Jump to content

Wilco — 5 August 2021, Spokane, WA (First Interstate Center For The Arts)


Recommended Posts

Overheard on the way into the first show of Wilco’s much-anticipated, long-delayed It’s Time tour with co-headliners Sleater-Kinney tonight in Spokane: “I’m anxious to see whether Wilco can still rock.” Well, 512 days — just shy of 17 months — since the last time they took the stage together as a band, in Winnipeg, it took all of five songs to confirm that Wilco can indeed still rock.

 

That’s when the band launched into one of the surprises of their first set back — the return of fan-favorite Art Of Almost to the setlist after a lengthy hiatus. And, man, did it sound great to these ears, with Nels letting it absolutely rip as the song exploded into cacophony.

 

Actually, it really took all of one song for Jeff and his bandmates to prove they hadn’t lost a step. The sextet returned to the stage with one of the most apropos songs of these pandemic times, A Shot In The Arm. What else could they play, right? It was a smart choice, along with the subsequent Random Name Generator, to play two upbeat songs to start because it engaged the audience from the outset and got most people on their feet right away in a room that can be stale. It’s one of those cavernous theaters with ultra-long rows and no center aisle, as well as two balconies, that is probably more suited to classical music or opera than a rock concert, IMHO.

 

(Of interest to no one, but I feel compelled to mention that a) this was, I believe, the third time Wilco has played this indoor venue and each time it has had a different name — in 2008, it was apparently called the Spokane Opera House; and in 2012, the INB Performing Arts Center; and b ) I attended the latter and rank it among my bottom five Wilco shows ever, just for a complete lack of energy from the crowd and, I suppose, to a certain extent, the band.)

 

Fortunately, the energy was much better this time around. Jeff’s banter mostly centered, as you would expect, around the return to live performance. Probably the funniest bit came after a beautiful Ashes Of American Flags to kick off the encore when Jeff admitted he “forgot how to keep my mouth closed during that break” in the song when Nels plays his lovely solo. “I caught myself drooling,” Jeff shared with his bandmates and the audience. “That was pretty primal, pretty cool.”

 

Perhaps Jeff was still distracted by said drool during the next and final song of the evening, California Stars, when he flubbed the final verse. He kind of sheepishly glanced over at John and Pat, who were both still singing their parts, but Jeff never recovered on that part of the song. Not that anyone in the crowd seemed to much care.

 

Certainly Jeff seemed to be a great mood. I noticed him playfully looking at Glenn at the end of Theologians, for instance, with his back to the audience. I’m guessing Jeff was sort of messing with him on whether or not he was going to add the “riff ending.” — will I or won’t I? — and I’m sure there were more than a few of those moments between the various bandmates during the set. And Jeff even had time to playfully banter with a couple of different audience members, one of whom just yelled out during one quiet moment between songs, simply, “Music!” which became a little inside joke the rest of the show.

 

In praising Sleater-Kinney for sharing the bill with his band (see subsequent post for complete S-K setlist, btw, and apparently Chicago up-and-comer NNAMDï, who I thought was supposed to open the entire run of 17 It’s Time dates, will miss the first couple of shows), Jeff thanked them for “just being badasses…some of my favorite people — and badasses,” and added that usually he was scared of badasses. Of course one female voice had to yell out, “Then you’d be scared of me!” Jeff gave her a little grimace and simply shot back, “I don’t think so!”

 

All in all, the 93-minute set — Wilco on at 9:45 p.m. and off at 11:18 — proved to be a delightful return for Jeff and Co. and those of us fortunate enough to be there (even though I heard the venue was far from sold out and there were plenty of empty seats in the back and in the balconies). Along with the aforementioned songs, On And On And On was a welcome curveball and I’m Always In Love is also always fun — and, in this case, pretty apropos, too. Happy 26th anniversary, Jeff and Susie!

 

Anyway, I’ll probably think of something else I should add later on. But for now, here was the complete setlist, as played (Hold Me Anyway was on the printed list as the last song of the main set, but wasn’t played):

 

A Shot In The Arm

Random Name Generator

Before Us

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart>
Art Of Almost

If I Ever Was A Child

On And On And On

Impossible Germany

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

Box Full Of Letters

Born Alone

Jesus, etc.

