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Wilco — 18 October 2021, Oakland, CA (Fox Theater) [Night 2 of 2]

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[Put your Tatlock in, put your Tatlock out, put your Tatlock in and shake it all about...:hyper

Let's park this thread whilst some shut eye happens, and maybe I'll even have some blatherings ready for afternoon tea time. :coffee ]


Well, I guess I failed on the cuppa challenge. Honestly, I've been struggling a bit with this one and not just because I had to catch an early flight or process the announcement of Jeff's imminent return to the West Coast while still on the West Coast. I guess it's just because I feel like there's no way I'm going to be able to accurately capture all of the different feelings people probably had about this show. For some, I know it was the culmination of an extended run of seeing the band over multiple nights in several cities; for others, it was their first live show since lockdown; for still others, there was the added anticipation of a hometown gig; and there were more than a few people who had journeyed to downtown Oakland from far-off places because it was a two-night stand in a (mostly) general-admission venue.


I guess you could probably say that it's difficult to accurately summarize just about any show in a way that will resonate with a bunch of different viewpoints and experiences, but sometimes these things really do kind of write themselves. At any rate, if you're one of the handful of people who read these recap things, please just take them with even more grains of salt than usual. They are, after all,  just the semi-coherent musings of a guy who's been fortunate to see Wilco a lot of times over the years.


If this sounds like I'm about to bash Night 2 at the Fox Theater, I'm not. It wasn't my favorite show of the run so far, but the high points — the intensity of Misunderstood, the Via Chicago>Laminated Cat cacophony — were right up there with the best of the band's work since returning to the stage in August. There were some struggles, too. For some reason, I just got the feeling that something was a bit off and I'm not sure if it was a slightly subdued Monday night crowd or a tiny level of fatigue with the band or just something kooky with me. Or maybe some combination of the three.


One example of a moment I'm a bit ambivalent about was when Jeff and his bandmates came out for the encore, thanked the crowd for "coming out on a Monday night" and then started into Monday, which rarely ever happens (that you get Monday on a Monday). It's one of my favorite Wilco songs, actually, so it there was joy in hearing it for the first time in a long time. However Jeff flubbed the second verse — I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I know we never got the "Oooh, I shot ya, yeah, I know" line and somehow we got "He's waiting for a postcard" twice — and I'm pretty sure he knew it. "Now I know I made a mistake," indeed. Amazingly, the song didn't totally fall apart as the rest of the band just kept playing. But the show didn't last much longer either, as Jeff waved good night, the band sped through I'm A Wheel and then it was over.


It's a subtle distinction, I know, but I have been wondering if the days of multiple encores are behind us. It's hard to explain, but I always feel like the show seems less rushed somehow when the band maybe plays a slightly shorter main set and then spreads out the conclusion. Remember, there used to be like eight- or nine-song encores sometimes and you were like, 'Wow, they're still playing! This is great!' Anyway, just a thought I had. I fully realize this is something that is totally not a concern — or even a consideration — for approximately 99 percent of people, especially in a pandemic.


Kudos to Jeff for continuing to explore the back catalog a little more each night, though. On Night 2 in Oakland, in addition to Monday, we also got Kamera and She's A Jar for the first time since the band returned to the stage following the world shutting down. By my count, 12 of the 26 songs in the set were different from Night 1 to Night 2 so those who were able to attend both shows got a significantly different set (even if we didn't get a Bull Black Nova appearance either night for our resident monomaniac).


And there were at least a few good visits to Banter Corner on Night 2. My favorite might have been after Everyone Hides when someone in the crowd yelled out, "Glenn, you rock!" Jeff seized the opportunity, saying to his favorite foil, "Glenn, someone says you rock." Then Jeff continued, in perfect deadpan while Glenn cracked up, "I'm glad to convey that message to him. Glenn asks me before every show, 'Jeff, do I rock?'" I think nothing gives Jeff quite as much pleasure on stage as giving Glenn shit from time to time. Of course Jeff can also give himself shit, too. For instance, after playing an especially gnarly, noisy solo at the end of I'm The Man Who Loves You, he quipped, "I consider myself the Segovia of my time," referring to the virtuoso Spanish classical guitarist. "No one cares."


