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theashtraysays

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Posts posted by theashtraysays

  1. Holy shit, have I really been here for FIFTEEN YEARS???  INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!  I'm sure I've been "QUITTING THE BOARD" at least 6 times (which pales in comparison to many of you/us).  Yet here we are.

    What a pleasure it's been virtually hanging out with so many of you all, and occasionally even in real life thanks to SSF and various sidewalks, rails, and venues around the globe.   Goodness what a collection of highly messed up freaks.  No wonder I feel right at home!

    :cheers

    Vince

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  2. For sure the back to back LammyCat’s and not a Nova in sight was a letdown for me in Oakland. Sunday was such a great show, I was pretty pumped for night 2. Loved hearing Kamera. And Monday was a joyride even with the “alternate” lyrics. But yeah i enjoyed night 1 (and a couple other shows this run) more than this one. Maybe we’re all a little weary. This 10-show run stuff is new for me. 
    Methinks I’ll take a three day nap now. 
    cheers!!! 

    • Like 1
  3. What a Wilco Wednesday indeed.  Pure Joy.  I haven't smiled so much in a very long time (though I doubt anyone noticed as we were all masked up!).  I was lucky enough to get one of the YFF Library books from Scott (via Tad and an extendable grabber, because, you know, Covid), as one of the leading "standers" down front for ALL of the YFF opening sets.  A prized possession for sure.  Mikael's appearance was a delight, but did cause me to worry a bit that it might be all the collaboration we'd get.  Thankfully I was wrong as usual.

    The Wilco set, with the Lazarus-like resurrection of the crowd compared to night 1, had even more joy and bounce than the previous night (which was no slouch in that department).  But Jeff was quite animated and a little more chatty than earlier, and that culminated in the encore.  But even prior to that he was jovial, beaming at Nels in his IG solo, resuming the back-to-back guitar shredding with him in RNG, and taking us on yet another new / uncharted journey through Laminated Cat.  He even jogged out to the front over the stage all the way to his right during Hummingbird to acknowledge a client fan who had donned a Tweedy show shirt and Costco PJ's in the pit. 

    The return of Poor Places / Reservations as the main set closer has been glorious.  Love love love that.  The crowds have all been super respectful and silent during reservations, and that just helps that song pour out all over the crowd in all its broken / damaged love song beauty.  One thing I noticed starting 2-3 nights ago is that the Conet tapes ("Yankee.... Hotel.... Foxtrot") is back in the live version of the song, which just sends chills down my spine.  Can't remember that being in the mix for quite some time. 

    But without a doubt the highlight of the show was the encore collaboration with the YFF on Helter Skelter.  It just set the room on fire.  I've never seen anything quite so bursting with happiness. 

    I miss those guys already....

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  4. 20 hours ago, bböp said:

     — though I believe there was a certain resident monomaniac and front-row denizen who took a seat, ahem, during Jesus, etc.

    ahem, I believe that you failed to mention that said monomaniacal denizen was one of only two attendees standing throughout the YFF set. Can't believe the lack of love for any Scott band up here.  Maybe Seattle will be better.  And I figure if Nels gets to sit down, then so do I.  We're practically the same age after all. 

     

    Fun show for sure.  Once again we had a particularly large unused portion of the stage (10-12') in front of the band and ahead of the front row which made the band seem tucked away from those of us up front.  The sound was very good up front, even without any audience-facing small speakers on the lip of the stage, though the vocals were a tad light as compared to the night before (which did have the lip speakers).

    Jeff skipped the Doors-esque spoken intro to Heavy Metal Drummer, as clearly they were pressed for time there in the encore.  We also got the Green Acres ending from Glenn at the end of Forger the Flowers, and then another one at the end of another song (which I can't recall - remember, advanced age) and I think Jeff even joined in for those 7 little notes on that one.  Still not getting the back-to-back Nels/Jeff guitar riffs during Random Name Generator... they may have shelved that particular rock move.  Bummer.  But still lots of eye-to-eye smiles during that little riff section between the two.  And Jeff continues with his "Whaaaatt?" and "Huhhhh?" interaction with the techs which gets a big chuckle out of Glenn. 

