Tuesday, October 4, 2011

WILCO Rocked the Ryman

The amps were turned to "11" on Sunday night and Wilco was ready to rock.  The opening song "Less Than You Think" felt almost interrupted by the anticipation of the first track "Art of the Almost" off the new album The Whole Love.  It was only the second song of the set list and it sounded like we had jumped to the encore with Nels Cline ripping through his solo at the end of the song.  "I Might" was next and the energy level hadn't dipped.                                

photo by Perry Julien

The stage was decorated as though hundreds of "cherry ghosts" were floating above the stage and the light show enhanced the wall of sound that came at us most of the night and sustained between songs into the next.  I was pretty confident the emerging crowd pleaser "Impossible Germany" was coming up but Jeff Tweedy first announced that they had a special guest...it was Duane Allman's gold top 1957 Les Paul.  Nels Cline played it in his extended "Impossible Germany" solo and it was a golden moment. 
You cant get an appreciation from the the drummer Glenn Kotche's talent just on record.  Watching him Sunday night you see his talents first hand.  He's not keeping a Ringo Starr drumbeat back there...he's playing a glockenspiel, various rhythm instruments while still playing his first job the drums. 
Nick Lowe came out for a few songs in the encore which they ripped up leading Jeff Tweedy to persuade Nick to join the band even citing a change to the name to "Wilclowe".  The encore breathed more life into the concert and we got to hear a few songs off Being There and from the Guthrie project "California Stars."
I had had to wait a few years since missing Wilco last time at the Ryman and it was worth the wait.  Now I just need to figure out a way to see them again on this tour. 
Hatch Print unveiling

Set List
Less Than You Think
Art of Almost
Black Moon
Ashes of American Flags
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Pot Kettle Black
Born Alone
Side With The Seeds
One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)
I'll Fight
Impossible Germany
Open Mind
Handshake Drugs
Dawned On Me
A Shot in the Arm

Whole Love
36 Inches High (with Nick Lowe)
I Love My Label (with Nick Lowe)
California Stars
The Late Greats
Heavy Metal Drummer
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At the End of the Century) 

Mike Smith, The Showbiz Kids

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