Jump to content

Wilco — 26 September 2019, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (Barrowland Ballroom)

Recommended Posts

I’m not gonna say Jeff Tweedy got me drunk, but he tried. That’s a sentence I didn’t think I would ever write, but the fact remains that tonight in Glasgow, Jeff redoubled his efforts to procure me a free libation (or several) after my tongue-in-cheek comments here about being spurned in Utrecht a few nights prior.

Whether Jeff really sought to see me “rewarded,” merely wanted a funny way of testing his power of suggestion or had other motivations, I can’t say. But unlike the penny-pinchers at the TivoliVredenburg, the punters at the Barrowland Ballroom came through. Well, to the tune of exactly one shot of relatively harsh whiskey, but beggars can’t be choosers. So a hearty cheers to the punter who ponied up for that potent potable! :beer

For anyone who hasn’t been following along, Jeff has occasionally been introducing the song Everyone Hides (off the forthcoming Ode To Joy) by noting how the band decided to make a video for it. And he did so again at the Barras, remarking that “almost all the stars of the video are in the room tonight.” Thought I might get off the hook as far as being singled out, but no such luck as Jeff identified me as having appeared in the video as both a Lyft driver and moviegoer and commented on how he had tried — and failed — to get a crowd at a show earlier in the week to buy me a drink. He made the suggestion again, saying something to the effect that if “Paul doesn’t have to go to the hospital for alcohol poisoning” tonight, then his people would be letting him down.

As I’ve been saying, you’ll have to go to the tape if you want to hear Jeff’s exact comments because I’m certainly not scrawling notes during these interludes. But I’m happy to serve as occasional comic relief, and I suppose that’s what occurred when the aforementioned whiskey made its way through the crowd to me during the next song, I’m Always In Love. When you jokingly campaign for a free drink, you have to down whatever comes along, right? So I did, cheerfully. Thankfully no more followed, but Jeff must have noticed my lightweight tendencies because he chimed in after the song, “You’re not driving tonight, are you Paul?” and added that I had probably had had enough (to which I heard a certain Scottish smartarse next to me quip, “I concur!”). For his part, Jeff couldn’t resist one last crack: “I’m getting drunk watching Paul get drunk.” Hardy har. :lol

OK, enough about me. The show as a whole was a pretty fun one, despite not straying far from the general template the band has established over the past few weeks as it has tried to incorporate new material from its forthcoming Ode To Joy album with favorites from across its catalog. Part of that had to do with the venue, which is a classic old dance hall-turned-rock club akin to Cain’s Ballroom in the U.S. With a standing capacity of around 2,000, it nonetheless felt as intimate as a room half its size. And to these ears anyway, the sound was generally better than expected for that type of venue.

The only drawback of the Barrowlands, I suppose, was an apparent 11 p.m. curfew that seemed to cause the band to rush a bit in order to try and get everything in. Wilco went on stage promptly at 9, but since its set this tour has been running to 2 hours and 15 minutes or even a little more, it seemed a good bet that at least one or two songs might get cut or skipped. Jeff acknowledged as much, barely speaking through two-thirds of the main set. “How are you?” he asked after Love Is Everywhere (Beware). “We don’t have a lot of time.” When the crowd expressed its disapproval, Jeff added, “It just means I’m not gonna talk that much.”

He did loosen up in the back half of the show, though, taking time to address someone near the front who had been holding up a sign that apparently was a request for Spiders (Kidsmoke) by telling him that he was probably going to go home slightly disappointed. After another bloke further back yelled out for Heavy Metal Drummer in a hearty Scottish accent, Jeff couldn’t help but acknowledge him by saying “that’s the kind of enthusiasm we’re looking for” from a request but that the band still was going to play the song it had planned to.

That was about it for Banter Corner, unfortunately, with Jeff once again saying “We’ve gotta go,” before Glenn kicked off a visceral Misunderstood to close the main set. Returning quickly to the stage, the band chose to scrap most of its planned encore — presumably for time purposes — in favor of Red-Eyed and Blue>I Got You (At The End of the Century), which I sort of figured would naturally lead into Outtasite (Outta Mind). But ultimately it was The Late Greats that would wind up sending the crowd out into the Glasgow gloam mostly satisfied — and just a few minutes past curfew. :thumbup

While I’m not sure if it topped the band’s other gig at the Barras just over nine years earlier (Synthesizer Patel, anyone?), which I was also fortunate enough to attend and have such fond memories of, this show certainly had a personal connection I won’t soon forget. It’s just such a pleasure to have the chance to see Wilco in venues like this, with people like the ones I’ve come to know on this side of the pond. It really makes the travel and the effort to get here so worthwhile, for me anyway. :love

Here was the complete setlist, as played (An Empty Corner, California Stars and I'm A Wheel were scrapped in the encore, according to the printed setlist, with Red-Eyed and Blue>I Got You added in their place to join The Late Greats):

Bright Leaves
Before Us
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
One and a Half Stars
If I Ever Was A Child
Handshake Drugs
White Wooden Cross
Via Chicago
How To Fight Loneliness
Bull Black Nova
Random Name Generator
Love Is Everywhere (Beware)
Impossible Germany
Box Full Of Letters
Everyone Hides
I'm Always In Love
Jesus, etc.
I'm The Man Who Loves You
Hold Me Anyway
Red-Eyed and Blue>
I Got You (At The End of the Century)
The Late Greats

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...