    Laminated Cat is indeed a jam session that morphs night after night and just sears the ears of everyone in the room.  I think John's bass line on that one is the underpinning for everyone to just let loose, and loose they do let.  Stan clearly nudges up the sliders on that one on the control board - it does get loud but in a very good way. 

    Couple other little nuggets that I noticed - Nels didn't start off Dawned on Me with his usual skronky spring noises; Jeff said something like "I'll start this one like we talked about" and then did just that.  No idea why.  And when they brought out Pat's banjo for CaliStars, everyone just paused for a bit waiting on Jeff to start, including Jeff.  After an awkward few (several?) seconds Jeff quipped "oh yeah, I start this one.  Just testing you guys" before strumming his way into the song. 

    Speaking of monomaniacal (were we?) I totally need to up my game on signage.  Four nights in a row now we got LammyCat in that spot where the Nova usually parks, which only came out in night 1 of Portland.  Nothing wrong with LammyCat of course, but the return of NovaCat would be a rather nice compromise.

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  5. It really was a strange room.  The shallow floor section, along with the practically vertical 3-layer balcony, made the room taller than it was deep, and not very wide either.  As mentioned above, the band set up behind the curtain line, which made the front 15' lip of the stage this weird wooden expanse between the front row and the stage monitors.  The sound board was set up behind the last row of seats on the floor, which meant that you had to walk in the 3' narrow walkway BEHIND Stan and Jeremy to get to the far side of the floor seats. 

    The crowd sat for the Fellows, who didn't really seem to mind and played another delightful set, opening up with that "improv" song - a slow little calming ditty about how the show was gonna be great, which kinda settled the unsuspecting audience into a lull before taking us all to Groovy Town. 

    The respectful audience that Paul mentioned was indeed a nice break from the hootin and hollerin crowds earlier .  After Poor Places, you could hear a pin drop as Jeff started into Reservations, with nary a "yay" or a "woo" till the song closed out the main set.  Very refreshing. 

    Sunken Treasure was for sure the highlight of the show for me.  Great to hear that one come back into rotation. 

     

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  6. Happy to trade in the Nova for this set last night.  May all shows be night 2 shows.  :rock

    (Though I suppose we could say we did indeed get a NovaCat, just with a 24 hour intermission!)

     

    And I continue to be enthralled with the Young Fresh Fellows.  Scott thanked Wilco for being so supportive of up-and-coming bands like themselves, later saying that they were more likely on the "legacy" list along with folks like Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, and a couple others.  He was having a ball.  Well, they all were.  Kurt stepped to the lip of the stage ripping solo's a time or two, despite having nobody at the light controls to give him a spotlight.  I don't recall all the setlist, but R&R Pest Control and Backroom of the Bar were definitely highlights.  I swear Scott has the best smile in rock and roll. 

     

    2 hours ago, Lukestar said:

    How about Westerberg's wedding band? How were the old Young Fresh Fellows?

    Two words: Taco Wagon.  (and see above)

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  7. Night 1 of the Portland double-date was some solid Wilco for sure.  And having the Young Fresh Fellows set the stage with 30 minutes of "let's have a ball playing and watching you sit in your seats" was a pretty good clue that we weren't going to get the original OtJ opener and bring down the room.  The floor was standing for the whole Wilco set, and the balcony even popped up around I'm the Man.  It was nice hearing a few songs swapped into the rotation like Seeds and especially Ashes for the first encore song.  Was surprised that Scott and Co didn't show up somewhere in the encore - hope that gets rectified soon. 

    Obviously for me the highlight was Bull Black Nova, complete with the liquid melty bloody backdrop from earlier in the tour.  No holds barred.

