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Jeff Tweedy — 7 March 2019, Germantown, TN (Germantown Performing Arts Center)

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Well, I guess there probably weren't too many VCers in attendance at the show in Germantown last night so I guess it falls to me to do some reportage here. I say that because the venue was kind of your standard suburban performing arts center auditorium with all of the acoustics, atmosphere and audience that type of room typically brings. So basically the show sounded really good, but the vibe was probably too polite at best (and a little detached at worst).


Perhaps because of that, the visits to Banter Corner started relatively early. Apparently Jeff had played the GPAC about a decade earlier, but he said what he mainly remembered was the seating arrangement, which features long, uninterrupted rows without aisles. After playing I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Jeff said he felt particularly sympathetic to the people "stuck" in the center of the rows. "I wouldn't want to be in the middle," he said. "Are you wearing diapers? I would be...I am. All right, I'll try and make this quick."


Early on Jeff also called out, as politely as possible, the people taking flash photos — including one guy standing at stage right, snapping away almost obliviously before he was shooed away: "I was worried that flash photography was OK (here); I didn't know your customs," Jeff said. "I'm doing everything I can do to hang onto these lyrics." He then joked that the flashes were "like Navy SEALs training for singer-songwriters," and remarked how good practice for a singer-songwriter would be to play at a coffeehouse where nobody was paying attention and see if you can keep focused.


A few songs later, unprompted, Jeff shared a "disconcerting" revelation he had experienced recently — that he is only two years younger than Roy Orbison was when he started playing with the Traveling Wilburys. "So it's been a nice run," he joked. "You guys are all old, right? Didn't you think (Orbison) was like 80...or 1000?" Other comments included the brief, but funny quip when someone's plastic cup creaked in the darkness and Jeff half-jokingly mistook it for something else. "Did somebody bring a bongo? I hope not. I don't even want Glenn to bring a bongo."


Jeff (who was once again sans his trademark Stetson) also touched on a couple bits from recent performances, mentioning how he had recently played a couple of shows in Texas where "everybody was wearing my hat," and rhetorically asking why people would want to go to a show dressed like the performer. And he also mentioned this was the first show in a while he had played "off steroids," explaining how he had started this tour with a rash that required a course of steroids to treat. Being on steroids, Jeff joked, "it's like I hardly had to try" and that all of the previous shows had come with an asterisk due to performance-enhancing drugs but tonight, "this is the real me, everybody."


Perhaps Jeff felt like he had to drive the show through banter a little more than usual because of an audience that he later described as "pretty laid back," and suggested was a bit sleepy. He generated some more humor through his mid-set Q&A session, which featured questions about what was the hardest part of the book to write (Jeff didn't really answer that, but joked about the photo on the cover being of him when he was about 28 and the one on the back of him now being about four times more zoomed in "just to hammer home the cruel march of time.") and about how he titled the album Warm ("It was better than the other album title I had, which was 'Open Kimono.' It's not the right time in our culture for that (joke).")


Toward the end of the main set, Jeff said he was going to play a song the audience could sing along to and got one last bit of banter fodder when a woman yelled out that he should make it "fast and happy." "This is my song," he said in a jokingly incredulous tone. "Why don't you go write your own fast and happy stupid song?"


Sounds like a pretty good title for the bootleg, to me.


Here was the complete setlist, as played:


Via Chicago (w/harmonica)

Remember The Mountain Bed

Bombs Above>

Some Birds

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Lost Love


Having Been Is No Way To Be

Family Ghost

New Madrid

I Know What It's Like

You And I


Jesus, etc.

Passenger Side

Let's Go Rain

I'm The Man Who Loves You


A Shot in the Arm

Don't Forget



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I was there and thought it was a great show. Tweedy gets better and better as a musician and performer. I would say the audience was more polite than detached. Everyone seemed to really be in the moment, just on their best behavior. Maybe it was the venue. I was kind of glad that the audience was quiet because all I really wanted to hear was Jeff Tweedy. Been to enough shows where people talked through quiet songs or went on beer runs every 3 songs to appreciate an evening of great music performed by one of my favorite artists.


Thanks for the review bbop!


BTW, Buck Meek was excellent as well. I was not familiar with him before last night.

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Always great to read your reviews, bbop. I love to hear about the banter; in this case, it sounds like the "Open Kimono" bit was priceless.

Thanks for the review bbop!

As always, thanks so much for the reporting. Looks like I may only make it to the two Town Hall shows this tour so relying even more heavily on your most excellent reporting.

Much obliged!

Thanks for reading, all. Happy to have a small, but loyal, audience. Haha. And yeah, I debated whether to include the bit about “Open Kimono,” but he definitely said it. I'm just not sure how many people got it? :ninja

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I always read your reviews wearing an open kimono. Ta.


Also, I’m sure I was listening to some Wilco track on headphones the other week and definitely heard some bongos and thought that was odd/funny. Will have to narrow that down. Wasn’t immediately obvious - just like the bongos on Day In The Life.

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I always read your reviews wearing an open kimono. Ta.


Also, I’m sure I was listening to some Wilco track on headphones the other week and definitely heard some bongos and thought that was odd/funny. Will have to narrow that down. Wasn’t immediately obvious - just like the bongos on Day In The Life.

As Jeff said last night in Macon regarding the “open kimono,” it paints a picture, doesn’t it? B)

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