Monday, February 25, 2008

Wilco — 19/20-Feb-2008 — Nights Four & Five

As I'm writing this, I'm on a comfy couch back in my home state of NC. The Residency shows are still being played over in my mind, and, lest I forget, I want to write a few lines about the last couple of nights.

Tuesday was frigid. I think the wind chill temperatures on that day alone put all the others to shame. Something like minus 19 Fahrenheit. If you're dressed warm... it doesn't kill ya. While stamping out the cold in line, there was a snaggle-toothed jolly old chap armed with a bottle of vodka, and a never-ending cigarette that made his way up and down the queue of concert-goers. He was quite a dancer, too. It was all good.

The show on Tuesday was broadcast on the web for the masses, and one thing was soon evident: the "free-range" Andrew Bird wasn't on stage. Perhaps it had to do with a music labeling issue. The show was bookended with the same song, essentially: "Outta Mind (Outta Site)" (slow) and "Outta Site (Outta Mind)" (fast). I'm not sure if they'd ever played both in a single set before now. Only Wilco could pull that off!

At the end of the night, fatigue was beginning to set in, and with one more show left to go, many opted, myself and companions included, to forgo any late-night festivities and head on to bed.

We rested some more on the following day, choosing to conserve our energy and nursing our developing colds in order to maximize on the rocking later that night. At this point, many of our new friends were coughing and sniffling, and there were even reports of flu-like symptoms going around. (An aside: We are all sick a week later.)

To those keeping score, we knew that Wilco had played 90-some percent of the promised catalog, and we were really poised for an off-the-hook show for the final night. And that's just what we got.

A few highlights for the night: "Pieholden Suite." In all honesty, I never imagined this song could sound as good as it did. The "Total Pros" horn section really drove this ditty home, and I have a newfound appreciation for this Summerteeth track. "When You Wake Up Feeling Old" seemed especially apropos on this night, for reasons already mentioned. "Blood of the Lamb" from the Mermaid Avenue recordings was a sweet gospel song that would have made Woody proud.

Nels brought back this Macramé-d owl during the latter part of the show. I first saw this back in June, 2007 at Charlotte. An unexpected surprise came when John, who usually eschews blatant rock-star moves, actually jumped off the half-stack during "I Got You" (I think.) At this point, it's all blurring together, but all of us down front simply erupted with screaming and yelling. They were putting on the finishing touches to an historical series of shows, and had energy to spare. It was utterly contagious.

The night didn't end w/ the raucous "Dreamer in My Dreams" although that was the last track they played. We made it down the block to the Fat Cat where we celebrated for a couple hours afterwards. Dehydration had begun to settle in, and it was simply too early to call it a night. Our new-found friends were all there, although some of them regrettably had to get an early start on the trip home. In the end, the warm relationships formed over the Residency were no match for the Chicago winter.

Night Four
Outta Mind (Outta Site)
I Must Be High
Impossible Germany
Radio Cure
Leave Me Like You Found Me
Company In My Back
Handshake Drugs
War On War
Shake It Off
In A Future Age
A Shot In The Arm
Poor Places
On And On And On


Hotel Arizona
Too Far Apart
Was I In Your Dreams? (w/ horns)
Someday Soon
California Stars
Hate It Here (w/ horns)
The Thanks I Get (w/ horns)
Walken (w/ horns)
I'm The Man Who Loves You (w/ horns)
I'm A Wheel (w/ horns)
Outta Site (Outta Mind)

The Late Greats

Night Five
Sunken Treasure
One By One
Shouldn't Be Ashamed
You Are My Face
Side With The Seeds
Pot Kettle Black
War On War
Pieholden Suite (w/ Andrew Bird & horns)
Muzzle of Bees (w/ Bird)
It's Just That Simple
Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway (Again)
I Thought I Held You
What Light (w/ horns)
When You Wake Up Feeling Old
Jesus, Etc. (w/ Bird)
Walken (w/ horns)


Via Chicago
Blood Of The Lamb (w/ Bird & horns)
Can't Stand It (w/ Bird and horns)
Boxful of Letters
Heavy Metal Drummer
Hate It Here (w/ Bird & horns)
The Thanks I Get (w/ Bird & horns)
Just A Kid
Red Eyed & Blue (w/ Bird)
I Got You (w/ Bird
Casino Queen
I'm A Wheel
Less Than You Think (13 minute drone w/ Bird)
I'm The Man Who Loves You (w/ horns)


Dreamer in my Dreams

No comments: