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Wilco — 5/11/12, Birmingham, AL (Sloss Furnaces)

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Well, that was something. You can tell how much the band enjoys playing at this unique venue, and it showed in their 2-hour, 21-minute performance tonight. It started off pretty intense, from my vantage point, and then got progressively goofier as the show went on, culminating in Kingpin (which, c'mon, might be one of the silliest songs ever as it is...and that's before the various shenanigans that often go on when it's played) before coming to a great, rocking conclusion.


I'm sure plenty of folks — myself included — will be able to add more details so for now, let me just post the complete setlist as played:


One Sunday Morning>

Poor Places>

Art Of Almost

I Might

At Least That's What You Said

Bull Black Nova

Spiders (Kidsmoke) (acoustic arrangement)

Impossible Germany

Born Alone

Laminated Cat (a/k/a Not For The Season) (electric arrangement)

Via Chicago

Whole Love

A Magazine Called Sunset

Jesus, etc.

Hate It Here

Handshake Drugs

Dawned On Me

A Shot in the Arm


Wilco (the song)

Standing O

California Stars

Box Full Of Letters


I'm The Man Who Loves You


Kingpin ("livin' in...Birmingham")>


Outtasite (Outta Mind)

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Tweedy really did seem to be enjoying himself. The set was a bit all over (I was going bananas b/c the first 4 songs paralleled the Oct 1 show from the Ryman last year before At Last That's What you Said kicked in. That show is my personal high bar for them so far). Always love a Being There rocker finish. Personally, while I've seen Tweedy do it, I've never seen Wilco do Laminated Cat (which was rocking). And Magazine Called Sunset was a nice first for me. I swear I've heard Impossible Germany and Handshake Drugs at every show I've seen since those were about to be released.


In case you missed it yesterday:



He’s pleased, by the way, that Wilco’s return to Birmingham is happening at Sloss Furnaces, a former iron foundry that exhibits heavy-duty industrial charm. Tweedy says the band relished its

2009 show there


, performing in a covered shed amid the cooling towers and rusted metal.



“It’s always nice to play a concert venue that doesn’t look like every other concert venue,” he says. “We had a great time there; it was really a memorable evening. When the venue is unique, it creates a certain atmosphere. Some venues have a mystique that develops over time, and a lot of great shows happen there. Audiences go in with more of a conscious commitment; they seem to be more with you.”


Wilco wasn’t bothered by the sound of passing trains at Sloss, and Tweedy reported no run-ins with the ghosts rumored to haunt the grounds."



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Its been awhile for Kingpin, it seems, and I'm really happy to see it show up again. Bumped up against Monday and Outta Site makes that second encore even more exciting to me. That first encore is looking pretty good already and just the fact that they played a second one is great, but to have it be those three songs puts it over the top in my book. Right on! I'll be hoping that Red Rocks is a special enough venue to create a desire in the band to pull out something like this setlist.

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Wilco played Laminated Cat? Sweet! People really love that song. ;)


Yeah, it was definitely Laminated Cat (and not Not For The Season)! :thumbup But anyway, it was particularly good last night, I thought. It seems to be getting better and better as they play it more, so hopefully it continues to be a mainstay on setlists for a while. After that song last night, Jeff did his usual mid-set check-in with the crowd to ask whether they were still having a good time. "Good," he said, "because I bet a lot of people didn't have a good time here." :uhoh


The unique setting gave Jeff some other fodder throughout the show. Anyone who's seen a concert at Sloss knows that a train often passes right by the area where they hold concerts and, last night, it happened right away: just before the last verse of One Sunday Morning. Jeff smiled to himself a couple of times as it passed, but fortunately it didn't derail the delicate song. Later, after Impossible Germany, Jeff asked rhetorically, "Did another train go by during that one? Oh, that was just Nels?" :lol


Some other Jeff banter bits:

*Jeff said the band was glad to be back at Sloss, that they really enjoyed playing there. "We whipped up some pig iron this afternoon," he joked.

*He dedicated Hate It Here, as always, to Tony Sansone, Pat's dad, who was in attendance.

*Another dedication was Theologians, to "the ghosts that are supposed to live here but that I don't believe in. But I'm going to sing to them anyway."

