Jump to content

TWEEDY — 3/28/15, Denver, CO (Denver Performing Arts Complex [Ellie Caulkins Opera House])

Recommended Posts

For people who perform live on a regular basis, one thing that must keep things interesting is the audience's reaction night to night. No two audiences really are the same, I guess, and their reactions to what's being performed can vary greatly. As can the expectations a performer might have for an audience. Not being a performer myself, I often wonder what it's like to see a show through one's eyes and how much an audience's reaction affects their performance (and their perception of it).


All of which is to say that for me, as an audience member, tonight's crowd was a weird one. A friend reminded me that they're all weird, but I just didn't get this one in particular. On the one hand, there was no shortage of requests shouted out during Jeff's solo set (a couple of which he granted). But on the flipside, I heard almost no singing along. And glancing around a couple of times during upbeat numbers like Only The Lord Knows, I barely saw anyone around me even bobbing their heads or tapping their toes. Even when the full Minus 5 band came out to play and sing on California Stars, which clearly was the grand finale, no one could be bothered to even stand up.


Perhaps it had something to do with the venue, which I believe was the biggest that the Tweedy band has played on this tour by a significant margin (about 2,200 capacity, I think). It was a plush European-style opera house with three balcony levels, though it wasn't cavernous by any means. But it was big enough that Jeff started Misunderstood at the edge of the stage without the PA system — at the suggestion of one audience member — but quickly retreated back to the microphone after just a few lines when he didn't get a good feeling about it.


At any rate, I think the members of the Tweedy and Minus 5 bands were probably engaged in too much of a mutual lovefest to care too much about what the audience was doing. It was a sweet sight to see hugs and kisses all around as the bands left the stage on the final night of the Minus 5's supporting run; it was clear that there is a great deal of affection between the members of the two groups, which was nice to see.


From Banter Corner, there was a lot of joking from Jeff about the room. He kept making jokes about how it resembled "an intimate spaceship" and thanked the audience for "attending this assembly of the galactic council." Jeff did a little more talking about songs than usual, saying that he had written Nobody Dies Anymore after hearing a scientist give a talk and say that the first human to live to be 1,000 had already been born and how he found that "so disturbing because all beauty comes from our lives ending." And he once again subtly expressed his disappointment that Summer Noon had been disqualified from consideration for an Oscar. "I'm not bitter," Jeff said. I kept waiting for him to continue, "Not at all, just a lot," but he missed the boat on that one.


When all the requests were coming hot and heavy during his solo set, Jeff said that this was the virtue of never having any hit songs and how he felt like if he stood there long enough, every song he had ever written would be yelled out by somebody. He made a little joke about how the majority of people would leave the show very unhappy, which was what he wanted.


Other tidbits:

— During God, Jeff said "Spencer and me...and Sam and Susie," for those interested in such things.

— There were a couple of awkward moments early on. For the first verse of the first song, Jeff had no sound coming out of his monitors. He looked over toward the side of the stage and clearly mouthed, gesturing to the monitors, "There's nothing." Fortunately that was quickly resolved.

— A little later, Jeff was making a small joke as they were about to launch into World Away. He said. "We have a lot of issues to discuss," to which someone from the audience yelled out very loudly, "Starting with Spencer!" I think it was meant in a complimentary way, but the timing of it totally messed Spencer up and they had to restart the song. It was one of the few times I've seen Spencer get distracted this whole tour, which is a testament to his focus out there.

— During his solo set, after the whistle solo on Hummingbird, Jeff hilariously misheard someone yelling out a request. He said he thought they were saying that he was "the Ryne Sandberg of whistling."


Anyway, another interesting night as this relatively long tour winds down. Here was the complete setlist, as played:



Fake Fur Coat>

Diamond Light, Pt. 1


World Away (started and restarted)

Wait For Love#

Summer Noon

New Moon

Nobody Dies Anymore*

High As Hello*

Love Like A Wire* [Diane Izzo]

Low Key*

Please Don't Let Me Be So Understood

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart^

One Wing^

Remember The Mountain Bed^


Passenger Side^

Cars Can't Escape^

The Late Greats^

Jesus, etc.^

Whole Love^

Misunderstood^ (started at edge of stage without PA system)


I'm The Man Who Loves You^

True Love Will Find You In The End [Daniel Johnston]


God [John Lennon]

Only The Lord Knows*

The Losing End (When You're On)* [Neil Young]

California Stars%


* — with Sima Cunningham on backing vocals

^ — Jeff Tweedy solo acoustic

# — with Sima Cunningham on backing vocals and Scott McCaughey on keyboard and backing vocals

% — with Sima Cunningham on backing vocals and The Minus 5 full band on electric guitar, percussion, keyboard and backing vocals

Link to post
Share on other sites

And once more for our friends keeping track, here was the The Minus 5 setlist, as played:


Barstool Blues [Neil Young]

Hold Down The Fort

It's Beautiful Here

The Unforeseen

It's Magenta, Man!

In The Ground

Zero Clowns

The Days Of Wine And Booze*

Aw Shit Man*>

My Generation*


* — with Liam Cunningham on keyboard

Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend Doug and I drove from SLC, UT and met our friend Seth, who flew up from Phoenix. I haven't been following this tour so I went in with no expectations. In fact, I didn't even know Minus 5 was opening so that was a pleasant surprise.


Any way, we loved the set but I agree about the lack of singalong. WE certainly sang loud and proud in our section on the floor toward the back. It seemed like a lot of people were simply not familiar with what to expect at a Jeff Tweedy / Wilco show. I couldn't believe the amount of people getting up and going out to get drinks during songs. Rude, rude, rude. I mean, at least wait until a song finishes to get up and then wait for a pause to sit back down. I thought that was standard theater etiquette. 


But... the road trip was well worth it. The venue was beautiful with amazing acoustics.


Completely unrelated, but on the way home we stopped by CO Ranch House in Aspen for lunch. Very tasty.

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...