Jump to content

Jeff Tweedy — 12/16/13, Los Angeles, CA (Largo at the Coronet Theatre) [Night 2]

Recommended Posts

Man, where to begin? For a number of reasons, that was definitely a performance for the books. Certainly it was one where the setlist alone — although it was pretty packed with deep cuts and fun singalongs — can't begin to describe what the show was like.


For those who like Jeff's solo shows primarily because of their banter, this second night of a four-night run within the intimate confines of Largo (and FYI, it's just Largo and not "the Largo") provided more gab and goofiness than anyone could have reasonably expected. There was everything from Jeff launching into a profanity-laden imitation of Mike Tyson because he had just finished Tyson's autobiography and had Tyson's speech cadence in his head to his self-assessment that he's "better than (1980s rocker) Greg Kihn, at least now" — though he subsequently said he could never write detective novels like Kihn; from joking about never making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because he once played a show on steroids (and how there's an asterisk next to that show now, referring to baseball's ongoing steroid scandal) to a continuing mockery of audience clapping and the resulting thought that maybe he should play the rest of the songs in his set as polkas.


Perhaps the "piece de resistance" was an extended rendition of The Thanks I Get that featured a David Lee Roth interlude (with the same basic gist of what Jeff has been saying at most shows on this tour about how he hated DLR, then wanted to be DLR, his disdain of "fun-havers," etc.) as well as a hilarious bit about how this was the first time he had been able to vamp on guitar underneath his own talking and how he had gotten into "an indelible fucking groove," which he proceeded to demonstrate with his "groove face" and "bass butt." And I won't even go into the call-and-response section, which just got sillier and sillier, because I'm sure someone else will.


Trust me, in some ways, this was just a show where you had to be there to really appreciate how funny it was. No recap will be able to do it complete justice. So I won't really try to do much more recounting of these various bits that will be largely lost on most people.


Rather I'll just say that Jeff seemed loose in the best possible way tonight. He went back and forth when various people in the crowd would do or say something funny (hambone, anyone?) and, though he was repeatedly apologetic for the continuing effects of a cold on his voice, he kept the show lighthearted and charmed the audience with his particular brand of self-deprecating humor. Someone made the comment afterward that Jeff was funnier than most of the comedians that come through Largo — and that's saying something.


As for the music, Jeff's voice held up remarkably well IMHO. Though he still showed some of the effects of the cold, coughing occasionally and straining on a few notes, Jeff powered through a setlist that featured no repeats from Night 1 and was pretty terrific for the more serious fan. For its part, the crowd (which included Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt and Fred Armisen) was just the right blend of respectful and participatory; I think the show gained some momentum once Jeff turned the final third of the main set into more of a singalong.


I counted five or six songs I don't think he has played elsewhere on this tour, and a few of the highlights included A.M. rarities Pick Up The Change and Dash 7 and the back-to-back ultra-deep cuts Nothing Up My Sleeve and Cars Can't Escape.


In terms of the printed setlist, it looks like I Might and At Least That's What You Said were cut from the main set as well as Gun as the main set closer. Additionally, the show-closing God — the John Lennon cover Jeff has occasionally done on this tour — was omitted. Pecan Pie was the lone entry in the "swapout box," and also was not played. Jeff apologized if a song that someone had wanted to hear was not played "but sometimes that's the way things go at these shows." Personally, though, it's difficult to think of too many ways of improving on tonight's song selection.


Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 2 at Largo:


Sunken Treasure

New Madrid

Pick Up The Change

Black Eye

Radio King

Nothing Up My Sleeve (aka Anniversary)

Cars Can't Escape

Art Of Almost

The Long Cut

Dash 7

Bull Black Nova

One True Vine

Red-Eyed and Blue> (started and restarted)

I Got You (At The End of the Century) ("This Is 40" arrangement)

Summer Teeth (started and restarted)

A Magazine Called Sunset (dedicated to Nate)


I'm Always In Love


The Late Greats

The Thanks I Get (started and restarted)

A Shot in the Arm

Link to post
Share on other sites

What an incredible show.  I feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to attend such an amazing night of music and entertainment. 


Jeff Garlin is a really, really funny guy.  The off the cuff bit about the dogs coming to get him and playing an Andy Kaufman bit was hilarious; as well as the whole airplane story.