*After A Magazine Called Sunset, he said, "That song usually makes about 10 percent of the audience happy, so now we're going to play a song that makes 80 percent happy," before launching into Jesus, etc.


On Jesus, Jeff used another guitar I hadn't seen before — a black Gibson, possibly partially hollow, with four tuning knobs. I don't think it was an ES-175 but somewhat similar — instead of his usual red SG. And the new Fano guitars were back again last night, with Jeff using his black one for the show-closing Monday and Outtasite and Nels' woodgrain model that kind of resembles a Les Paul making its live debut on Standing O and California Stars. Nels also used his new Norton Wisdom guitar on Monday and Outtasite.


What else of note? Wilco (the song) was a pretty goofy lead-off to the first encore. They did NOT do the robotic voice band introductions, and at the point when they're supposed to come in, Mike had a big smile on his face like," Haha, I fooled you!" Jeff, for his part, had a minor flub on the "put on your headphones" line, singing, "turn on your headphones" instead. He realized it immediately and gave an "oh, well" shrug. :P


And lastly, during Kingpin, Jeff was pretty funny throughout. I'm no guitar player or expert, but I'm wondering if his guitar was in just a slightly off tuning and he realized that it didn't sound exactly right but just ran with it. Then as the first "livin' in..." line came up, it seemed like Jeff couldn't decide whether Birmingham would work so he just didn't sing anything the first time. Then he decided it could work, so he sang, "livin' in Birmingham." Then the third time, maybe for silly effect, he seemed unsure whether to go with Birmingham or just Pekin, so he sort of sang a garbled mash of both. At least that's what I recall. Anyway, it was pretty funny. :lol


So there are some more show details for you...

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And I, as always, appreciate the detailed banter reports. (Not to mention the facial hair reports!) The guitar geek details go right over my head. But no matter what turns us on, I think we can all agree that this sounds like a fantastic show.


Did Sarah C. get her front row spot?

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And I, as always, appreciate the detailed banter reports. (Not to mention the facial hair reports!) The guitar geek details go right over my head. But no matter what turns us on, I think we can all agree that this sounds like a fantastic show.


Did Sarah C. get her front row spot?


I got to meet Sarah C in line before the gates opened. I am happy to say she did get her front row spot, directly in front of Jeff. You can thank her for Magazine Called Sunset making the set list as well. I was glad to meet her. She was super nice!

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it was my 26th wilco show and very well may be the most enjoyable one i've ever attended. tweedy and the band seemed taken back at times by the love that was being thrown their way. the "i'm coming home" conclusion of via chicago had the fans singing at the top of their lungs. i felt like they could've played all night. this might have been the first show i've seen since '01 where IATTBYH wasn't somewhere in the set. it was the first time i've seen them do NFTS since Leroy left the band. terrific night had by all!

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This was a pretty good show. Since I'm kinda old school, any show that ends with the double shot of Monday & Outta Site is alright with me. Definitely a quirky place. Sometimes I think that the quirkier it is, the more they get off, because, well, because Jeff said so lol. First time driving in from ATL, where I now live, to see a Wilco show. The drive back kinda sucked; it reminded me of driving back from 9:30 Club shows. Glad I blew off the MS show. At least set list-wise, it was not as good.


I hadn't seen them since Merriweather, and imo that was just an okay show. I've noticed the band has cut down on length of time they play. My personal sweet spot is about 2 1/2 hrs.


One upcoming venue where I saw one of the best shows I've ever seen is C'ville. Very nice college town, plenty to do during the day, the wineries are better than you'd think.


Going to see M83 tonite, who put out easily one of the best records of 2011, "Hurry Up We're Dreaming."



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Finally I am able to log on and do a bit of a show review!


First, my husband and I had an awesome time. We got to be right on the front row. The set list was extraordinary, and it was amazing to see the band work up close.


Early in the day we got to chat with Jeff and told him about our wedding and he asked if we had any "honeymoon requests" we asked for Magaz


Gah. SOrry y'all i am posting from my phone. Anyway, we asked for Magazine Called Sunset. I was so glad they played it.


The whole show was just fantastic.

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