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Wilco — 8/5/15, Los Angeles, CA (Greek Theatre)

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Only time for a brief recap now, but as the recorded opening notes of the album version of EKG rang out over the PA system and the band took the stage, its West Coast summer run got underway with the third live performance of Star Wars in its entirety. I'm sure that delighted many folks, perplexed others and maybe even soured a couple.

 

I'll let others chime in on that, but suffice it to say the band continues to improve with each run through the new record. Personally, I think the almost-folkiness of songs like Taste The Ceiling and Where Do I Begin meshes well with the harder-hitting punch of back-to-back songs like Cold Slope and King Of You. The record is very much of a piece and it'll be interesting to see if they ever start playing individual songs from it, which you would think they would have to eventually. But on this night, not even two consecutive broken strings by Nels at the start of The Joke Explained — something I don't remember ever seeing before — could derail the momentum. (Incidentally, Nels also did a bit of self-manicuring on stage, which I don't recall ever seeing him do before; perhaps he was dealing with a hangnail or something or chipped a nail.)

 

The remainder of the main set was largely made up of some of the band's best-known songs, and they moved through them efficiently without a great deal of banter from Jeff (though he did allude to his wedding anniversary today before Heavy Metal Drummer/I'm The Man Who Loves You and dedicated Dawned On Me to "the stage show at El Capitan" — though I'm not sure exactly why).

 

Apparently there was a pretty tight 10:30 p.m. curfew, so the band moved right into the hootenanny portion for the encore with a couple of nice surprises in It's Just That Simple and We've Been Had. Someone told me that Daniel Johnston's True Love Will Find You In The End was on the printed setlist as the show closer, but unfortunately it wasn't played, perhaps due to the time crunch. I didn't get a look at a printed list, so I can't totally verify that, but it sounds like a good bet.

 

Anyway, I'm sure more folks will chime in soon. For now, here was the complete setlist as played:

 

More...

Random Name Generator

The Joke Explained

You Satellite

Taste The Ceiling

Pickled Ginger

Where Do I Begin>

Cold Slope>

King Of You

Magnetized

Handshake Drugs

Camera

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart>

Art Of Almost

Heavy Metal Drummer>

I'm The Man Who Loves You

Hummingbird

Jesus, etc.

Born Alone

Via Chicago

Impossible Germany

Dawned On Me

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

Misunderstood*

It's Just That Simple*

War On War*

We've Been Had*

California Stars*

 

* — performed hootenanny style with Jeff and John on acoustic guitars, Nels on dobro, Glenn on percussion, Mikael on melodica/acoustic guitar and Pat on banjo

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The year 's at the spring,
And day 's at the morn;
Morning 's at seven;
The hill-side 's dew-pearl'd;
The lark 's on the wing;
The snail 's on the thorn;
God 's in His heaven—
All 's right with the world!

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Their Aussie roaddie is going to wake up sick as a dog. Australia 50 for 9 at Trent Bridge!

Now 60 all out. Crazy morning.

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I hope they do the new album the whole tour! It's short enough and they might as well!!

Likewise, but I have tickets for the first night in Austin and I'm not sure how they'll handle the new album during a multi-night stand.

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The year 's at the spring,

And day 's at the morn;

Morning 's at seven;

The hill-side 's dew-pearl'd;

The lark 's on the wing;

The snail 's on the thorn;

God 's in His heaven—

All 's right with the world!

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Their Aussie roaddie is going to wake up sick as a dog. Australia 50 for 9 at Trent Bridge!

Now 60 all out. Crazy morning.

I'll assume this is cricket-related? If so, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...

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Likewise, but I have tickets for the first night in Austin and I'm not sure how they'll handle the new album during a multi-night stand.

Maybe they can play the whole album in the encore night two :stunned  Hey I know they change setlist on multi night stands but they usually repeat 15 or so songs from night to night...

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I'll assume this is cricket-related? If so, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...

 

Indeed. A nice bit of Test Match Special through the earphones at work. I prefer listening to cricket with the TMS team to actually watching it.

 

18.3 overs is the quickest any team have ever been bowled out in the first innings of a test match.

 

I do have a soft spot for their old school 'baggy green' though. In other news, there's a tasty group in the upcoming rugby world cup containing England, Australia, and Wales. Only two go through.

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Indeed. A nice bit of Test Match Special through the earphones at work. I prefer listening to cricket with the TMS team to actually watching it.

 

18.3 overs is the quickest any team have ever been bowled out in the first innings of a test match.

 

I do have a soft spot for their old school 'baggy green' though. In other news, there's a tasty group in the upcoming rugby world cup containing England, Australia, and Wales. Only two go through.

Wow, Group of Death indeed. Best of luck to the Welsh!