    (Sign update - briefly hoisting a NOVA NIGHT? sign caught security's attention more than Jeff's, so I can't take credit there.  Security in this rather cushy theater was firm but not obnoxious).

    As for the "irked" incident mentioned by bbop, that was directed at one of a couple of highly enthusiastic guys on the front to Jeff's left.  Nothing at all wrong with enthusiasm, but there was a lot of camera / video action going on with that particular fellow, and at one point he laid his phone (or small camera - couldn't quite tell) on the lip of the stage next to the monitor (there was no rail; row 1 of the pit was up against the stage like most fancy theaters).  Jeff shook his head "no" at the guy and pointed at it, but the guy just left it there.  So Jeff reached down over the monitor, picked it up, and set it back behind him on his amp.  As the band was leaving the stage, he looked at the guy and said "don't put anything on the stage".  The guy eventually got someone to retrieve the device during clean up after the show.  Eric (sizeable Tour Manager extraordinaire) came out to check on things, and the guy said to him "Can I get a setlist?"  Eric gave him a "SERIOUSLY??" glare and said "No!" and walked off with quite a WTF look. 

    And did I mention The Young Fresh Fellows?  Oh I did?  Well I just have to say, I am THRILLED to get 30 minutes of Scott & Co at these upcoming shows this run.  They are a blast, and I think they'd have fun playing to 5 or 5000.

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  8. 2 hours ago, bböp said:

     The unsettling Bull Black Nova made another appearance ....

    Nice to hear it's settling in to the setlist... here's hoping it can make the long drive out west next month.

     

    And "unsettling"?  I suppose.  And right on the heels of Via Chicago, it's certainly a double dose of vivid imagery. 

    One of my theories on the song is that it's the answer to the question "What if the 'dream' last night in Via Chicago wasn't really a dream after all?", which is why it's often played right after VC. 

    But it's not like it's a murder ballad or anything. 

    Oh, wait.  Never mind. 

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  9. Oh I forgot one other fun little tidbit. 
    The gap between the rail and the stage was pretty small and nearly filled with big subs. Wilco comes on, and a couple photographers emerge and start snappin, somewhat climbing around the speakers and doing the best they could to get the shots they wanted. Third song starts, and they keep snappin. Eric (rather intimidating tour manager, aka strictangel) appears a couple minutes in and talks to both of them, rather sternly, holding up two fingers. Apparently the deal was just two songs, not the usual three. Eric leaves, as does one photog. Photog #2 swaps lenses and keeps on snappin. Eric reappears and continues / enhances stern discussion, and proceeds to usher #2 out of the gap area, then concludes the now very stern discussion off to the side of the stage. Photog #2 was not seen again for the duration of the evening. Sure hope he’s ok. 

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  10. Being the big name in a small, local festival means that you can just stretch things out a little more than being in one of the larger multi-stage summer festivals, and it just felt like Wilco was able to stretch out a little more and play a terrific 23-song set out in the street in the northern Illinois town of Bloomington.  The one-day, one-stage, four-band affair was short on big corporate sponsors, and long on local folks who just wanted to enjoy music in a camp chair out on a gorgeous Saturday night at what was only the second iteration of this little hometown festival.  Being in honor of the Castle Theater's 10th anniversary of its time as a small (900 cap?) music venue this year, this fest was the grown-up version of its 2019 debut in the parking lot of the theater, and took over the street for the entire block in front of the little venue.  Local heroes Backyard Tire Fire, who played just before Wilco, were the band that everybody who didn't travel more than 50 miles knew (and knew well), and they apparently birthed the idea a few years back.  They put together an American Idol star, another local fave band, themselves, and were able to get Wilco to sign on in the middle of this 3-night / 3-festival run that they did this weekend to make a pretty darn satisfying 4-band show that ought to put this festival on the map from here on out.  A great evening in what seemed to me a very appreciative place.  And other than a couple of unwelcome wasted rail crashers (c'mon @Jcamp, you know better than that), it was a really great midwestern crowd.