Jeff gave a really beautiful and inspired performance, despite being terribly sick.  After seeing the show in Santa Barbara, it was great to be a part of an audience that was the exact opposite of that one.  Everyone was so quiet during the songs and it was so beautiful to be able to hear everything so well.  The intimacy of Largo was also alarming - watching Sunken Treasure was like being in a trance.  Jeff was so close and the music was so clear and present.  I will never tire of hearing that song in any arrangement.


I will also never tire of hearing New Madrid.  It's a wonderful song,


Pick Up The Change was great.  Love the harmonica on it.


I couldn't believe my ears when he launched into Black Eye.  I literally grabbed my girlfriend and whispered "Holy shit, this song is SO good."  What a beautiful performance of a wondeful and sad song.  All Jeff's vocals throughout the night were filled with so much emotion and tinged with a raw edge (probably due to the cold, but it made it sound REALLY great).


I seriously LOVE Radio King.  That song feels so good.


Nothing Up My Sleeve was beautiful.  After the whistling solo at the end Jeff mentioned that his whistling was in good form and perhaps he should just whistle the rest of the songs all night.


I loved hearing the acoustic arrangement of Art Of Almost - Jeff ended it by saying - that's where that song started out... I could have played the guitar solo... it's easy... all the other parts of that song are easy... I could have played them, but they're too easy.


Jeff was really in a warm and friendly mood tonight.  Lots of funny banter others can help me to piece back together...


Cars Can't Escape is always welcome.  Loved the added reverb on the ending tonight to give it a tinge of psychedelia.  He didn't do that in Santa Barbara.


Before going into The Long Cut, Jeff called out that the song was requested by someone who just couldn't let go of the past.  I am guilty as charged here - it's definitely not like I can't let go of the past.  Wilco has not made a record that I don't like at least a bit.  I thought the Whole Love was a great record, but danm The Long Cut is a good song and that can't be denied.   I had been requesting this song like crazy.  I love the performance of it from The Lounge Ax bootlegs from January 2000 and I've always wanted to hear it live.  My band even recorded a demo of it when we were just starting out because I loved Jeff's acoustic arrangement so much.  It was so special to see him play this tune tonight. 


I had also been requesting Dash 7 equally as crazy and it was equally as mindblowing that it actually got played.  This song is so, so beautiful.  I feel so fortunate to have witnessed the performance of this rare, early tune.  The intimacy of Largo and the vulnerability of Jeff's performance came together to make magic with the one-two punch of The Long Cut/Dash 7. 


One True Vine is great.  Jeff sounded so good.


Jeff started playing Red-Eyed and Blue and some folks started cheering.  Then he stopped and threatened to abort the song because he didn't feel like playing it.  Then he went back into and that's where the sing-along portion of the night began.  Jeff was clearly happy to have the support of the audience and the show took a really fun turn here after all the virtuosity that had taken place leading up to this point.  Love the arrangement of I Got You.  Jeff thanked everyone for singing along and welcomed suggestions of more songs we could sing along with.


Summer Teeth was so much fun.  I really enjoyed getting to do the audience participation backing vocals at the end.


Magazine was dedicated to Nate - Jeff's friend, who's not really his friend, but a crew member/employee and not someone Jeff is friend's with at all.  Apparently he always requests this song.  Jeff started and then stopped saying he didn't want to play it.  The audience volunteered to help and then he gave in and started into it.  Everyone started out singing and then Jeff goes "do you guys actually know the verses?" before going into the first verse.  I think we did pretty well.


Someone had shouted Hummingbird when Jeff was asking for suggestions of things to sing along with.  He decided to try it - I don't know if it was supposed to be on the setlist anyway or if inspiration hit.  It was probably one of the best solo performances I've ever heard of Hummingbird by Jeff.  He didn't flub and chords and got all the words with the support of the audience sing-along.  He also nailed the whistling solo.


I love the acoustic arrangement of Always In Love.  Another good sing-along song.


The Late Greats was so awesome acoustic.  I love this song and I was so pleased to hear it - as I haven't really noticed Jeff playing it solo much.  He was really having fun at this point, laughing at little chord flubs and imperfections of the arrangement.  At the end of the song he said - "Nailed it" and laughed heartily.  I actually thought it was quite good.


