Nels Cline stuns the crowd (as usual) on "Impossible Germany"Next came “Impossible Germany”, always a delight, with Nels cutting loose on the soloing in the second half of the song, and another new song, “Born Alone” which had yet another intense, sprawling outro. Around this time in the set Tweedy finally started talking to the audience, talking about the show being broadcast on NPR, and noting we were quite a scruffy bunch for a Sunday evening. “Handshake Drugs” came next, a typical rendition with Cline and Pat Sansone trading solos, and it was followed by a beautiful singalong on “Jesus, Etc.” The atmosphere was wonderful, and I love the song to begin with, and I sang along through all of it.
The rest of the set was a mix of new and old. The noisy pop of “Dawned On Me”. The twang of “Box Full Of Letters”. The impossible catchiness of “Standing O”. All of it running up to Wilco classics “War On War” and a stellar version of “A Shot In The Arm” complet with synthy breakdown. And that was the end of the show.
No Wilco show would be complete without riotous encores! They returned and started playing a pretty version of “Via Chicago”, which was interrupted periodically by bursts of thundery noise, but was excellent nonetheless. “Whole Love” was poppy and sweet, after which Nick Lowe came back onstage for a performance of his song “36 Inches High” backed by Wilco, a wonderful bluesy stomp. Then was a fast, rocking performance of “Heavy Metal Drummer” and the powerful combined punch of Being There jams “Monday” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”, and when Tweedy said “see you next time” before leaving the stage.
I'm sure I will Mr. Tweedy. I’m sure I will.
Don't forget, you can now stream the show, it's entirety courtesy of those crazy communists over at NPR.org.
Wilco performing at Merriweather Post Pavillion. Photos by Kevin Hill