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Jeff Tweedy — 28 May 2019, Adelaide, Australia (The Gov)

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The final show of Jeff’s first ever fully solo tour of Australia, and his first time in Adelaide since Wilco played the Big Day Out festival here way back in 2003.


The choice of venue is The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, or simply ‘The Gov’ as it is commonly known, one of Adelaide’s best venues for gigs, a large rectangular room that holds around 750 people when in all standing mode, but tonight the show isn’t sold out, so the left half of the venue has tables for people who would prefer to sit. My estimate is around 400-500 people were there. Being a cold wintry Tuesday night probably didn’t help ticket sales.


Jen Cloher again kicked off the night to a very warm reception. Looking forward to hearing her new album she just recorded at the Loft with Mia Dyson and Liz Stringer.


As with all other shows bar Meeniyan, Jeff took to stage right on 9pm and proceeded to wow the crowd with Via Chicago. Remember The Mountain Bed, and the quick succession of Bombs Above and Some Birds were all met with enthusiastic claps and cheers. No one has yet yelled out anything stupid like the Melbourne shows. We’re off to a good start!


Jeff then asks us how we are, and when we respond good, he says he’ll see what he can do about that. “I’m not going to get into conversations with people tonight, it’s been happening a lot at these shows. I had a woman tell me I looked uneducated! We’ll talk about it later”. Clearly this is a story that Jeff is going to use for some time to come (and who can blame him).


I Am Trying To Break Your Heart received some laughter during the piano part, which led Jeff to say he can’t remember that ever getting laughter before. He compared it to the ‘woo’. He then said harmonica playing also gets a lot of ‘woos’ which is stupid because anyone can then play the harmonica. He then handed his harmonica to someone in the front, they blew one note and Jeff demanded it back! “You’re now infected with my seed! I don’t just spread sadness, I spread germs”.


The recurring sports team comments then made a return. “I was told not to criticise your sports teams (audience member yells feel free) I’m not going to. I love the Crows, the Crows are my favourite team. (a section of the audience begins to boo) Is that not the right team to be a fan of? I obviously had poor intel (audience member does a ‘woo’) you guys are quick!” I guess what no one had told Jeff is that Adelaide has two football teams, the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power, so there must have been more Power supporters down the front! I’m not surprised Crows fans weren’t there, they were probably down the road at the Proclaimers gig!


I’m Always In Love made a very welcome return to the setlist, followed by a surprise tour debut of Reservations, presumably because he gave into a woman near the front who had been calling out for it. Such a beautiful version and very welcome addition to the set. Someone yelled out ‘Shake it up’ which Jeff said did they mean the Cars song? He could look it up on his phone. Presumably the guy means Shake It Off, which Jeff said he definitely wasn’t going to play. Evergreen followed, which is quickly becoming my favourite off Warmer, a gorgeous song.


Jesus, etc featured a great audience singalong, which Jeff complimented as the best of the tour (I’d put it on par with Sydney). He then told us in Melbourne they couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle. Ouch! Some more lovely audience singalongs on Let’s Go Rain and Passenger Side followed, before being treated to the wonderful Theologians and Late Greats to finish the set off.


The first 3 song encore of the tour followed, with Jeff saying he had to leave to go catch his flight back to America. Someone then pointed out Adelaide airport has a curfew, so Jeff told us he had a chartered jet waiting. All those songs 1 person wants to hear pays well! A wonderful Acuff-Rose closed the set, and Jeff said thank you and he hopes to see us again soon. Let’s hope so.


So a wonderful show to close out this tour, with a really nice respectful crowd. It’s a sad situation though where a crowd only has to not yell out stupid stuff to be considered one of the best of the tour (Melbourne I’m looking at you).


So with that, Jeff closes the chapter on his solo tour for now, and heads back to the US to resume Wilco activities again. I’m so thankful I could get to travel to all the shows on the tour. Seeing Jeff in small venues in Australia is something I never thought would ever happen, so this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you Jeff. Let’s do it again with an Australian / New Zealand Wilco tour soon!


Via Chicago

Remember The Mountain Bed

Bombs Above

Some Birds

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

New Madrid

Impossible Germany

Family Ghost

Having Been Is No Way To Be

I'm Always In Love



Jesus, etc.

I Know What It's Like


Let's Go Rain

Passenger Side


Late Greats



Don't Forget

I'm The Man Who Loves You 


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Absolutely brilliant show - on par with some of the most enjoyable gigs I've ever been to. Given it had been 16 years since I last saw Wilco/Tweedy, my anticipation levels were pretty high and this was certainly worth the wait. The setlist was great and the banter with a *mostly* respectful and appreciative crowd was excellent and genuinely hilarious. Whilst there wasn't any heckling per se, I was right next to the woman (close to stage left) who made things a bit too much about her on a couple of occasions - requesting "Reservations" three times, telling Jeff it's just an "existential crisis" and, well...yeah, getting a little bit too involved. Still, Jeff seemed to really enjoy himself and it was - for me - a reminder of how great Adelaide crowds can be when they actually turn up to gigs (a near-full house at The Gov) - especially on cold night - and give a geniunely warm reception to an artist. We sing along way better than Melburnians too.


Oh yeah, Jen Cloher (the opening act) played a cracking short set. Easliy one of this country's best songwriters. 

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That was a fun thing to write up after every show, hope people enjoyed reading them. If nothing else, it'll serve as a great reminder for me of what was a really special tour. I never imagined we'd ever get to see Jeff on a solo tour in Australia in small venues. It was a rare treat.

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