    Althea Grace, from American Idol fame, opened up with just a shrunk down acoustic guitar and played a 30 minute solo set that let us know she has some serious songwriting chops and also did a downright righteous cover of Bennie and the Jets.  Next up was Chicago Farmer and The Field Notes, sounding like a 6-piece disguised as a 4-piece who played some rather quirky tunes including lamenting "$13 beers" at a big arena show, cheering for the underdogs in "Dirtiest Uniforms", and spinning a tale about grandparental wisdom in "The $20 Bill".  Watching the drummer in his pigtails play mandolin or keys WHILE drumming, and keeping an eye on the gypsy-Mick-Fleetwood guitar/steel guitar player made for an interesting time indeed.  They began their set promising that "we're gonna do something that's never been done in the history of live music - we're starting early" (a good 20 minutes early!), and then enjoyed themselves immensely throughout their set.  Backyard Tire Fire, newly reunited after a few years pursuing various stuff, came on with a song about Alejandro Escovedo, played some pretty tight roots/rock/little-bit-o-blues tunes, throwing in a John Prine cover (Great Rain) and a ZZ Top tune (Nationwide) just for fun.  Brothers Ed (Edward David Anderson) and Matt Anderson made up half the band, and their dad was right there on the rail next to us beaming with pride and telling us how great these guys were.  We happened to run into Ed as we were leaving, and he was over-the-moon excited at how well their little fest came off tonight.  We had also heard from former local resident and all around good guy Ken that about 30% of the total tickets were sold THAT DAY, which I'm told is pretty unusual and I'm sure was a huge relief for the organizers, especially Ed.  Terrific fella, and a few of us had a great time talking with him. 

    Wilco came on at 8:30 to a street full of regulars & big fans up front with quite a few locals mixed in, and a sea of camp chairs with local music lovers in the back behind the "no chairs past here" line at about the soundboard.  The setlist was largely the same as the recent shows, with a significantly noticeable change (by me anyway - more later), but it just seemed that the guys were a little more relaxed time-wise than the ultra-strict curfews they were under lately.  They played 23 songs, closing down at around 10:20, but it didn't seem hurried at all.  They left the stage for an actual encore break, and then played 3 songs for the encore before heading off again.  Jeff added back in the Doors-like spoken word version of HMD, going pretty far into the lyrics before saying "that's enough lizard king for an outdoor show" and cuing Glenn for his kickoff fill and diving into the song.  He once again was in a great mood, providing some serious rockstar moves in shredding through ALTWYS and in full jog-dance for Hummingbird.  Pat's Box Full of Letters solo was on fire, and he made the most of his moment in the spotlight.  John's hops looked to me like they had a little more air than the night before, and Glenn's stick twirling was right on cue as always. 

    Banter corner had a couple of highlights, with a main theme being that (to Jeff's disbelief) this was the first time that Wilco had played Bloomington IL.  Ken did tell us that Wilco played neighboring Normal back in 97, but not actually Bloomington.  Jeff eluded to having played there in another band at one point (presumably Uncle Tupelo but not mentioned), and apologized that it took them so long.  Just before Box, he mentioned that this was from their first album, and if Wilco HAD played Bloomington back in the day, this surely would have been one of the songs played.  He later said that the folks at the Castle theater had treated them all really well, and that they had spent the day in that theater where they had "none of their greatest memories".  He assured the crowd that they wouldn't take so long to play there again next time.

    The other memorable comment involved a delightful 11YO kid named Oscar.  Oscar and his mom made their way up to the rail during the fest, ultimately filling in the spot next to me where the Tire Fire dad had vacated after his boys closed out.  Oscar was celebrating his upcoming 12th birthday later this month with his first concert.  He was decked out in a spiffy new Wilco hat, which was just barely over the rail if he stood straight and tall.  He waved his hat enthusiastically at Jeff as they were leaving for the encore.  Upon returning, Jeff pointed out the young man, praising him for being there and his enthusiasm, and giving him (and his mom) the advice that "you need to start a band!".  The kid was THRILLED to get the shoutout, and was one big grin-machine the whole rest of the night.  In typical this-is-why-we-love-Wilco style, the tour manager Eric made his way down during the encore to give him a setlist and a pick to get him started on his newly christened career in music.  Good stuff.

