Monday, December 15, 2008

Concert Review: Wilco - 12.14.08 at Lyric Opera House in Baltimore

I got tickets to Wilco even though they're not a band I've ever fallen in love with. They kind of occupy the same sort of vague territory of appreciation without outright affection that the White Stripes, Ted Leo, and Broken Social Scene fall into for me. But I knew they write good songs, and they have a reputation for being an excellent live act to see, and the choice of venue had me sold. 

The Baltimore show was one of only a couple that Wilco are doing this tour without Neil Young, so they get to be the headlining act. Funny, that they are opening for Neil Young, but the one time I saw Neil Young, he opened for Dave Matthews Band... something is wrong here. Anyway, the venue of this show, the Lyric Opera House, was a big selling point for me too, because shows I've seen this year in fancier seated venues have all been excellent (Sigur Ros, Elbow, Mos Def).

And what do you know, I got exactly what I paid for. (Ok, not exactly... I bought two tickets thinking, surely, I could convince one of my friends, or some poor hipster out in the cold of Baltimore to see the show, but I couldn't find a single taker, and had to totally eat the cost... and that's the 2nd time that's happened in two weeks! WTF?)

The thing that struck me about this show is that this is just a very good, professional, band. They're tight, they have no weak links, they take their craft extremely seriously. That being said, one of the more memorable parts of the show came when Tweedy messed up a verse on "Jesus, Etc." about which he seemed really embarassed. He explained that, what had gone through his head to make him lose his place in the song was, he was thinking about how cool it'd be if characters from "The Wire" (best show in the history of tv) like Omar and McNulty were real and came to a Wilco show. It was a stark contrast from Nick Cave, who seemed to not give a damn about stopping in the middle of "God is in the House" or explaining why.

So in conclusion, even if you don't like Wilco that much, you should go see them if you get the chance, especially if your friend is offering them to you at a discount and would probably even give it to you for free.

1 comment:

Drew Tatusko said...

I could never do Wilco just like I can't get into TV on the Radio or Arcade Fire. They have never hooked me. Hotel Yankee Foxtrot was OK, but I have had no desire to listen to it again in about a year or two... I guess I am more space rock than folksy and more funk than alt-country when it comes down to it.