Other noteworthy Jeffbits from earlier in the show included when one audience member shouted, "Fuck, yeah," after She's A Jar (which featured the rare Jeff harmonica performance). "I heard one 'Fuck, yeah,' so that was worth it," Jeff joked. A few songs later, there were some more inaudible shouts from the audience, to which Jeff replied, "I can't tell what you're all saying. Collectively I'm going to just assume everything's OK." When someone closer to the stage then uttered an encouraging, "You're doing good," Jeff perked up slightly, joking that it's always good to hear that sort of positive affirmation an hour into the show.


As for the adjoining Antics Avenue, we got the on-again, off-again "The End"-style intro to Heavy Metal Drummer tonight, which seemed to amuse Bay Area folks who had maybe missed it the other night in San José. I actually wonder how the rest of the band decides whether or not they're going to do it on a given night now that it's a "thing," since it almost seems out of Jeff's control at this point. Haha. More visits to this particular street in the Wilco neighborhood would be, of course, welcome. Viva shenanigans!


Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 2 in Oakland (the printed setlist I glimpsed had Muzzle Of Bees crossed out and replaced with Kamera in the main set and The Late Greats crossed out and replaced with Monday in the encore):


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


Via Chicago

Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)

She's A Jar

Impossible Germany


Forget The Flowers

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)


Box Full Of Letters

Everyone Hides

Born Alone

Jesus, etc.

Heavy Metal Drummer>

I'm The Man Who Loves You

California Stars

Poor Places>




I'm A Wheel

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1 hour ago, bböp said:

Put your Tatlock in, put your Tatlock out, put your Tatlock in and shake it all about...:hyper


Let's park this thread whilst some shut eye happens, and maybe I'll even have some blatherings ready for afternoon tea time. :coffee


Beep beep, beep beep, yeah! nah!


Meanwhile, altogether now ...




And whilst that tune evokes memories of TV adverts from the 70's (I seem to remember Cilla Black singing it but can find no evidence now), I present the best ever tea advert (one of a series over many years).




You hum it son, I'll play it. Comedy gold.

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Wilco related fact. Leslie Bricuse - the (British) guy who wrote the Willy Wonka tune Pure Imagination used by Wilco prior to taking the stage on a couple of tours - died yesterday.


Also, taking your advice.




I find a few margaritas sometimes help too.  :cheers :twitchsmile

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9 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

Wilco related fact. Leslie Bricuse - the (British) guy who wrote the Willy Wonka tune Pure Imagination used by Wilco prior to taking the stage on a couple of tours - died yesterday.


Also, taking your advice.




I find a few margaritas sometimes help too.  :cheers :twitchsmile


Yes, very sad news about the esteemed Mr. Bricusse. I always loved the Pure Imagination walk-on music during that era. And thank you for the encouragement (I think)! I have somehow managed to keep my streak of post-show verbiage alive. The quality of said verbiage cannot be assured, of course, but I am indebted to a late-night visit to a nearby In-N-Out Burger for sustenance. :usa

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I got the same impression you did. The show was fantastic and I’m very grateful to have seen it, but it seemed like after 4 consecutive night’s playing with two travel days they were ready for a well-deserved day off. I was thrilled to hear Kamera and Monday, especially with the count in to start the song. I think the energy of the previous night is a lot to ask any band to live up. Night one is easily one of my favorite Wilco shows I’ve ever seen. 

I loved the bit between Jeff and Glenn vis a vis the rocking. Glenn’s pleading and vulnerable look while Jeff reassured him was priceless. 

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For sure the back to back LammyCat’s and not a Nova in sight was a letdown for me in Oakland. Sunday was such a great show, I was pretty pumped for night 2. Loved hearing Kamera. And Monday was a joyride even with the “alternate” lyrics. But yeah i enjoyed night 1 (and a couple other shows this run) more than this one. Maybe we’re all a little weary. This 10-show run stuff is new for me. 
Methinks I’ll take a three day nap now. 

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