    Speaking of good stuff... this show marked the first appearance of the highly sought-after Bull Black Nova since the pandemic shutdown.  I didn't really even get the chance to deploy my new "FULL SET! NOVA NIGHT?" sign, but after Via Chicago (!) they brought out Jeff's well-worn Fender which to me means we might be in Nova land.  Sure enough, the little twingly intro started up and the Nova was out of its year-and-a-half garage cold storage.  And yes, it was fabulous.  And yes, I did pretty much lose my shit.  But in a good way.  And as Jeff was leaving the stage for the night, he looked right at me and my face-wide exhausted smile, gave me a good finger-wag and we could see him say sternly "You owe me one!".  And I sure do. 

    Let's hope the guys can play more of these smaller festivals down the road and stretch out a little more on these nice summer nights.  It was a winner in my book.

    Here's the complete setlist as played.  Candyfloss was the third song on the written setlist and was replaced by California Stars.  No other changes.

     

    1. A Shot in the Arm

    2. Random Name Generator

    3. At Least That’s What You Said

    4. One and a Half Stars

    5. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

    6. Art of Almost

    7. If I Ever Was a Child

    8. Via Chicago

    9. Bull Black Nova

    10. Love is Everywhere (Beware)

    11. Impossible Germany

    12. Hummingbird

    13. Everyone Hides

    14. Box Full of Letters

    15. Dawned on Me

    16. Jesus, etc.

    17. Theologians

    18. I’m the Man Who Loves You

    19. Heavy Metal Drummer

    20. I’m Always in Love

    Encore

    21. The Late Greats

    22. Outtasite (Outta Mind)

    23. California Stars

     

    Cheers all! See you at the show. 

    Vince

     

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  11. 1 hour ago, uncool2pillow said:

    There is a small (<5%) chance I hit that show. Driving to Chicago this afternoon. I plan on arriving at my friend's place at Wicker Park around 7 PM. I really doubt we'll make it up, but it's not out of the question.

    Well? 
    It was a super easy little venue. Empty rail 15 minutes after doors… well, other than me. :rock

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  12. It's interesting that there are some grumblings over on the Sleater-Kinney FB fan page about how S-K has lost their edge, become "animatronic", not the same without Janet, etc... sound familiar? 

    But I'm with you that the S-K faithful are a force to be reckoned with and one that we could use an infusion from.  In the three shows that I saw, there was an impromptu / uninvited but highly welcome stage rush from reserved seats halfway through the S-K set (Atlanta), a rabid group on the rail of S-K fans who out-sidewalked us Wilco regulars IN THE RAIN (Nashville), and a smaller but intense group of fans who gladly accepted invitations to move to the rail for S-K's set and then proceeded to lose their minds for an hour and charge up the entire place (Asheville).  Talk about a shot in the arm!!

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  13. Always tough trying to do a recap AFTER bbop posted one for the night before.  But here goes...

    First off, it really WAS a (somewhat) converted junkyard set up as a food-and-entertainment area right next to the French Broad river.  Food trucks and a couple bars around the perimeter, with the stage in one corner with a big open area in the middle, with quite a few tables & chairs and places for lawn chairs behind the gravel pit area in front of the stage.  Lots of vintage signs & other oddities lying around.  If you caught Jeff's Starship Casual today, you saw that it POURED down rain during the afternoon ahead of the show.  But it mercifully stopped right at 430 which is when they opened up the parking lot and started letting folks in to get lined up.  That did make for a few sloppy spots in the venue where they had put down fresh mulch in some of the walkways and grassy areas to try and keep down the mud I suppose.  I did have a little deja vu moment when the rain started, as this show was already rescheduled from Tuesday to Thursday while TS Fred was dumping rain on Asheville and caused the tour to get re-arranged.  But the show must (and did) go on. 

