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Wilco — 10 April 2013, Osaka, Japan (Namba Hatch)


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All things considered, couldn't have asked for a much better first show in Japan — both for this tour and on a personal level. Songs were sung, requests were granted (friends', not mine) and a generally fine time was had by all...

 

It's a bit difficult to fully convey what going to a show in Japan is like, especially in a few brief comments here, but it was nice to see that everyone within my sight line seemed to genuinely be into the music and there to enjoy the show. Maybe it's just the way Japanese audiences always are, but there were hardly any glowing cell phone screens aloft or obnoxious yellers once the show started. The crowd was just enthusiastic from the opening chords of Misunderstood on, and even though Wilco could probably have done a spoken-word burlesque act and still have probably gotten a huge ovation, it was nice to be part of an audience of respectful, seemingly genuinely excited people.

 

Obviously, it was nice to see the band play again for the first time in a few months — and to play a relatively varied setlist with a couple of nuggets to boot. One of those was When You Wake Up Feeling Old, which Jeff said had been requested 56 times compared to the next highest request of Passenger Side with 4. "I smell a rat," Jeff said. "I think someone's gaming us...but they're gonna win because we're going to play it." (Disclaimer: I think I know this particular "rat," and was standing by him at the show. Nice work! :thumbup )

 

Anyway, probably the sweetest moment of the night came in the encore when Jeff made a special dedication to "our number one fan in Japan...Maki." I know a few of you on here know her, but it was nice to be standing pretty close to where she was and to see how much that meant to her. She had requested A Magazine Called Sunset and even though Jeff had a small lyric flub early on, no one minded (or probably even noticed. ;) )

 

I was surprised at how much singing along there was, even with the language barrier. A guy behind me pretty much naiIed Jesus, etc., knowing the lyrics better than a lot of Americans. And Jeff even went off mike a couple of other times, letting the crowd belt out parts of I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, A Shot in the Arm and Hate It Here.

 

The only real nitpicking I could do would be that the overall volume seemed a bit low for at least the first half of the show, but it seemed to get better as the night went on (or perhaps my ears just adjusted).

 

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that it was definitely a bit of an adventure getting into the venue. At Namba Hatch — and perhaps this is the case anywhere in Japan, or at least with this promoter — they apparently let you in based on the order in which you buy your ticket. Your ticket has a number on it, which I guess corresponds to when you bought it. So the first people into the venue were members of the promoter's fan club or whatever (kind of like being a Live Nation member, I guess) and then they actually managed to organize the other ticket holders and let them in, in rough order, 5 or 10 at a time. It would never work in the U.S. or most other places, I don't think, and I had my doubts about how well it would go here. But somehow it worked. At least we had some warning beforehand that this was how it was going to go, and anyway we didn't line up super early or anything.

 

In the end, it hardly detracted from the experience. We still managed to get a decent spot about four rows back and it was all good. And we got a very enjoyable show to kick off this short tour of Japan. I can say that the band and crew seem to really dig being here, and Jeff expressed that sentiment more than once over the course of the evening.

 

Here was the complete setlist, as played (there weren't any deviations from the printed setlist for this show, I don't think):

 

Misunderstood

Art Of Almost

I Might

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Pot Kettle Black

Via Chicago

Impossible Germany

Born Alone>

Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)

Passenger Side

When You Wake Up Feeling Old

Handshake Drugs

War On War

Whole Love

Box Full Of Letters

I'm Always In Love

Heavy Metal Drummer

Dawned On Me

—happy birthday sung to crew member Eric—>

A Shot in the Arm

-----------------------------------

A Magazine Called Sunset (dedicated to Maki)

Jesus, etc.

Hate It Here

Walken

I'm The Man Who Loves You

Outtasite (Outta Mind)

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i voted for it and shouted out a couple of times to play and jeff called me notorious, and that they dont wanna play the song :lol

 

 

Obviously, it was nice to see the band play again for the first time in a few months — and to play a relatively varied setlist with a couple of nuggets to boot. One of those was When You Wake Up Feeling Old, which Jeff said had been requested 56 times compared to the next highest request of Passenger Side with 4. "I smell a rat," Jeff said. "I think someone's gaming us...but they're gonna win because we're going to play it." (Disclaimer: I think I know this particular "rat," and was standing by him at the show. Nice work! :thumbup )

 

When You Wake Up Feeling Old

 

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Nicely written as always Paul.

 

My exposure to Japanese concert audiences is limited to listening to live recordings. There seems to be a lack of energy in the audience but they always come across as extremely polite. I had a Bunnymen tape from the early 80's and the only noise between songs were solo shouts of, Peter, Leslie, Mac. None for Will strangely enough....

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My exposure to Japanese concert audiences is limited to listening to live recordings. There seems to be a lack of energy in the audience but they always come across as extremely polite. I had a Bunnymen tape from the early 80's and the only noise between songs were solo shouts of, Peter, Leslie, Mac. None for Will strangely enough....

 

The quietness of the Japanese audiences is the reason why I usually enjoy tapes that were recorded there - not much audience interference during the songs. Looks like this show just popped up on Bt.Etree.

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Good work 'token Asian guy'. 

 

Surprised you didn't mention that Namba Hatch looks like the Mysterons HQ (or so I am led to believe):-

 

1365704980_1477_hatch.jpg

 

Thank you, O Lord of Cardiff. I was remiss not to mention the spaceship quality of the Hatch, but I didn't have photographic evidence handy so I'm glad you dug something up. At any rate, the "Hatch" was merely a small space within the grand ship so we were all properly sequestered...

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