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Wilco — 13 October 2021, Seattle, WA (Paramount Theatre) [Night 2 of 2]


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Starting another thread for this show, even though I just saw there was already one that someone started. Mods, feel free to merge the two...or not.

 

Riddle: What is just shy of 600 years old, has 10 broad smiles, a vast knowledge of 1960s and 1970s rock and is able to perform music loudly and enthusiastically? If you said a super-super-group known as the Young Fresh Wilcos, well, give yourself a prize (a book, perhaps?). It's a rare entity that might appear just once ever in the wild, though here's hoping there's at least one more sighting someday, but for the lucky souls that got to witness the beast in person tonight, I'm sure it's a memory that won't soon be forgotten.

 

What a way for Wilco to end this Pacific Northwest run of shows with the legendary Young Fresh Fellows. In bringing them out for the final song of the evening, Jeff remembered that Uncle Tupelo had opened for the Fellows back in St. Louis in 1988, reiterated his belief that they are one of the greatest rock bands of the last century and then boldly announced, "Now we're gonna play a song by a band that's nowhere as fucking good" as the YFFs. Commence Helter Skelter, with Scott McCaughey taking lead vocals and the rest of the Fellows joining the other Wilcos on a powerhouse of a show-closing jam.

 

It's difficult to capture the pure joy emanating from the stage of the Paramount Theatre at that moment, but truth be told, there was plenty of joy all night long. The vibe in the crowd couldn't have been more different from Night 1, especially in the pit and toward the front of the orchestra, where people were on their feet and visibly enthusiastic for Wilco from the start. Actually, more than a few people (I'm pretty sure) also stood for another zany opening set by the YFFs, which featured an appearance by a thinly disguised Mikael for the last two songs. See below for more on that.

 

Then again, it was Wilco Wednesday — as our resident sign-bearer Vince successfully reminded Jeff, who credited him by name, joked that he knew everyone's name and then quipped, "It's like Taco Tuesday, but less delicious. Louder," — and the second of two nights, so you almost expected an improvement on Night 1. One aspect that unquestionably improved were the background projections on the screen behind the band, which had been a bit muted the night before on account of a projector failure. For those keeping track at home, and I know there are so many of you, the "soapsuds" video that plays during the encore break was also back after being absent the prior evening.

 

From a setlist perspective, it didn't seem like quite as much of a shakeup as, say, Night 1 to Night 2 in Portland, where a number of songs either made their post-lockdown debuts (Poor Places, Muzzle Of Bees) or their only appearances of the tour (Shouldn't Be Ashamed, I Must Be High). Rather tonight — at least until the encore — seemed like a natural extension of the set that the band has been developing on this Pacific Northwest run. So, for example, we got the "cowboy" guitar with the rubber bridge for the set-opening Bright Leaves as well as One And A Half Stars, as has been the routine the past few shows, and once again Jeff successfully changed the lyric in Hummingbird from "...the great southwest" to "the Pacific Northwest."

 

"I really feel like playing music is getting me high in a way — not from medication or anything like that," Jeff shared after Hummingbird, looking around at his bandmates. "I feel like I'm floating on air and my guitar is a snake.” (Edit: Thanks to wilcolovesyou for the confirmation on “snake.”)

 

Anyway, it wasn't the first time that Jeff expressed gratitude for being able to get back to live music, and that was pretty clear at various points in the show. From yet another interesting jam in Laminated Cat, where Jeff really worked his electric guitar in tandem with Glenn's pounding percussion to a slightly modified ending, to the end of Forget The Flowers, where he sort of gave Glenn a little bit of grief for botching the Green Acres-like ending that they have apparently discussed, to Theologians, where he played the relatively rare riff ending, it's pretty clear that Jeff and his bandmates are having fun being out there night after night after missing out on so many nights of performing over the past 18 months.

 

And that was obviously evident on the aforementioned show-closing Helter Skelter — on which self-proclaimed Beatles freak Pat beamed as he shared his mike with probably another Beatles freak in YFF guitarist Kurt Bloch on one side of the stage, while Glenn banged away on his kit with support from theatrical Fellows drummer Tad Hutchison on a small snare drum and cymbal setup that was brought out and Jeff stood near John happily playing electric guitar while watching good friend and YFF leader Scott McCaughey do his frontman thing. It was also true on an impromptu and frenetic I'm A Wheel, which preceded Helter Skelter and replaced the planned encore of Misunderstood, Heavy Metal Drummer and I'm The Man Who Loves You, probably due to time reasons.

 

So now it's onto the next portion of the tour in Northern California, and while the Fellows will no doubt be missed as road cohorts, let's hope that Wilco doesn't lose that joy for playing live anytime soon and that the band continues to explore different aspects of its catalog — including a return to more Ode To Joy songs, if Jeff and Co. are so inclined — as it continues to get its live legs back.

