Outtamind (outtasite).

Saw Wilco play Merriweather last night. A fine time, at least as much due to the company as to the music. I’ve seen Wilco at least four times in the last seven years, with at least three different lineups, and my impression is always the same: They’re a great band, but seeing them perform live is not essential to the task of getting them the way it is for most musicians that I love. They never dissapoint. They just never blow me away. And that continues to surprise me, because, the snoozy Sky Blue Sky aside, Jeff Tweedy is a fine a songwriter as anyone of his generation. (He’s also quick as a rattlesnake with a left jab, and with an explanation, too.)

And he always believes in what he’s doing, which is an admirable thing. Last night’s 25-song set included only five from the 20th century; only two from before 1999’s summerteeth. The band played two-thirds of Sky Blue Sky and surprisingly, just as much of yankee hotel foxtrot (seven of 11), which is what they were touring the last time I saw them, probably in 2002. (The fact that my usually-infallible concert memory is hazy where Wilco gigs are concerned is telling in itself.) The Sky Blue Sky tracks seem to get a pretty favorable crowd response (and even the folks on the lawn, where I was, stood for the entire show), so maybe the vox populi does not share my tepid record for the album Tweedy said he made so his wife would could hear him sing a few nice songs for a change.

The set, since I bothered to write it down:

01 A Shot in the Arm
02 Side with the Seeds
03 You Are My Face
04 I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
05 Kamera
06 Handshake Drugs
07 Via Chicago
08 Shake It Off
09 War on War
10 Sky Blue Sky
11 Impossible Germany
12 Jesus, Etc.
13 Hate It Here
14 Walken
15 I’m the Man Who Loves You
16 Hummingbird
17 California Stars
18 Poor Places
19 Spiders (Kidsmoke)
20 Heavy Metal Drummer
21 The Late Greats
22 I’m Always in Love
23 Outtamind (outtasite)
24 I’m a Wheel
25 What Light

I’ve no idea why Tweedy decided to leave things on that odd note. It was 10:55, and the band had gone on at quarter ’til nine, but I’m guessing Merriweather’s curfew is 11 p.m., which would have left time for one more. I thought he’d close with “Sunken Treasure,” but I was hoping for a wack-ass cover (“Don’t Fear the Reaper,” anyone?) if not a complete curveball like, say, “Remember the Mountain Bed.” But noooooooooooooooooooo.


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