    The entry process left much to be desired, and this was the first show I attended on this tour where they did NOT screen vax cards or negative tests.  There were noticeably more masks going in than I'd seen in other shows, since NC has an indoor mask mandate, which the venue said applied to the large bar area and the indoor food areas.  But out in the venue itself, it was pretty mask-less other than the oddity that about a third of the folks on the rail wore masks.

    NNAMDI opened at 6, with the sun peeking out from the earlier clouds and steaming things up a bit.  He remarked that he usually had a guitar, but due to the wrist injury he got the day the tour started, "y'all just get to watch me wiggle around a lot".  Good set, and seemed that the GA crowd was enjoying it.
    Sleater-Kinney came on, and once again the SK faithful were there in force, adding tons of energy to the show and drawing lots of smiles from the band, along with some nice praise from Carrie that they were "the best audience this tour."  She also mentioned that they were in Asheville on Tuesday night (being cancelled), but that tonight was way better.   I can't say enough about how their fans really make a show come alive.

    The sun was still up when Wilco came on at 8:25-ish, still steamy and warmed up nicely from the SK set.  Jeff's glasses kept fogging up, and he couldn't really see much for the first song or three.  His guitar tech had to wipe down his glasses with the first couple of guitar swaps, and Jeff even tried taking them off for one song but quickly abandoned that approach.  After his tech cleaned them off the first time, he remarked "hey look at all these people here!".  A couple more quips about the rain earlier that day, and also thanked everyone for coming out for the rescheduled show tonight. 

    Again not a ton of banter, but we did get one more song than usual, with Late Greats being the first encore song ("pretend we walked off, you screamed, and we came back") before CaliStars ended at 10:00 sharp.  One little tidbit was before Heavy Metal Drummer.  Jeff was kinda strumming loosely, and speaking some of the lyric lines to the song before Glenn kicked off the actual song.  At the end of that spoken-word prelude, he added "let me tell you about heavy metal drummer and the big beat", a la The Doors "The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)".  Interesting to say the least.  He did mention earlier that this was the first time they've played Hummingbird in 19 months or whatever.  A very welcome add, and the audience participation was pretty admirable. 

    Kudo's as always to the crew and to Stan running sound.  Apparently they didn't get to sound check due to the earlier rain, but the sound was excellent considering it wasn't the most high-end venue they've ever played.  And there was no backstage area to use for shuffling gear across the three bands, just a tent covered platform stage left.  The crew has really outdone themselves this run, and the rescheduled Asheville show means that they have 5 nights in a row, with ridiculously long driving times in between.  Gonna be a long week for everyone.

    As mentioned by bbop, we were once again NovaFree at this show.  I had brought a new "got nova?" sign, sharpie'd in my best copycat "got milk?" font (the phenix american font in case you were wondering).  Not sure if it got through to the foggy-glass lead singer, but like any white sign with black lettering, it did get a "nope" head shake.  Not one to be discouraged, I tried taking my 8' long banner version and taping it onto the stage side of the rail about halfway through the show... didn't even get a head shake on that one.  Sigh. 

    I'm off the trail for a while, with no more of the SK/Wilco shows on tap.  Hope to pick back up in Sept with a couple festival dates, then (hopefully) heading out west for most of the October run. 

    @bböp, back to you!!

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  14. 30 minutes ago, jff said:

     

    I think much of Chastain's reputation comes from their "season ticket" concerts, in which tables are set up in the pit area, and people are allowed to bring in food, beverages, tablecloths, candles, and whatever else they want.  This attracts people who are there more for a very high end picnic than a concert.   But even when they have no tables or picnic basket shows, like Wilco and other rock shows, the problem persists.  I've seen Neil Young get pissed at the audience and abandon quiet songs half-way through.  A friend told me about seeing people throwing cheese at Jethro Tull.  And even Garrison Keilor had a negative experience.  https://www.ajc.com/blog/buzz/from-the-ajc-archives-when-garrison-keillor-stormed-off-the-stage-chastain-park/oYYcN9ob4rZFbKtqsdvEBO/

     

    I'm glad to hear that there weren't those kinds of issues at the Wilco/SK show.