The Thanks You Get was where things really got silly.  Jeff started the first few chords and then aborted saying -"I was going to play..." and someone yelled [ "play it."  Jeff asked if he knew what song it was and a few folks shouted the title.  Jeff then remarked on how much he was stopping and starting the songs and then noted that he was just recapping the situation that had just played out and then launched back into the song.  We all tried to do the call and response section too early and Jeff chided us playfully.  He kept on and then when we got to the call and response section he was hesitant and said he didn't want to do it.  Then he went on with it and did it anyway but told us that he thought we could dig deeper and do better, so he wanted to try it again.  Then he launched into the aforementioned David Lee Roth Banter from some other shows and lead to Jeff saying Fuck the Fun-Havers, etc.  He never stopped playing the two chords of Thanks You Get the entire time he went off on all the banter and even remarked that he had never been able to vamp under banter.  He mentioned that he had a "real groove going."  Then by the end of that diatribe he said he didn't want to go back into the call and response cause he was over it.  Then he decided to do it but said we needed to try harder and do better.  We did it again and Jeff was really pleased with the results.  We kept going and then when Jeff changed the melody and we changed with him, he stopped and asked why we did the same melody change as him.  He then went off doing silly voices and making us imitate them saying "We can make it better" in sillier and sillier high and low and charactery voices.  The whole thing ended up with Jeff making fart noises in time with where the words would go and we all made fart noises back at him, in turn.  It was probably at least a 10 minute version of Thanks I Get with all the craziness that happened throughout the song.  Jeff was in rare form and clearly having an excellent time.


Jeff thanked us for being a great audience and said that he truly had fun before ending with A Shot In The Arm - another excellent sing-along song and everyone sang along quite boldly.  This is also a song I will never tire of hearing.  It's too good.


This was probably one of the most fun evenings of entertainment I've ever had.  There were so many beautiful and vulnerable moments in the early part of the show and then everything got so warm and fun.  Jeff is truly my favorite songwriter and live performer of the modern age.  I'm sad that I won't see any other shows at Largo, but I told my girlfriend on the way home between the experience of tonight's show and the setlist of tonight and Santa Barbara combined (only 5 songs played at both shows!), there is nothing else that could pop up on any future setlist that would make me feel like I missed out on anything.  Santa Barbara was beautiful and weird with a great setlist and tonight was just perfect with an equally great setlist.


I want to put some positive vibes out there to Jeff.  I hope he is feeling better after a day of rest.  He mentioned during the show tonight that he was leaving it all out there on the stage and giving us everything he had.  He said they were going to have to scrape up the green globule that was left of him and put it into the limo because he was giving us everything he had.  I truly believe that he was not holding back even an ounce.  Jeff gave us a really special performance tonight at Largo and it might be one of the greatest live performances I've been fortunate to witness.  I can only equate it to Michael Jordan's flu game - any other old Bulls fans out there?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the details, both Paul and Muzzle of Dan. Sounds like a blast! :) I bet that TTIG call-and-response bit could even make Don Draper laugh.  The details about him simply making fart noises reminds me of Dr. Spacemen and his Chatterton cigarette commercials: "Use the rectum you have instead of a mouth..."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what to do tonight between the shows. I feel like my only option is to sit and stare at the wall and wait for Wednesday night.


Here is the printed set list from night 2:




A few nights in a row Gun was on the list and not played. It's by far the song I want to hear the most.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the details, both Paul and Muzzle of Dan. Sounds like a blast! :) I bet that TTIG call-and-response bit could even make Don Draper laugh.  The details about him simply making fart noises reminds me of Dr. Spacemen and his Chatterton cigarette commercials: "Use the rectum you have instead of a mouth..."


Snarting would also suffice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much I can add to the above wonderful reviews. It was a real treat for a real hardcore Wilco nerd like myself. Great setlist, funny/loose JT, excellent crowd, phenomenal venue. ... perfect.


(minor complaint: no unplugged at edge of stage. I am 0 for 2!).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the detailed reports and trying to bring everyone not there into the room for such a night full of comedy and music.  From what I have experienced, any show that begins with Sunken Treasure always seems to progress into something special.  Not sure how it can get any better than this, but here's to a couple more great ones ahead on this run.  :cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...