 

Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 2 in Seattle (as mentioned, Misunderstood, Heavy Metal Drummer and I'm The Man Who Loves You were listed as the first three songs of the encore on the printed setlist but weren’t played):

 

Bright Leaves

A Shot In The Arm

Random Name Generator

At Least That's What You Said

One And A Half Stars

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart>

Art Of Almost

How To Fight Loneliness

Sunken Treasure

Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)

If I Ever Was A Child

Impossible Germany

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

Forget The Flowers

Hummingbird

Everyone Hides

Dawned On Me

Jesus, etc.

Theologians

California Stars

Poor Places>

Reservations

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

I'm A Wheel

Helter Skelter [The Beatles] (with Young Fresh Fellows, including Scott McCaughey on lead vocals)

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And here was the Young Fresh Fellows' complete opening setlist, featuring a cameo from Mikael Jorgensen as, er, Rumplestiltskin (or was it Rasputin...who can say?):

 

My Friend Ringo

99 Girls

Never Had It Bad

Back Room Of The Bar

Taco Wagon>

Picture Book [The Kinks]

No One Really Knows

Someone I Care About [The Modern Lovers] (w/Mikael Jorgensen on keyboard)

Equator Blues (w/Mikael Jorgensen on keyboard)

 

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DD791D0B-23B1-481B-9C67-B4DF58AEC6D7.jpeg

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5 hours ago, bböp said:

Starting another thread for this show, even though I just saw there was already one that someone started. Mods, feel free to merge the two...or not.

 

Anyway, the usual thread parkage commences whilst some eyes are shut for a few hours. But what a way to end this Pacific Northwest run with the legendary Young Fresh Fellows. In bringing them out for the final song of the show, Jeff remembered that Uncle Tupelo had opened for the Fellows back in St. Louis in 1988, reiterated his belief that they are one of the greatest rock bands of the last century and then boldly announced, "Now we're gonna play a song by a band that's nowhere as fucking good" as the YFFs. Commence Helter Skelter, with Scott McCaughey taking lead vocals and the rest of the Fellows joining Wilco on a powerhouse of a show-closing jam.

 

More to come, but for now, here was the complete setlist as played for Night 2 in Seattle (according to the printed list, Misunderstood, Heavy Metal Drummer and I'm The Man Who Loves You were supposed to precede Helter Skelter in the encore, but all were shelved):

 

Bright Leaves

A Shot In The Arm

Random Name Generator

At Least That's What You Said

One And A Half Stars

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart>

Art Of Almost

How To Fight Loneliness

Sunken Treasure

Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)

If Ever Was A Child

Impossible Germany

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

Forget The Flowers

Hummingbird

Everyone Hides

Dawned On Me

Jesus, etc.

Theologians

California Stars

Poor Places>

Reservations

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

I'm A Wheel

Helter Skelter [The Beatles] (with Young Fresh Fellows, including Scott McCaughey on lead vocals)

Kind of anal retentive to start a new thread. I intentionally didn't put a review or setlist so as not to step on your toes. I've been into the band from the beginning & have the pre-release cds of the first 2 albums to prove it. On the live front, first time I saw them was on the "Being There" tour. Not as many shows as you evidently, but a long time line. Living in Seattle, we get skipped a lot on tours.

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1 hour ago, chuckrh said:

Kind of anal retentive to start a new thread. I intentionally didn't put a review or setlist so as not to step on your toes. I've been into the band from the beginning & have the pre-release cds of the first 2 albums to prove it. On the live front, first time I saw them was on the "Being There" tour. Not as many shows as you evidently, but a long time line. Living in Seattle, we get skipped a lot on tours.

 

I wasn't trying to suggest you were stepping on my toes. I welcome stepping on my toes. And this isn't a contest of trying to prove the legitimacy of your fandom. But this forum is for "after the show" reviews, technically, and while I thank you for trying to stick to my title format in your thread from before the show, I needed to start a thread where it was denoted as Night 2 of 2. If that's anal retentive, well, I'm pretty good at that. Anyway, you're welcome to keep commenting in the thread you started, or a moderator can easily merge the two...

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15 hours ago, bböp said:

 

 

"I really feel like playing music is getting me high in a way — not from medication or anything like that," Jeff shared after Hummingbird, looking around at his bandmates. "I feel like I'm floating on air and my guitar is a (gremlin?)" (Does anyone remember what he actually said there? I can't read my own chicken scratch, haha. Sorry.)

 

 

 

Jeff said, "I'm floating on air and my guitar is a (uh) snake."  I was feeling like this was another nod to Jim Morrison.