     

    I don't mean to suggest it's always like that, though.  I've seen some wonderful shows there with great audiences.

    Definitely several talkers near the front (I was in the second row), and I suspect it was way worse in the back.

    Also several folks walking across the front "aisle" between the first row and the stage, particularly with the openers. 

    I don't think "Reservations" would have been a good experience there.

  15. 3 minutes ago, bböp said:

     

    Well, sorry your Nova gambits haven't paid dividends so far but I'm sure they were at least mildly amusing.

    Really, anything that gets a smile from Jeff is well worth a couple sheets of posterboard, some bigass sharpie ink, and a little hassle here and there.  Maturity has never been my long suit, and I'm of the age where I kinda don't much care if it looks a little fangirl or not. 
    Hey are you able to make Asheville now?

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  16. I'll admit it.  The older I get, the more "challenging" GA shows get for me.  The long sidewalk waits, the inability to sit down, the trailblazing trips to & from merch/restrooms/refreshments, the lack of personal space.... it's just tougher as the years go by.  But it's still the best way to see Wilco, and I'll take it over a nice cushy theater seat any day. 
    As mentioned above, it did rain off and on all day in downtown Nashville, heavy in the early afternoon but not so much later in the day and no lightning or storms really.  Sidewalk time (for our little crew anyway) was mostly sprinkles and drizzly.  A little light rain once we got inside, but the GA pit area is partly covered by the really high stage roof that extends about 10' over the front of the pit area.  So we were all able to stay dry and gaze out over the poncho-attired seated folks behind us.  Nice....

    Ascend amphitheater in Nashville is a fairly new venue right at the end of the Broadway street downtown area next to the river.  It has a big concrete pit area, with 20-ish rows of permanent seats on grass behind that, and then a big open grassy lawn area behind that.   The Nashville skyline is visible behind the stage up top.  Between the rail and the stage is a pretty big gap, with several HUGE 5-foot cube speaker cabinets which were NOT under-powered for this show.  Entry was easy, well controlled but not at all police-like, with vaccine cards getting checked before entry including an ID match.  Those of us who wanted to ensure a good rail spot ponied up an extra ten bucks for the "fast path" entry which allowed folks in just ahead of the commoners for the GA pit section.  Mixed feelings on that whole deal, but hey it worked. 

    First in line on the sidewalk were a few SK fans, including a few who made the stage rush the night before in ATL.  They migrated to the Carrie side of the rail, leaving the Jeff/John/Pat rail section to us 8 or 10 "usual suspects" from the Wilco camp.  Was nice chatting with them a little, and seeing their enthusiasm as they crammed onto the rail ready to rock. 

    I do think GA shows are "kinder" to the openers, especially when it's the Wilco (and now SK) faithful up front who all know how to appreciate good music, especially artists who obviously have the Jeff/Wilco seal of approval.  Nnamdi opened up promptly at 7 to a small but engaged group in the pit and just a few folks out in the seats who were glad that the rain had just slacked off.  A little ways into his set, a fabulous rainbow did appear behind the lawn area, and a very startled Nnamdi commented between songs how amazing it was.  There was even a faint double-bow for a bit.  It faded out between his and SK's set though.  He threw in a new song in the set, one about riding the CTA to get to a flight that got interrupted, causing much anxiety on the part of the rider, which I thought was a really great song.  I suspect that more than one of us on this board have had that happen (myself included on my last Chicago trip for Jeff's final drive-in show!).  But a much more engaged group up front for their set than seated ATL.

