Friday, April 20, 2007

Roger, Wilco!

Go Wilco. One of the best bands in the world put on one of the best shows in the world on Wednesday night at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne. The new lineup gelled as if they had been together for decades, the set as tight as any I've had the pleasure of bearing witness to. The addition of jazz guitarist Nels Cline an obvious bonus as he shredded his way through the numerous freeform guitar solos on tracks like 'Handshake Drugs', 'Spiders (Kidsmoke)' and 'I Am Trying to Break Your Heart'.
I went in to the show hoping that I could see 'Handshake Drugs' and 'I Am Trying to Break Your Heart', and then I'd go home happy. Three songs in, my wishes had been satisfied and I could sit back in anticipation of a killer show. Two and a quarter hours and two encores later, the crowd still going bananas, singer Jeff Tweedy, a different man having dispensed of his various vices and addictions, came out and once again demonstrated the astonishing connection he developed with the crowd during the show by performing solo, with an acoustic, and no amplification. I haven't the faintest idea what song it was. But I have never known 2,000 people to be in a confined space and be so utterly silent, before completely erupting at the close of the song. It was truly one of the most magic moments I have witnessed at a music gig, not least as the uplifting nature of the lyrics served as a glorious underlining of the new Tweedy, a positivity refelcted in the five or so tracks from the upcoming Sky Blue Sky, which if Wednesday night was any indication, is set to be an absolute corker.
But it really was Tweedy's show, with his sparkling wit shining through in his wonderful repartee with the (possibly inebriated) Melbourne crowd, his efforts to create (further) tension between Melburnians and their Brisbane couterparts a real highlight. When a band can combine incredible songs with an awesome performance and a charismatic frontman, they're on a winner. And even before the final, glorious solo from Tweedy, as the 'Poor Places/Spiders (Kidsmoke)' double wrapped up, it was indelibly clear just how much of a winner they (and we) were on.

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1 Comments:

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Purty said...

Reading your blog. You have very nice taste in music. I think I'm gonna have to check out Augie March, seeing that dude open for Wilco and your recommendation will suffice.

And the show was great. I also got to talk to and shake hands with Jeff after the show and have a few beers with the band. :)

 

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