 

Not to derail this thread completely...I will say that one of the fun things about LA shows can be celeb spotting. We saw Jon Hamm again last night, who might be rivaling Ethan Hawke for most famous Wilco fan. Also a couple of friends who work in the industry and have worked with director Davis Guggenheim before stopped to chat with him; they said he was with his wife Elisabeth Shue.

 

I'm sure there were more than a few musicians there as well. Bobb Bruno of Best Coast, a longtime friend and fan of the band, watched the whole show from side stage. I'd be surprised if some of the members of Lucius weren't also there since they posted a photo on their Instagram of a nearby lunch with Nels' wife Yuka Honda (of Cibo Matto) from earlier in the day. And also, randomly, I saw an Instagram photo of the show from Greta Morgan of the band Springtime Carnivore (who have the same management as the Autumn Defense).

 

From Banter Corner, Jeff half-seriously praised the crowd's "lovely voices" at one point — maybe after Hummingbird — saying he thought it was because everyone "must be in show biz."

 

Anyone else who was there spot any other notable people?

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The Star Wars trend continues... to add to the comments above about how the band will handle multi-night stands, I am headed to the Independent show in SF and wonder if the band will simply treat tonight like any other show and whether they will repeat the Star Wars format from tonight to tomorrow night's Outside Lands set.  Admittedly I hope they play all of Start Wars tonight; I'd like to see it in a small club and I have been purposefully not watching any of the videos from the recent live performances so I hear it live in person for the first time.  

 

The suspense builds!

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Wow, Group of Death indeed. Best of luck to the Welsh!

 

Not to derail this thread completely...I will say that one of the fun things about LA shows can be celeb spotting. We saw Jon Hamm again last night, who might be rivaling Ethan Hawke for most famous Wilco fan. Also a couple of friends who work in the industry and have worked with director Davis Guggenheim before stopped to chat with him; they said he was with his wife Elisabeth Shue.

 

I'm sure there were more than a few musicians there as well. Bobb Bruno of Best Coast, a longtime friend and fan of the band, watched the whole show from side stage. I'd be surprised if some of the members of Lucius weren't also there since they posted a photo on their Instagram of a nearby lunch with Nels' wife Yuka Honda (of Cibo Matto) from earlier in the day. And also, randomly, I also saw an Instagram of the show from Greta Morgan of the band Springtime Carnivore (who have the same management as the Autumn Defense).

 

From Banter Corner, Jeff joked at one point — maybe after Hummingbird — about how he thought he crowd had a lot of good voices and how he thought that was because everyone was "in show biz.

 

Anyone else who was there spot any other notable people?

I noticed this tweet, I don't know who Michaela Watkins is, but as per her Twitter bio,  looks like she's a Hollywood person and former SNL cast member:

 

https://twitter.com/michaelaWat/status/629132044321173504

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More later, but I'll just start my thoughts by saying this was probably one of the best Wilco shows I've ever attended.  So much fun.  Star Wars live is incredible.  The band was really on last night.  Lots of great playing.  Lots of energy and joy.

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Was on kid duty last night, so couldn't make it to The Greek  :heartbroken .

 

How great is it that album after album no one cringes when Wilco play "stuff from the new record?"  Can't really say that about many bands after a 20 year career.

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I was lucky enough to be in the pit and thought the new material was great. It was the happiest I Have ever seen Jeff in the LA area, he smiled almost the whole night (sort of). The acoustic encore was fantastic and again he was beeming. So glad to hear "Its Just That Simple". I have seen the band since YHF tour and found them so comfortable, relaxed, grooving, a very enjoyable evening for sure!


Ive seen a lot of impossible germanies, but that one was something

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Someone told me that Daniel Johnston's True Love Will Find You In The End was on the printed setlist as the show closer, but unfortunately it wasn't played, perhaps due to the time crunch. I didn't get a look at a printed list, so I can't totally verify that, but it sounds like a good bet.

 

 

 

 

XN4ZYa5.jpg

 

It must be because we are usually so spoiled with such great shows, but I was a little bummed with the strict 2 hour limit decision. Still a total blast, the new record sounds great live. 

 

This show probably had the least Pre-YHF songs that I have ever seen. Loved seeing Mikael on the guitar.

 

I broke my "no photo" rule a few times...

 

SBSMYIP.jpg

 

t4rmcMp.jpg

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Amazing show. Star Wars really knocked my socks off. So much energy. You Satellite and Cold Slope were highlights and the outro of Magnetized really blossomed in a live setting.

 

From the "oldies" set, I'd have to agree that Impossible Germany was extraordinary and the YHF songs (six, if you count Camera) had me grinning like an idiot. Jeff did seem in high spirits and had some good banter, like when he talked about his wedding anniversary before "Heavy Metal Drummer." I think it was something like: "not that this song has anything to do with our anniversary SHRUG but it's about something romantic." He also said he "got the best of the deal" and that he "felt sorry for her." He has such a likeable self-deprecating charm.