 

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1 hour ago, wilcolovesyou said:

Jeff said, "I'm floating on air and my guitar is a (uh) snake."  I was feeling like this was another nod to Jim Morrison.


Ah, thanks! My chicken scratch did look kinda like “snake,” but I honestly wasn’t sure. I think I like “gremlin” better, tbh, but I’ll make the edit. 

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What a Wilco Wednesday indeed.  Pure Joy.  I haven't smiled so much in a very long time (though I doubt anyone noticed as we were all masked up!).  I was lucky enough to get one of the YFF Library books from Scott (via Tad and an extendable grabber, because, you know, Covid), as one of the leading "standers" down front for ALL of the YFF opening sets.  A prized possession for sure.  Mikael's appearance was a delight, but did cause me to worry a bit that it might be all the collaboration we'd get.  Thankfully I was wrong as usual.

The Wilco set, with the Lazarus-like resurrection of the crowd compared to night 1, had even more joy and bounce than the previous night (which was no slouch in that department).  But Jeff was quite animated and a little more chatty than earlier, and that culminated in the encore.  But even prior to that he was jovial, beaming at Nels in his IG solo, resuming the back-to-back guitar shredding with him in RNG, and taking us on yet another new / uncharted journey through Laminated Cat.  He even jogged out to the front over the stage all the way to his right during Hummingbird to acknowledge a client fan who had donned a Tweedy show shirt and Costco PJ's in the pit. 

The return of Poor Places / Reservations as the main set closer has been glorious.  Love love love that.  The crowds have all been super respectful and silent during reservations, and that just helps that song pour out all over the crowd in all its broken / damaged love song beauty.  One thing I noticed starting 2-3 nights ago is that the Conet tapes ("Yankee.... Hotel.... Foxtrot") is back in the live version of the song, which just sends chills down my spine.  Can't remember that being in the mix for quite some time. 

But without a doubt the highlight of the show was the encore collaboration with the YFF on Helter Skelter.  It just set the room on fire.  I've never seen anything quite so bursting with happiness. 

I miss those guys already....

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1 hour ago, theashtraysays said:

What a Wilco Wednesday indeed.  Pure Joy.  I haven't smiled so much in a very long time (though I doubt anyone noticed as we were all masked up!).  I was lucky enough to get one of the YFF Library books from Scott (via Tad and an extendable grabber, because, you know, Covid), as one of the leading "standers" down front for ALL of the YFF opening sets.  A prized possession for sure.  Mikael's appearance was a delight, but did cause me to worry a bit that it might be all the collaboration we'd get.  Thankfully I was wrong as usual.

The Wilco set, with the Lazarus-like resurrection of the crowd compared to night 1, had even more joy and bounce than the previous night (which was no slouch in that department).  But Jeff was quite animated and a little more chatty than earlier, and that culminated in the encore.  But even prior to that he was jovial, beaming at Nels in his IG solo, resuming the back-to-back guitar shredding with him in RNG, and taking us on yet another new / uncharted journey through Laminated Cat.  He even jogged out to the front over the stage all the way to his right during Hummingbird to acknowledge a client fan who had donned a Tweedy show shirt and Costco PJ's in the pit. 

The return of Poor Places / Reservations as the main set closer has been glorious.  Love love love that.  The crowds have all been super respectful and silent during reservations, and that just helps that song pour out all over the crowd in all its broken / damaged love song beauty.  One thing I noticed starting 2-3 nights ago is that the Conet tapes ("Yankee.... Hotel.... Foxtrot") is back in the live version of the song, which just sends chills down my spine.  Can't remember that being in the mix for quite some time. 

But without a doubt the highlight of the show was the encore collaboration with the YFF on Helter Skelter.  It just set the room on fire.  I've never seen anything quite so bursting with happiness. 

I miss those guys already....

I really enjoyed the show, too. Due to financial & health constraints (I paid a heavy price for going yesterday) I was only able to go 1 night in Seattle. I have a rule that the last night of a multi night stand is usually the best. It was that way with My Morning Jacket a few weeks ago & the Wilco show. Another memorable show where that held true was the last time Pearl Jam played town in T-Mobile Park. Anyway, the band really stretched out on the long songs (Art of Almost, Laminated Cat, etc). I loved the Poor Places, Reservations set closer. Sent a chill down my spine. I think Reservations is the best thing Jeff has ever written. The encore was really fun, too. @theashtraysays , you probably saw me. I walked up to the stage when YFF were tuning up & tried to get Scott's attention. I was wearing a Beatles hat & have a cane. I failed though. I knew him a little back in the day & was going to request Amy Grant. It seems like my AGIB faves are out of favor this tour (Handshake Drugs, Spiders) but that's ok. The set they played was killer.

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