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Wilco — 15 August 2021, Nashville, TN (Ascend Amphitheater)


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Since I guess no one who actually went to the show seems to be in a hurry to chime in — or maybe everyone just goes to that other forum that shall not be named now — I guess I'm the designated cutter/paster here, too...:lol

 

From what I heard and saw on Wilco's social media, it seemed that it had been raining leading up to the show but the rain stopped and the skies cleared just in time for this show to proceed comfortably. There was even a rainbow. I can't imagine Jeff wouldn't offer any comments on that, if indeed it was still visible while he was on stage (though I guess that was probably unlikely given Wilco's 9:30 p.m. set time).

 

Here was the Wilco setlist, taken from Wilcoworld for record-keeping purposes here (obviously there could have been a few changes/omissions from the printed setlist):

 

A Shot In The Arm

Random Name Generator

At Least That's What You Said

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Art Of Almost

If I Ever Was A Child

Impossible Germany

War On War

Box Full Of Letters

Hate It Here

Everyone Hides

Dawned On Me

Jesus, etc.

Theologians

I'm The Man Who Loves You

Heavy Metal Drummer

I'm Always In Love

----------------------------------------------

California Stars

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I'll admit it.  The older I get, the more "challenging" GA shows get for me.  The long sidewalk waits, the inability to sit down, the trailblazing trips to & from merch/restrooms/refreshments, the lack of personal space.... it's just tougher as the years go by.  But it's still the best way to see Wilco, and I'll take it over a nice cushy theater seat any day. 
As mentioned above, it did rain off and on all day in downtown Nashville, heavy in the early afternoon but not so much later in the day and no lightning or storms really.  Sidewalk time (for our little crew anyway) was mostly sprinkles and drizzly.  A little light rain once we got inside, but the GA pit area is partly covered by the really high stage roof that extends about 10' over the front of the pit area.  So we were all able to stay dry and gaze out over the poncho-attired seated folks behind us.  Nice....

Ascend amphitheater in Nashville is a fairly new venue right at the end of the Broadway street downtown area next to the river.  It has a big concrete pit area, with 20-ish rows of permanent seats on grass behind that, and then a big open grassy lawn area behind that.   The Nashville skyline is visible behind the stage up top.  Between the rail and the stage is a pretty big gap, with several HUGE 5-foot cube speaker cabinets which were NOT under-powered for this show.  Entry was easy, well controlled but not at all police-like, with vaccine cards getting checked before entry including an ID match.  Those of us who wanted to ensure a good rail spot ponied up an extra ten bucks for the "fast path" entry which allowed folks in just ahead of the commoners for the GA pit section.  Mixed feelings on that whole deal, but hey it worked. 

First in line on the sidewalk were a few SK fans, including a few who made the stage rush the night before in ATL.  They migrated to the Carrie side of the rail, leaving the Jeff/John/Pat rail section to us 8 or 10 "usual suspects" from the Wilco camp.  Was nice chatting with them a little, and seeing their enthusiasm as they crammed onto the rail ready to rock. 

I do think GA shows are "kinder" to the openers, especially when it's the Wilco (and now SK) faithful up front who all know how to appreciate good music, especially artists who obviously have the Jeff/Wilco seal of approval.  Nnamdi opened up promptly at 7 to a small but engaged group in the pit and just a few folks out in the seats who were glad that the rain had just slacked off.  A little ways into his set, a fabulous rainbow did appear behind the lawn area, and a very startled Nnamdi commented between songs how amazing it was.  There was even a faint double-bow for a bit.  It faded out between his and SK's set though.  He threw in a new song in the set, one about riding the CTA to get to a flight that got interrupted, causing much anxiety on the part of the rider, which I thought was a really great song.  I suspect that more than one of us on this board have had that happen (myself included on my last Chicago trip for Jeff's final drive-in show!).  But a much more engaged group up front for their set than seated ATL.

