Jump to content

Wilco — 15 March 2017, Toronto, Canada (Massey Hall) [Night 1 of 2]

Recommended Posts

Wanted to give any intrepid Canadians a chance to chime in first (or maybe I just wanted to get a decent night's sleep), but since neither of those things happened, here's your morning report... :wave


It's hard to believe it had been five and a half years since Wilco's last indoor headlining show in Toronto, but that was the case following a festival set in 2015 and the AmericanaramA tour stop in 2013. Back in the legendary confines of Massey Hall, a place Jeff said is "one of our favorite places to play in the world," the band gradually won the polite audience over by the back half of the main set with favorites like Impossible Germany and Heavy Metal Drummer.


I've been fortunate to see a few Wilco shows at Massey over the years and there is always seemingly a sit/stand issue where pockets of audience members will stand over the course of the show but it's not until Jeff almost literally says out loud that people should probably stand now that virtually everyone feels it's OK to do so. Of course, he didn't necessarily help himself when he addressed the issue midway through the main set by saying that "it's always for an audience to decide whether to be lame or cool. ... I would sit, probably. If I could sit right now, I probably would." When some in the crowd protested that people should stand, Jeff added in a slightly defensive tone, "Do whatever the fuck you wanna do."


Later, when Jeff basically suggested that people stand to enjoy the limited amount of the show remaining, he said that he felt bad for the people who had bought a ticket and now couldn't see. But of course, he then added, "People don't pay to see Wilco; they pay to hear Wilco. Right? I mean, look at us." :ninja


It finally took Impossible Germany for a majority of folks, at least on the floor where I was, to get on their feet. For as many times as I've heard the song (and every time I think maybe they shouldn't play it every night), it's amazing to see the reaction that it elicits in an audience. And that was especially true at Massey last night when you could literally feel the energy in the room surge by about, oh, 200 percent.


There wasn't much else of note from Banter Corner, except when Jeff first checked in with the crowd and asked, "How are you enjoying your relatively sane country?" When a small murmur went through the crowd, Jeff said "I take that as you're enjoying it." Someone yelled, "Fuck Trump," but Jeff otherwise didn't get political. (He is still wearing the same T-shirt he wore each night in Chicago — the one that reads "We're all in this together. Except Trump — he's a dick." No one asked what his shirt said, though, so he didn't get a chance to reveal it.)


Other than that, the only other comment from Jeff that I noted came near the end of the show when he asked how many people were coming back tomorrow night. When more than a few hands went up, Jeff joked, "It's gonna be the same set. But we're going to play it backwards."


Whether or not that happens, it will be interesting to see if:


—the Massey crowd responds any better to the current "singing riff" ending of Spiders, which Jeff explained is how they do it in South America. Jeff then quickly learned the difference between South Americans and Canadians (especially those who haven't had enough, er, lubrication)... :canada


—Glenn does the standing on his drum stool/Todd Trainer tribute for the third night in a row, which will officially signal to me that it's back after allegedly being retired several years ago. :rock


—Jeff has another major lyric flub, which happened last night when he completely blanked out on the Heavy Metal Drummer verse that starts, "Unlock my body and move myself to dance..." This isn't the first time I've seen a major flub at Massey; during the last two-night run in 2011, Jeff also had one of his biggest recent flubs I can remember on A Shot in the Arm. :P


Anyway here was the complete setlist, as played for Massey Night 1 (I didn't see a printed setlist, so can't say whether there were any changes/omissions...though it did seem like there was possibly a second planned encore that got cut):


Normal American Kids^

If I Ever Was A Child

Cry All Day

Muzzle Of Bees

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart>

Art Of Almost

Pickled Ginger

Misunderstood (hootenanny arrangement — Nels on lap steel, Pat on banjitar, John on 12-string acoustic)

Someone To Lose

War On War

Via Chicago

Bull Black Nova (acoustic arrangement)


Impossible Germany

We Aren't The World (Safety Girl)

Box Full Of Letters

Heavy Metal Drummer>

I'm The Man Who Loves You


The Late Greats


Random Name Generator

Jesus, etc.


Spiders (Kidsmoke) (electric arrangement)


^ — Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline only

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is sad to see the sit/stand issue plaguing these live shows. I go see about 50 non Wilco shows a year and very very few shows are sitting. The audience just stands, even during slower tempo songs. Some in the balconies, especially the first few rows may sit, but in general, it is all standing.


What's worse is that I regularly see the audience not stand and applaud after the song is finished. In Chicago, last week, I even saw people sitting after the first set had ended. Very disrespectful in my opinion, especially after a great performance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What time did the show end last night? How long have the sets been? Trying to figure out transit for the upcoming NYC shows so would appreciate any info


Last night the show ended right at 10:30, but that may just be the curfew at Massey. Wilco's sets have been running a little over two hours, and they're prompt with everything. So whatever is listed as showtime, that's when the support act will go on. Wilco is usually on almost exactly one hour after listed show time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

—Glenn does the standing on his drum stool/Todd Trainer tribute for the third night in a row, which will officially signal to me that it's back after allegedly being retired several years ago. :rock


I have a theory that the chaos in the world began when he stopped this. So, THANK GOD! I am relieved, everything will go back to normal. Phew! :B

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...