 

Did anybody catch Vetiver? Thoughts? 

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Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 1.54.36 PM.png

 

Also, did anyone pick up this beautiful poster? I don't usually buy gig posters but when I saw this one I had to have it. Need to get it framed!

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I was in the pit for the show last night as well. Amazing set! I loved that they played "Star Wars" in its entirety and then brought out all the heavy-hitters. I was considering buying that poster too but I have too many covering my wall and was a little short on funds. But it looks great.

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Is noone going to mention the ceramic Persian sitting on John's Ampegs? Apparently Nels & Yuka found it in some shop on Hilhurst before the show.

 

Really great set as mentioned by all above. Everything from Star Wars really shined. Pickled Ginger and the 1-2 punch of Cold Slope into King of You really rocked. The Australian EP version of Kamera really rocked too. Nothing at all from WTA, but hey, you can't have it all every time.

 

Great show. Great venue. Great night. Ceramic cat.

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I figured the cat was a staple at recent shows - funny to hear they just found it at a shop in the area before the show!  I snapped a photo but I seem to be having some trouble getting it into my post - I'll see if I can add it later.

 

This was a seriously great Wilco show.  It was so killer to hear Star Wars straight through.  It's an incredible record and it plays incredibly as a live piece too.  I feel very fortunate to have caught them before they stop playing the record all the way through, not to mention catching it on their 3rd night playing live it ever.  You Satellite - Wow.  It's great on the record but something else live.  Also Cold Slope/King Of You is super (maybe better than Red-Eyed/I Got You - maybe equally as good... hard to say better)  Random Name Generator is another standout - hard to say there were any of the new songs that didn't really work.  Where Do I Begin was a favorite of mine from the first listen and it kills live.  Jeff is so vulnerable and solid and then the jam just kills it.  Love the drum solo ending to show off Glenn's chops too.

 

All I can say is that this band is so fucking good.  Sure they played all the "hits," but all those songs sounded the best I've ever heard any of them.  I've seen Handshake Drugs at almost every show I've been to and tonight was easily the best version.  All the YHF songs were killer - played with almost a renewed energy (I've never heard a better version of HMD or ITMWLY).  IATTBYH was a serious standout of the night - another song I've seen a million times that just blew my face right off.

 

I was in the pit right in front of Jeff.  It was really aweosme to be in that spot and get to hear Jeff's guitar work (literally) right in my face.  The rhythm section of the band was really apparent and present where I was standing and I have so much more of an appreciation for them as a whole than ever before.  John is the man - sick, sick bass lines all night long.  Glenn is a master - his playing is so dynamic and delicate - and obviously super fierce when he means to be.  I really found a great appreciation for all the great guitar work Pat brings to the mix as well.

 

Being so close to Jeff/John for Via Chicago allowed me to experience that tune in a whole new light - where I'm usually on Nels side or a bit further back, and usually getting caught up in the craziness that ensues throughout - it was kind of magical and intimate to experience how solid and solemn Jeff and John perform that song.  It was like I was with them in the calm, steacy eye of the hurricane that is Via Chicago.  It really was like magic.  That's the best word I can come up with to describe it.

 

Dawned On Me is such a good song.  I love it so much.

 

As many have mentioned - Impossible Germany was smooooookin.  Nels was seriously in the zone - really nice to hear lots of Pat/Jeff on that one too from where I was standing.

 

Getting It's Just That Simple AND We've Been Had in the acoustic set was just the cherry on top.  I had been requesting the crap out of both - so thanks to the Wilcos for paying attention and delivering.  Misunderstood was stellar in the acoustic format - love, love, love John's harmonies on that version.  This version of War On War was probably the best version of that song I have ever heard live.

 

If the band is coming anywhere remotely near you in the future, you need to go see them.  They just keep getting better and better and right now they're playing is very tight and fresh sounding - even on old standards you have probably heard a million times. 

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I know it is soon, but does anyone know/have a source for a taping of this show? 

 

also for what it's worth we saw Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.

It would probably have been newsworthy to have NOT seen Mr. Mustache at the show given his man crush on Jeff.

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It would probably have been newsworthy to have NOT seen Mr. Mustache at the show given his man crush on Jeff.

Yeah, you had to figure they would be there if they were in town. But he shaved the mustache, no?

 

Anyway, I also heard that Nick Kroll was there with some friends and a couple of Conan O'Brien's writers also attended. #comediansforwilco

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thanks Jeff and Wilco for a fantastic show. And thanks for the shout out to the El Capitan stage show. Seeing every southern california Wilco, show for the past 15 years that made my night!!!!!!!

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