The SK RailCrew went bonkers when Carrie, Corin, and band took the stage.  And those big speakers I mentioned just now?  Those were turned up to 11.  We could feel air moving into our chests from the kick drum on those.  It all made for a helluva vibe and everyone, even us old farts on the "wilco side", got into it.  You couldn't help but smile.  Of all of the things on planet earth that I would NOT want to be, being a 19YO girl is way up on that list.  But damn, I'd love to have just a little of what they have when it comes to live music audience energy.  Carrie mentioned about 3-4 songs into the set to their faithful up front: "Can you all come with us the whole tour?"  Stepping off the stage onto one of those big speakers in the final song was just about too much for their fans, and both Carrie and Corin both made a point to climb onto those speakers to hand out picks and setlists to them after the set. 

Wilco took the stage promptly at 9:30, with the Shot/Random Name pair to open, including Mikael (in an all-white "suit" of sorts) on pillow-keys for Shot.  Jeff noted that Nashville was "one of our second hometowns" and how good it was to be back.  And it was!  The crowd was really great through the whole show, making for a most enjoyable evening.  The set had only one newcomer - War on War - but otherwise stuck to the condensed-soup recipe that they've been on for this tour.  The 45-second "encore break" left just enough time for a CaliStars at the end, walking off at 11:00 on the dot.  I think we all miss getting some Being There tunes, especially the usual closers / encores we all love, but I gotta say that "Always in Love" is a damn good set closer. 

Banter Corner was a little better this night (or at least having one less day for me to forget things makes it seem that way).  Jeff noted that Nashville is home for Pat, and that they were dedicating a song to "one of the best storytellers ever", which was Pat's dad.  I think it was If I Ever Was a Child, but don't quote me on that.  On War on War, Pat adds a little glockenspiel to that song, which drew a ton of applause prompting Jeff to say "I had no idea that glockenspiels were that popular in Nashville" and Pat to quip something back that I didn't catch.  Jeff then told the audience something like "well then you'll love this next one cause Pat has a solo!" before launching into Box Full of Letters.  At the end of his full-on rockstar solo for that one, Pat scurried back to his setup to hit a few glockenspiel notes at the end of Box to appease his hometown fans.  Jeff mentioned that was the first time they'd had a glockenspiel on that song... good stuff.  Continuing on the Pat-centric hometown show, Jeff later commented that Pat was the only one who had THREE microphones to sing into, depending on which way he wanted to face.  Pat responded with "I'm a man of many (mysteries)" or something like that.  Jeff then asked "Who do I have to talk to around here to get more mics?". 

Overall a really good, tight, great crowd Wilco show in a pleasant venue in a town that does know its music.  The SK/Wilco pairing seems to make more sense once you've seen a couple shows.  Hope we'll get some collabs eventually, even if they have to start earlier.  Oh, and about the sound levels - the Wilco set was a little less loud than the SK set (which really was up to 11).  Wilco was still louder than I've heard them (maybe ever), but what I'd call "pleasantly loud" and very enjoyable.  I stopped by to see the sound guy Stan afterward and mentioned that it was a little louder than usual up front.  Stan got a very devilish look in his eye and just said "yeahhhhh" - he likes 'em loud. 

On a personal note, no sign of the Nova, and I'm thinking it might be sitting this tour out.  I was able to get a couple of the usual suspects up on the rail to help out with wearing facemasks so that the three of us had "BULL", "BLACK", and "NOVA" in sequence for a song early on.  That got a noticeable chuckle from Jeffie which was fun.  The "FAUCI SAYS PLAY BULL BLACK NOVA" sign also showed up a little later, prompting another headshake that conveyed "no, I don't think so Vince". 

Just one more of these SK/Wilco shows for me - now thankfully Thursday night in Asheville, the delay of which gave me a little time to jot down these meager thoughts here in our little corner of the interwebs, as well as a nice rest for these old bones.  See you at the show.

Cheers!

