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Any predictions/thoughts on a Tweedy show at the Vic this year?


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I know last year's Vic show was announced in January for late April. He wraps up his solo tour in IL on the 18th. There's an open weekend in April at the Vic at this point...more in May. I'm wondering if he's still committed to the fundraiser and/or this special show. Anything would be conjecture but would love folks to opine on the prospects.

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I've been wondering this myself and had the same thoughts about his solo tour.  I thought I had read somewhere on the board after last year's shows that he might be changing up the format a bit, but April 19/20 right after the tour ends in Champaign would be too perfect.  Even if he doesn't do the benefit in the usual all request style, I would hope that he would do a show or two so that us locals can hear the new songs!

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I was in line at last year’s shows when Sue came through writing down requests. She made an announcement in a low key and ambiguous way, and it’s been on my mind since ever since. Seemingly out of nowhere, she said something like “Guys, I just want to let you know that this might be the last year we do these shows this way. We might not do it next year, or we might do it differently. Or maybe there won’t be any changes at all—not sure. Just wanted to let you know that it’s not a sure thing for the future.”

 

Now obviously, that’s no concrete information and it’s not a direct quote, but she definitely did say words to that effect. (By the way if anybody else here overheard that announcement, please chime in and let me know if you think I have missstated this.) She happened to be standing very close to me when she made this statement and it was said sort of casually but deliberately. Not in a loud, announcement kind of voice, but it seemed very intentional.

 

So that’s all I know, but I’ve been bracing myself for last year having been the end of an era.

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I thought she was talking about the “first 30 people in line get to request a song” thing. Like maybe it might become a solo fundraiser show where Jeff plays what he wants to play, and however many songs he wants to play. I think he mentioned on stage that 30 is a lot! That made total sense to me at the time, because it’s definitely a lot of work for him to brush up on the songs and create a proper setlist sequence on the spot. Fans like to stump him with deep cuts which he hasn’t played for a long time, and he literally walks in the building without any idea what he’s going to play. It’s a lot to ask of someone doing a charity gig.

 

And he has sooooo many songs in his repertoire now. Not everyone who attends this fundraiser is as knowledgeable about his entire catalog, so he may want to control the show’s content better than what our song picks allow. I hope that’s what she meant, as it’s totally reasonable and he should do it his way. Even if I misunderstood what she meant and they have other ideas for Chicago solo shows, or even doing no charity shows (although that seems less likely to me), I’m so grateful to have been able to see him perform solo 2 nights in a row all these years. They’re such fun shows!

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I couldn’t agree more, Wendy! It almost seems inhumane what he’s been doing these last few years, considering the depth of his catalogue. He literally has about 3 or 4 hours to cull through about 60 requests, narrow it down to 30, figure out the running order and practice. Holy shit balls! I’m insanely grateful to have been able to be a part of this miracle since 2012.

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The shows are listed on wilcoworld which hasn't always happened (in my recollection)...and...you can request a song there...

I feel like that’s been the case in years past. I wonder if he’s going to play the requests from the website instead of from the folks in line since that would give him a lot more time to prepare.

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OK! So I am a Vic virgin! Tell me what I could expect? No bad seats??  upper and lower level seated? Any other things you can share? Can't wait! I am coming from NJ and my buddy from Mass is joining me!

Standard disclosure - this year could be quite different; for example there are no "gold circle" (first 5-ish rows) tickets being sold, and Sue mentioned last year that they might change up the request format from then on.  As noted above, finding out the setlist at 4:00 same day isn't ideal for Jeff, especially when folks in line love to request rarities and obscure songs not often played.

That said, some notable points for the show.  The Vic is a small converted theater with a slightly "tiered" floor and a balcony.  The floor is mostly set up with folding chairs down front, and then slopes / tiers up with (I think) fixed seating as well as folding chairs.  Maybe all folding chairs tho.  It's all seated for this show.  The floor has a nice "tier" behind the pit area (the pit is about 5 rows of folding chairs) that steps up and has a rail in front.  Those first tier seats are great seats - sight lines nicely above the pit seats and still quite close.  The pit is great of course but the first row is actually a neck-strainer when you're sitting, as the stage is a bit high. The balcony is all fixed seats, and hangs down pretty low iirc.  Some folks love the balcony and rush there when the doors open.  There are a couple of bars in the back of the main floor area, and merch is in the lobby.  The restrooms are in the basement down a treacherous set of concrete steps.

The show is GA, but all seated.  People sit during the show; it's very informal and has been rather long in years past, as he plays (played?) 30 songs based on the first 30 folks in line which makes for a longer than average set.  No opener.  Lots of banter, often ridiculing the requesters' choices and lamenting the horrible song selection and apologizing for the flow of the show.  "Charity is supposed to be painful" is the tagline of the evening. 

If you're a T-Shirt collector, then bring funds for this one.  There's always a special shirt and it's always one of the best.  There's a poster as well, which is sometimes great and sometimes so-so.  imho. 

As for lining up.... that's the 64 dollar question this year, and depends on the request arrangement.  One thing you can count on is that it'll be cold. Another is that you'll see a lot of folks from here on VC which is always a blast. 

Getting there is easy.  There's a train station just around the corner (Belmont, literally a 2 minute walk), and there's a Vic parking garage just across the street. 

See ya there!!

Vince

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Standard disclosure - this year could be quite different; for example there are no "gold circle" (first 5-ish rows) tickets being sold, and Sue mentioned last year that they might change up the request format from then on. As noted above, finding out the setlist at 4:00 same day isn't ideal for Jeff, especially when folks in line love to request rarities and obscure songs not often played.

That said, some notable points for the show. The Vic is a small converted theater with a slightly "tiered" floor and a balcony. The floor is mostly set up with folding chairs down front, and then slopes / tiers up with (I think) fixed seating as well as folding chairs. Maybe all folding chairs tho. It's all seated for this show. The floor has a nice "tier" behind the pit area (the pit is about 5 rows of folding chairs) that steps up and has a rail in front. Those first tier seats are great seats - sight lines nicely above the pit seats and still quite close. The pit is great of course but the first row is actually a neck-strainer when you're sitting, as the stage is a bit high. The balcony is all fixed seats, and hangs down pretty low iirc. Some folks love the balcony and rush there when the doors open. There are a couple of bars in the back of the main floor area, and merch is in the lobby. The restrooms are in the basement down a treacherous set of concrete steps.

The show is GA, but all seated. People sit during the show; it's very informal and has been rather long in years past, as he plays (played?) 30 songs based on the first 30 folks in line which makes for a longer than average set. No opener. Lots of banter, often ridiculing the requesters' choices and lamenting the horrible song selection and apologizing for the flow of the show. "Charity is supposed to be painful" is the tagline of the evening.

If you're a T-Shirt collector, then bring funds for this one. There's always a special shirt and it's always one of the best. There's a poster as well, which is sometimes great and sometimes so-so. imho.

As for lining up.... that's the 64 dollar question this year, and depends on the request arrangement. One thing you can count on is that it'll be cold. Another is that you'll see a lot of folks from here on VC which is always a blast.

Getting there is easy. There's a train station just around the corner (Belmont, literally a 2 minute walk), and there's a Vic parking garage just across the street.

See ya there!!

Vince

Thanks perfect! I look forward to saying hi to y’all! Can’t wait

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  • 1 year later...

Wondering if this is finally the year that these shows don't happen.  Not sure when he could squeeze it in at this point with Wilco hitting the road again in early March, although I suppose late April and May before heading back overseas is available.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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