    The SK RailCrew went bonkers when Carrie, Corin, and band took the stage.  And those big speakers I mentioned just now?  Those were turned up to 11.  We could feel air moving into our chests from the kick drum on those.  It all made for a helluva vibe and everyone, even us old farts on the "wilco side", got into it.  You couldn't help but smile.  Of all of the things on planet earth that I would NOT want to be, being a 19YO girl is way up on that list.  But damn, I'd love to have just a little of what they have when it comes to live music audience energy.  Carrie mentioned about 3-4 songs into the set to their faithful up front: "Can you all come with us the whole tour?"  Stepping off the stage onto one of those big speakers in the final song was just about too much for their fans, and both Carrie and Corin both made a point to climb onto those speakers to hand out picks and setlists to them after the set. 

    Wilco took the stage promptly at 9:30, with the Shot/Random Name pair to open, including Mikael (in an all-white "suit" of sorts) on pillow-keys for Shot.  Jeff noted that Nashville was "one of our second hometowns" and how good it was to be back.  And it was!  The crowd was really great through the whole show, making for a most enjoyable evening.  The set had only one newcomer - War on War - but otherwise stuck to the condensed-soup recipe that they've been on for this tour.  The 45-second "encore break" left just enough time for a CaliStars at the end, walking off at 11:00 on the dot.  I think we all miss getting some Being There tunes, especially the usual closers / encores we all love, but I gotta say that "Always in Love" is a damn good set closer. 

    Banter Corner was a little better this night (or at least having one less day for me to forget things makes it seem that way).  Jeff noted that Nashville is home for Pat, and that they were dedicating a song to "one of the best storytellers ever", which was Pat's dad.  I think it was If I Ever Was a Child, but don't quote me on that.  On War on War, Pat adds a little glockenspiel to that song, which drew a ton of applause prompting Jeff to say "I had no idea that glockenspiels were that popular in Nashville" and Pat to quip something back that I didn't catch.  Jeff then told the audience something like "well then you'll love this next one cause Pat has a solo!" before launching into Box Full of Letters.  At the end of his full-on rockstar solo for that one, Pat scurried back to his setup to hit a few glockenspiel notes at the end of Box to appease his hometown fans.  Jeff mentioned that was the first time they'd had a glockenspiel on that song... good stuff.  Continuing on the Pat-centric hometown show, Jeff later commented that Pat was the only one who had THREE microphones to sing into, depending on which way he wanted to face.  Pat responded with "I'm a man of many (mysteries)" or something like that.  Jeff then asked "Who do I have to talk to around here to get more mics?". 

    Overall a really good, tight, great crowd Wilco show in a pleasant venue in a town that does know its music.  The SK/Wilco pairing seems to make more sense once you've seen a couple shows.  Hope we'll get some collabs eventually, even if they have to start earlier.  Oh, and about the sound levels - the Wilco set was a little less loud than the SK set (which really was up to 11).  Wilco was still louder than I've heard them (maybe ever), but what I'd call "pleasantly loud" and very enjoyable.  I stopped by to see the sound guy Stan afterward and mentioned that it was a little louder than usual up front.  Stan got a very devilish look in his eye and just said "yeahhhhh" - he likes 'em loud. 

    On a personal note, no sign of the Nova, and I'm thinking it might be sitting this tour out.  I was able to get a couple of the usual suspects up on the rail to help out with wearing facemasks so that the three of us had "BULL", "BLACK", and "NOVA" in sequence for a song early on.  That got a noticeable chuckle from Jeffie which was fun.  The "FAUCI SAYS PLAY BULL BLACK NOVA" sign also showed up a little later, prompting another headshake that conveyed "no, I don't think so Vince". 

    Just one more of these SK/Wilco shows for me - now thankfully Thursday night in Asheville, the delay of which gave me a little time to jot down these meager thoughts here in our little corner of the interwebs, as well as a nice rest for these old bones.  See you at the show.

    Cheers!

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