Theologians

I’m The Man Who Loves You

Everyone Hides

Heavy Metal Drummer

I’m Always In Love

————————————————

Ashes Of American Flags

California Stars

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Replying to my own post, but in case anybody wanted Sleater-Kinney’s setlist (they played 75 minutes, from 8 to 9:15, with a strong emphasis on their new record Path Of Wellness), here you go:

 

Path Of Wellness

High In The Grass

Hurry On Home

Price Tag

Down The Line

What’s Mine Is Yours

Can I Go On

Bury Our Friends

Shadow Town

Worry With You

Reach Out

Jumpers

Bring Mercy

Complex Female Characters

Surface Envy

Modern Girl

A New Wave

One Beat>

Entertain

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as Wilco stated this was the delayed continuation of the Ode to Joy tour, it looks from this set more like a variety of favorites, including some OtJ songs type of setlist. I'm glad I got to see them play 3/4s of the new record, but I'd also be perfectly happy to see them in action again playing a bit of everything.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bböp said:

Of interest to no one, but I feel compelled to mention that this was, I believe, the third time Wilco has played this indoor venue and each time it has had a different name — in 2008, it was apparently called the Spokane Opera House; and in 2012, the INB Performing Arts Center.

 

Best part of the review right there.

 

Ta.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lost highway said:

As much as Wilco stated this was the delayed continuation of the Ode to Joy tour, it looks from this set more like a variety of favorites, including some OtJ songs type of setlist. I'm glad I got to see them play 3/4s of the new record, but I'd also be perfectly happy to see them in action again playing a bit of everything.

 

As I've said before, definitely in the mood for upbeat, if not out-and-out raucous shows after all this time (if I was in any position to attend). Ode To Joy may be many things, but I would say that upbeat is not one of them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, imsjry said:

Thank you this wonderful recap. So happy to know they’re back on the road. Did you pick up the 7 inch split single? 

 But of course! Not sure how they’re gonna handle it night to night as the tour rolls along, but it seemed like they had rationed a set number to be sold for this specific show but also imposed no limit on how many you could buy of that rationed amount. Weird.

 

I stopped by the merch stand before the show and asked if there was a limit to how many I could buy. The lady said no, so I bought several because some friends who aren’t able to get to this tour asked me to try and grab one for them if I could. When I went back after the show to try and get one more for another friend who had texted me during the show, they were sold out.

 

Seems like they would have to have a box set aside for the Chicago show, for example, or they’ll never last that long.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TCP said:

Oh also, the Wilco IG page posted the merch booth and there was a different 7" there, captioned with "what's this?". Did @bböp or anyone else there scope out what this was?

Oh, you know what? I did see another 7” at the table and totally glossed over it. Almost sure it was Half Life on one side, not sure what the other side was. It looked so similar to the bonus 7” included with the pre-orders of LITK that I sort of glossed over it in my attempt to get the split single. Oops! D’oh!

 

They were selling the Half Life one and the split as a bundle as well, if memory serves. I’ll have to grab it at another show.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lost highway said:

As much as Wilco stated this was the delayed continuation of the Ode to Joy tour, it looks from this set more like a variety of favorites, including some OtJ songs type of setlist. I'm glad I got to see them play 3/4s of the new record, but I'd also be perfectly happy to see them in action again playing a bit of everything.

If memory serves, the rescheduled West Coast shows are the ones they say will be a continuation of the OTJ tour, not the Sleater-Kinney shows. But I bet they’re going to mix it up even on those shows. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul, just as much fun to read when I am at the show as not. His mention of 512 days since the last Wilco show made me realize just how little Wilco has been able to tour in the last 3-3/4 years. Other than the 9 month stretch between June, 2019 and March, 2020 Wilco hadn't played any shows between the St Paul shows in mid November 2017 until August 5, 2021. I think the hiatus was longer than 512 days but haven't done the math so Jeff's quip might have been wrong that it was their longest break since before they were a band.  Years since Art of Almost was played and with no guitar in hand I assumed it would be Hummingbird when they launched into that beautiful version of On and On and On. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, chriscolbert said:

Any shirt pics?  Just curious if there are any with both band names on it.

I wasn’t there, but someone posted a picture of the merch stall and there was a tour T-shirt with dates on the back.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2021 at 1:16 PM, bböp said:

Overheard on the way into the first show of Wilco’s much-anticipated, long-delayed It’s Time tour with co-headliners Sleater-Kinney tonight in Spokane: “I’m anxious to see whether Wilco can still rock.” Well, 512 days — just shy of 17 months — since the last time they took the stage together as a band, in Winnipeg, it took all of five songs to confirm that Wilco can indeed still rock.