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8 minutes ago, theashtraysays said:

On a personal note, no sign of the Nova, and I'm thinking it might be sitting this tour out.  I was able to get a couple of the usual suspects up on the rail to help out with wearing facemasks so that the three of us had "BULL", "BLACK", and "NOVA" in sequence for a song early on.  That got a noticeable chuckle from Jeffie which was fun.  The "FAUCI SAYS PLAY BULL BLACK NOVA" sign also showed up a little later, prompting another headshake that conveyed "no, I don't think so Vince". 

Just one more of these SK/Wilco shows for me - now thankfully Thursday night in Asheville, the delay of which gave me a little time to jot down these meager thoughts here in our little corner of the interwebs, as well as a nice rest for these old bones.  See you at the show.

Cheers!

 

Well, sorry your Nova gambits haven't paid dividends so far but I'm sure they were at least mildly amusing. Thanks for the reports. I think it seems like they are pretty much, er, boxed in with the set for this run with maybe one or two swap outs per night. Just hoping we'll actually get that (semi-promised) collab with S-K at this point...nine shows to go! Good to hear that Pat got some hometown love and that it wasn't your usual Nashville, too-cool industry-town kind of crowd — at least for the most part.

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3 minutes ago, bböp said:

 

Well, sorry your Nova gambits haven't paid dividends so far but I'm sure they were at least mildly amusing.

Really, anything that gets a smile from Jeff is well worth a couple sheets of posterboard, some bigass sharpie ink, and a little hassle here and there.  Maturity has never been my long suit, and I'm of the age where I kinda don't much care if it looks a little fangirl or not. 
Hey are you able to make Asheville now?

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3 minutes ago, theashtraysays said:

Really, anything that gets a smile from Jeff is well worth a couple sheets of posterboard, some bigass sharpie ink, and a little hassle here and there.  Maturity has never been my long suit, and I'm of the age where I kinda don't much care if it looks a little fangirl or not. 
Hey are you able to make Asheville now?

 

Haha, yeah, that's kind of what I figured. And re: Asheville, in theory I could make it now. But given the lack of setlist variety and the fact I'd still have to finagle a ticket and drive like 5 hours out of my way down there and then 8+ hours back to get to the Merriweather Post show with no day-off cushion (plus the prospect of a nice meal of some Maryland crabs), I think I'm still going to have to beg off. I did seriously consider it despite all of the hurdles, but you know. Sorry I'll miss you this run. Looks like a cool setting, from what I've seen.

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I like they songs they're playing, but has their setlist ever been this static?

 

Other than the first night of the tour, the sets have been identical, and even the first night was nearly identical to the rest.  I know I sound like a ungrateful jerk, especially after more than a year of no concerts but it's just surprising.  I would think they'd get bored out of their heads.  

 

I'm still super psyched for Merriweather but kind of scratching my head.

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18 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

Ta to theashtraysays for fillling bbop;s boots (or was that just a nasty rumour).


With apologies to Nancy and Lee, these boots are made for fillin’! 👢 👢 👢 

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On 8/18/2021 at 6:30 PM, dave41 said:

Has Wilco gone on after S/K every night?


Yes, and will continue to — or so I’ve been told (and so it says on Wilcoworld :lol ).

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On 8/17/2021 at 6:19 PM, Bart said:

I like they songs they're playing, but has their setlist ever been this static?

 

Other than the first night of the tour, the sets have been identical, and even the first night was nearly identical to the rest.  I know I sound like a ungrateful jerk, especially after more than a year of no concerts but it's just surprising.  I would think they'd get bored out of their heads.  

 

I'm still super psyched for Merriweather but kind of scratching my head.

 

They were fairly static during the Ode to Joy tour, but there were some slots that were regularly changed up. Longer shows meant they had a little more wiggle room there too. I haven't kept up with every tour over the last several years but this may be one of the most "set in stone" setlists.

 

I'm only able to catch one show, so it doesn't bother me much, except that because I couldn't exercise any self control I now know for sure that a few of my favorites won't get played.

 

There's a quote somewhere from Jeff where he says he actually prefers a pretty static setlist, something about being more able to get into the flow when it's almost the same show every night.

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