sorry."
Someone shouted out, "ALL YOUR LIFE!" to which Tweedy responded, "All your life? What's that? A song of yours you want us to sing?" I love him.
Then someone else screamed, "DON'T PLAY 'THEOLOGIANS'!"
"Don't play 'Theologians'?" Jeff retorted. "Oh you're asking for it, pal."

12) Handshake Drugs (repeat)
13) How To Fight Loneliness--with the much-welcomed return of Andrew Bird, who I'd like to add/correct myself from Saturday's show recap, plays the fiddle, not the violin.

Jeff thanked him at the end of the song and said, "We're going to play a few songs off our first album." Someone on stage must have corrected him because then he said, "Aren't we? Scratch that--we're playing one off our first album you bought." Guilty laughter. "What? I thought we had some goodwill going back and forth here...I'm always shitting in the punch bowl." Then took a swan-dive into
14) Jesus, Etc. (3 for 3)

"Ok you better know these next songs like the back of your hand!" Tweedy joked. "After turning on us so quickly...I love you too!...I just assumed someone said that." Which prompted sporadic professions of love from a handful of people. Then someone requested loudly, "LOOSE FUR!" (Wilco's side-project band...I think I saw their only ever live performance at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY back in 2002 or '03). "Loose Fur ain't here," Jeff replied.

15) Should've Been In Love--the crowd went wild when Tweedy slipped his harmonica holder over his head to rest on his shoulders, and every time he motioned to take it off, a collective "awww" filled the air. "If you see me walking down the street with this around my neck, now you'll know why," said Jeff.

16) Pick Up The Change--yay! I've been waiting for this one!
"Andrew has free range--he's a free-range bird," Tweedy joked. "I wish I wasn't me sometimes." Haha!

17) Theologians--love the steel blue guitar, Jeff.
"Play it again?" Jeff mocked the tool earlier who yelled an anti-request. "We're going to play that one for the rest of the show now."
He then introduced Total Prose (finally got the name), the horn section, which is apparently a joke name. "On the trombone--or the bone as they call it..." Tweedy remarked.
18) Walken (3 for 3)

"I'd like to dedicate this song to my lovely wife, Susie. I love you." (Gee, I wonder what song it's going to be...) "We're going to take a break after this song, but don't leave, we're coming back...like the dead. We're just going to pee."
He then strummed the first note of
19) I'm The Man Who Loves You (3 for 3)--and said, "This note makes me have to pee." Amen.

As soon as the song ended, I ran downstairs to pee for the second time since I'd arrived at the Riv. Damn coffee, I thought. What a time to have an overactive bladder. The line was ridiculous, so unlike Jeff I didn't get to take advantage of the "pee break." Instead I talked to Amy and Steve sitting next to me. They told me Greg Kott, the Chicago Tribune music critic, is also keeping tabs on the set lists and has a worthwhile blog to check out. Turns out Kott and I have a lot of similar opinions Wilco-wise. Click HERE for Kott's blog. Amy asked me if there were any songs I really want them to play. I said, "Box Full Of Letters." Turns out she and Steve live in Palatine, so I told her I went to Fremd High School and grew up not far from there. She went to Wheeling High School. Small world.

20) Via Chicago (repeat)--After the first verse I realized my mom's little point'n'shoot has video recording capabilities and recorded the rest of the song. This was an exciting discovery but also pissed me off as far as getting in trouble for my SLR camera, which does not have any video capabilities. Wouldn't you think having video footage would be "worse" than still pictures? Yet, every single person there with their tiny cameras and their stupid iPhones are doing the same thing. Anyway, here's the video

21) Impossible Germany (3 for 3)
22) She's A Jar--afterwards Jeff said, "Clearly I psyched myself out. I thought, I'll whistle this one [as opposed to playing the harmonica melody] and nothing came out.
23) Say You Miss Me

"You guys have been the nicest audience. You're very sweet," Jeff told us. "You're all hungover, aren't you?" Laughter. "You're holding out for Tuesday and Wednesday, I know." YEEEEEEEAH! "How'd you get tickets to all five shows?" he asked. "It was hard, I know." Oh I don't think you know just how hard it was, my friend.

24) BOX FULL OF LETTERS!!!--this is one I was holding out for, a definite favorite. "I just can't find the time/To write my mind/The way I want it to read/You'll come back again/And I'll still be your friend..." Again I remembered after the first verse that I had the video advantage, so here is the remainder of that song:

25) I'm Always In Love--I recorded the end of this song because I've always loved Jeff and John's prominent harmonies.

"I'd like to welcome back Total Prose. They've gained a member--they're the fastest growing band in America!"

26) Hate It Here (3 for 3)
27) The Late Greats (repeat)
28) Red-Eyed And Blue (repeat)--I wanted to record the wonderful whistling duet of Jeff and Andrew, but when I was video-ing "Box Full Of Letters" I saw security men eye-ing me, so I decided not to risk it. Hopefully they'll go for it again Tuesday or Wednesday.
29) I Got You (repeat)
30) Monday (repeat)--How does JT scream like that five nights in a row??

"Want to hear a lullaby?" Jeff asked. "We'll say goodnight with a lullaby..." then started singing, "Hush little baby..."
31) My Darling

They left the stage and, like Saturday, it really seemed like there wasn't going to be an encore. But again, like Saturday, no one budged. And like Saturday, "Peaches" played out the house speakers. I was singing it really loud without really paying attention to the fact that I was singing it out loud, and the guy in front of me turned around and asked who sang it. "Presidents Of The United States Of America," I told him. Get with it, dude. I totally had a mosh pit at my bat-mitzvah to their hit called "Lump."

32) I Can't Stand It (3 for 3)
"One More?" asked Jeff. "Thanks again, guys."
33) Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway(again)--great ending song.

Amy and I exchanged phone numbers so that I could sit with them again tomorrow night, which was really nice of her to offer. I waved goodbye and walked out singing "Our House," which has played on the house speakers at the conclusion of every show so far. Outside the temperature was -17 degrees (I'm not kidding) and I literally could not feel my hands by the time I got to my car.
Total songs tonight: 33. They've played one more song than the previous show each night...so maybe by Wednesday's conclusion, we'll get a full 35! I love this band.


(p.s. Don't forget that Tuesday night's show will be broadcast on XRT-93.1 and on their website www.wxrt.com beginning at 7:30 p.m. CST)


fairest said...

This is a great recap. We were there last night but not Monday. Last night was great, but there were songs in this list I wish we could have heard. These concerts are becomming like a drug. Like, I want to be there again tonight, the next night, the next night.

Good videos!

alyse said...

Do you have tickets for tonight?
I'm sure it's going to be a great show seeing as it's the mega-conclusion to the whole residency.

I totally agree with you about Wilco=drugs.

Keep checking back, I'll be posting about the final two shows as well :-)

fairest said...

No, sadly I don't have tickets for tonight. I'll check back for another recap tomorrow and live vicariously through you.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Mr. Kot should look at YOUR blog. His is good too though. (All the bladder-related details added a whole new level of urgency to your reportage!) GA