bböp Posted January 20, 2020 Share Posted January 20, 2020 Where to start with a recap of the second of three Wilco sets at the inaugural Sky Blue Sky Festival? With the three-song wallop of a start? With the appearance of a true rarity in That's Not The Issue? With the delightfully rocking encore pairing of Monday and Hoodoo Voodoo, which began fittingly with the count-in (yay!) and ended with a fiery guitar duel between Nels and Pat? Take your pick, I suppose, or pick one of the other unique occurrences that made for another memorable seaside show on the Yucatán Peninsula. One could talk about the relatively brief, but drenching, rain shower that began during Walken (a sign?) and continued for a couple of songs. Or the crowd chanting Pat's name after Box Full Of Letters, an acknowledgement of his spirited solo that resulted in a smile not even his "winter beard" could hide and caused Jeff to subsequently quip, "Have you ever heard him play banjo?" Or Jeff causing a murmur to go through the crowd when he came out for the encore and briefly took a seat behind the drum kit before abandoning the charade. Wherever you want to begin, the fact is Wilco turned in another 25-song, roughly two-hour performance with no repeated songs (which you would have to assume will also be the case again Tuesday on the concluding night of SBS). And the setlist was once again a curious mix of songs played pretty regularly as part of the Ode To Joy tour as well as some relative rarities. The aforementioned That's Not The Issue, for instance, was a real gasp! moment considering the band hadn't played it at all since 2014 and for just the third time overall since 2010, and yet it went off without a hitch (and possibly even at a slightly faster tempo than I remember). Meanwhile, the opening trio of Wilco (The Song), Wishful Thinking and Can't Stand It were not only performed by the full band for the first time since BTH (Before The Hiatus) — not counting Wishful Thinking's inclusion as part of the Solid Sound karaoke set last summer — but WTS hadn't been heard at all since 2014. Walken and Pot Kettle Black also hadn't been played live since BTH, for what it's worth. Sporting the same "festive" Hawaiian shirt he wore the previous show (though buttoned up this time) and no hat, Jeff once again seemed very relaxed and in an almost-mischievous, devil-may-care mood. Perhaps nowhere was this more evident than during Kingpin — also making its first appearance since BTH — when he somehow forgot to sing the second verse (with its accompanying handclaps) and jumped straight into the third before circling back. "I guess that was the first major trainwreck," Jeff said afterward. "We did discuss it (before the show) and decided being unprepared would be more fun for everyone." He added that some kind of "wormhole" must have caused him to end up in the third verse. "Mayans, man," Jeff cracked, before extolling the area's ancient, advanced civilization. Other visits to Banter Corner included a somewhat-lengthy bit of talk before the performance of the "titular song" of the festival, as Jeff called it. "I'm embarrassed to say that out loud," he said. "Anyway, (that title) sounds good on paper but when you hear the song, it doesn't exactly scream beach vacation; it doesn't even whisper beach vacation." In other words, One Big Holiday it ain't. But then Jeff also took the opportunity to point out a young woman in the front row who was apparently throwing more than a few elbows — in excitement, I think — at the man next to her, who turned out to be her father. Jeff joked that it was "more violence than he liked to see at a Wilco show" and asked her to "dial it down a little bit." "This isn't Slipknot," Jeff quipped. "I wish it was." (As an aside, a couple of other random bits of amusing Jeff chat I jotted down included his revelation that his New Year's resolution was to stop pulling his pants up on stage, which he may or may not have violated near the end of tonight's set, and the comment after introducing the rather grim subject matter of White Wooden Cross and how it might seem like an odd song choice for a beach festival — "We go to war with the songs we have, not what we wish we had," — that caused Glenn to momentarily raise an eyebrow at his bandmate.) Of course, for as many good vibes and relative rarities that surfaced during the set, there were some small letdowns as well. I think some had hoped that Sharon Van Etten, who played a fine 75-minute set with her band (sans Heather Woods Broderick) prior to Wilco, might reprise her collaboration with Jeff and Co., on Radio Cure that happened at one of last month's Winterlude shows in Chicago. Or at least share the stage for something. Ditto Calexico, which had entertained a relatively sizable crowd at SBS's beach lagoon stage earlier in the day. And of course, as nice as it was to hear Hoodoo Voodoo again, I think a small part of me was hoping former guitar/bass/keyboard tech Josh (aka the Shirtless Roadie) would magically step out from the side of the stage with cowbell and drumstick in hand. These are all pretty minor quibbles, though, just as I think Jeff missed an opportunity during I Am Trying To Break Your Heart to sing "what was I thinking when we said...hola." But seriously, I think those of us who've gotten the chance to be here and see these first shows of 2020 have very little about which to gripe. I still don't fully get why Wilco has chosen to vary its setlists so much here of all places — as opposed to other multi-night stands — but I'm trying not to question too much and, as they say, laissez les bon temps rouler. In coastal Mexico, while spending the weekend at a nice all-inclusive resort while winter rages at home, it just seems like the thing to do... Here was Wilco's complete setlist, as played, for Night 2 at SBS (there were no changes from the printed list): Wilco (The Song)Wishful ThinkingCan't Stand ItBefore UsI Am Trying To Break Your HeartKameraIf I Ever Was A ChildThat's Not The IssueWalkenWhite Wooden CrossPot Kettle BlackHow To Fight LonelinessBull Black NovaRandom Name GeneratorSky Blue SkyKingpinBox Full Of LettersTheologiansJesus, etc.We Were LuckyLove Is Everywhere (Beware)The Late GreatsMisunderstood---------------------------------MondayHoodoo Voodoo Quote 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.