 

That’s when the band launched into one of the surprises of their first set back — the return of fan-favorite Art Of Almost to the setlist after a lengthy hiatus. And, man, did it sound great to these ears, with Nels letting it absolutely rip as the song exploded into cacophony.

 

Actually, it really took all of one song for Jeff and his bandmates to prove they hadn’t lost a step. The sextet returned to the stage with one of the most apropos songs of these pandemic times, A Shot In The Arm. What else could they play, right? It was a smart choice, along with the subsequent Random Name Generator, to play two upbeat songs to start because it engaged the audience from the outset and got most people on their feet right away in a room that can be stale. It’s one of those cavernous theaters with ultra-long rows and no center aisle, as well as two balconies, that is probably more suited to classical music or opera than a rock concert, IMHO.

 

(Of interest to no one, but I feel compelled to mention that a) this was, I believe, the third time Wilco has played this indoor venue and each time it has had a different name — in 2008, it was apparently called the Spokane Opera House; and in 2012, the INB Performing Arts Center; and b ) I attended the latter and rank it among my bottom five Wilco shows ever, just for a complete lack of energy from the crowd and, I suppose, to a certain extent, the band.)

 

Fortunately, the energy was much better this time around. Jeff’s banter mostly centered, as you would expect, around the return to live performance. Probably the funniest bit came after a beautiful Ashes Of American Flags to kick off the encore when Jeff admitted he “forgot how to keep my mouth closed during that break” in the song when Nels plays his lovely solo. “I caught myself drooling,” Jeff shared with his bandmates and the audience. “That was pretty primal, pretty cool.”

 

Perhaps Jeff was still distracted by said drool during the next and final song of the evening, California Stars, when he flubbed the final verse. He kind of sheepishly glanced over at John and Pat, who were both still singing their parts, but Jeff never recovered on that part of the song. Not that anyone in the crowd seemed to much care.

 

Certainly Jeff seemed to be a great mood. I noticed him playfully looking at Glenn at the end of Theologians, for instance, with his back to the audience. I’m guessing Jeff was sort of messing with him on whether or not he was going to add the “riff ending.” — will I or won’t I? — and I’m sure there were more than a few of those moments between the various bandmates during the set. And Jeff even had time to playfully banter with a couple of different audience members, one of whom just yelled out during one quiet moment between songs, simply, “Music!” which became a little inside joke the rest of the show.

 

In praising Sleater-Kinney for sharing the bill with his band (see subsequent post for complete S-K setlist, btw, and apparently Chicago up-and-comer NNAMDï, who I thought was supposed to open the entire run of 17 It’s Time dates, will miss the first couple of shows), Jeff thanked them for “just being badasses…some of my favorite people — and badasses,” and added that usually he was scared of badasses. Of course one female voice had to yell out, “Then you’d be scared of me!” Jeff gave her a little grimace and simply shot back, “I don’t think so!”

 

All in all, the 93-minute set — Wilco on at 9:45 p.m. and off at 11:18 — proved to be a delightful return for Jeff and Co. and those of us fortunate enough to be there (even though I heard the venue was far from sold out and there were plenty of empty seats in the back and in the balconies). Along with the aforementioned songs, On And On And On was a welcome curveball and I’m Always In Love is also always fun — and, in this case, pretty apropos, too. Happy 26th anniversary, Jeff and Susie!

 

Anyway, I’ll probably think of something else I should add later on. But for now, here was the complete setlist, as played (Hold Me Anyway was on the printed list as the last song of the main set, but wasn’t played):

 

A Shot In The Arm

Random Name Generator

Before Us

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart>
Art Of Almost

If I Ever Was A Child

On And On And On

Impossible Germany

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

Box Full Of Letters

Born Alone

Jesus, etc.

Theologians

I’m The Man Who Loves You

Everyone Hides

Heavy Metal Drummer

I’m Always In Love

————————————————

Ashes Of American Flags

California Stars

Thanks @bböp for all these recaps. I’m over in Europe and over the years i have really appreciated the recaps/ reviews. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/8/2021 at 3:00 PM, reverandgroove said:

Thanks @bböp for all these recaps. I’m over in Europe and over the years i have really appreciated the recaps/ reviews. 

 

Cheers! Glad a few people still get something out of them...:coffee

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/9/2021 at 5:08 PM, bböp said:

 

Cheers! Glad a few people still get something out of them...:coffee

More than a few! I always look forward to these too. Thanks Paul!

  • Like 1
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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...