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Jeff Tweedy — 21 and 22 February 2022, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore)


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Am I being kinda lazy by writing about both Fillmore shows in one recap? Yeah, I guess so. But I really do think, in this case, it would be difficult to talk about one show without the other in a lot of ways.

 

As Jeff himself observed on Night 2 when he pointed out that he and his band would be playing a little longer set than the previous night and joked that the Night 2 audience members shouldn't tell anyone they knew who had been at Night 1, there was a natural tendency to compare the two shows, particularly after an opening night of the tour that perhaps was a bit rowdier than anyone might have expected. These California shows, of course, were the rescheduled dates from the ones that were initially supposed to happen in the last week of 2021 and the first week of 2022 but had to be pushed back slightly because of the Omicron surge. As a result, the San Francisco dates wound up happening first (instead of Los Angeles first and then SF, as originally scheduled) and the first one fell on a Monday night at the tail end of a chilly President's Day weekend.

 

For whatever reason, the energy in the crowd and maybe even within the band seemed a bit off at the start. The tone of the audience on Night 1 seemed to be set by a gentleman at stage left who, not long into the set, "caused a ruckus" by making it known that he was a relation of the Tweedy family — "Cousin Barry." Jeff looked over at both of his sons, Spencer and Sammy, who were on stage with him and asked them if they knew of the existence of a cousin Barry. Then he decided to do his self-described Dick Tracy imitation and call his wife Susie on his Apple Watch right then and there and ask her to verify that there indeed was a cousin Barry. She did, for the entire crowd to hear — because Jeff held his watch up to the microphone — and added, "That's so sweet (that he's at the show). He's in his 80s." After hanging up, Jeff shared that he might be in some trouble because he hadn't let Susie know that she was on speakerphone, which she apparently hates. Jeff acknowledged as much on Night 2, admitting that he had gotten caught up in the moment and that when we all saw Susie, we should tell her that Jeff was sorry and that he loves her.

 

While the cousin Barry affair was a pretty funny moment of crowd interaction, less funny was bassist Liam Kazar having to contend with a loud talker somewhere in the neighborhood of cousin Barry at stage left near the end of the show. I didn't hear the person myself, but I saw Liam go over to the edge of the stage at one point, crouch down and put a finger to his lips. When that apparently didn't work, he came back over after the song and yelled at the talker — loudly enough for at least the first few rows to hear — that they "need to shut the fuck up." And not long after that, the show was over — a bit earlier than planned, judging by the printed setlist.

 

There were certainly musical highlights, on Night 1, such as the not-played-often-enough Then You Cut It In Half and the return of Sukierae-era staple World Away after a long absence (with lead guitarist James Elkington joined by backing vocalist and guitarist Sima Cunningham on about 30 seconds of glorious shredding). And of course, Sammy Tweedy taking the lead vocal on Neil Young's Helpless to start the encore, a crowd-pleasing cover the band debuted at the second of two shows in Chicago in December and is a perfect fit for Sammy.

 

Night 2 featured repeat performances of World Away and Helpless, but also a fuller setlist that also contained, among other songs, the heart-wrenching Warmer leadoff track Orphan, the band's great cover of the late Diane Izzo's Love Like A Wire and a surprise show-closing Give Back The Key To My Heart to punctuate the evening. To me, it just seemed like the band was in a better overall mood on Night 2 with sweet little gestures like Jeff going over during Helpless and putting his head on Sammy's shoulder or admiring looks from Sima over at Jim when he would rip off one of his many great electric guitar fills. Hell, Jeff even took a little acoustic guitar solo during California Stars, which I rarely ever remember him doing.

 

On Night 2, Jeff had some great banter in general. A woman yelling out early on, "I love you, Tweedy," turned into Jeff poking a little fun at himself by repeating the line that he has used at more than a few shows about how he looks like a person who needs encouragement. "That's kind of my brand," Jeff quipped. "A person that might not be able to pull it off." Later on, as he was introducing the band, he said he had been there when Sammy was born — "It was bloody," Jeff said — and then when it came time to introduce Spencer, Jeff sent even his own band into fits of laughter when he deadpanned, "This is Spencer, and I think this is the two-year anniversary of an anal fissure he had." Just a classic dad-embarrassing-son moment, though Spencer took it in stride and Jeff said Spencer had given him permission to make that joke. And of course, the second night couldn't go by without at least another mention of Cousin Barry. When someone brought him up again, Jeff said, "Barry was a lot, but we love him because he's family. We didn't even know he was family until last night, but once the DNA checked out (it was all good)."

 

Not that there wasn't at least a little bit of crowd awkwardness on Night 2 as well, which I won't dwell on too long here. But when Jeff mentioned that the second night's set would be a little longer than the first, there was a little kerfuffle when someone to Jeff's right shouted something about the first night's crowd sucking (which Jeff initially seemed to misunderstand). Anyway, I guess the slightly aggressive tone gave Jeff a little pause because, in what might have been a callback to that infamous solo show at the Fillmore in 2018 when Jeff had it out with a fan who yelled in support of Brett Kavanaugh during the Supreme Court justice's contentious confirmation hearings, I thought I heard Jeff ask this shouter, "What's your favorite jurist?" But pretty quickly, Jeff moved on by looking over in the shouter's direction with mock(?) suspicion and joking that "I'm keeping my eyes on you."

 

So never a dull moment in Tweedy band land, but overall, I guess this two-night stand turned into a classic case of the second night's better than the first. Not that there weren't fun moments each night, but comparing the shows overall, I'd say it took the band one night to fully get its figurative legs back as a unit. As Jeff said, ultimately it's about playing these songs with this band that doesn't get to happen all that often in the grand scheme of things — although it seems to have a little more frequently of late. I, for one, will take what I can get.

 

Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 1 (Let's Go Rain was on the printed setlist as the final song of the show, but wasn't played):

 

Bad Day Lately

Love Is The King

A Robin Or A Wren

Opaline

Bombs Above>

Some Birds

Having Been Is No Way To Be

Gwendolyn

And Then You Cut It In Half

Low Key

Save It For Me

Evergreen

Don't Forget

Half-Asleep

Even I Can See

I Know What It's Like

World Away

Guess Again

Family Ghost

The Red Brick>

Warm (When The Sun Has Died)

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

Helpless [Neil Young] (Sammy Tweedy on lead vocals)

California Stars

 

And here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 2 at The Fillmore (didn't get a look at a printed list, so can't say what omissions/additions/changes there might have been):

 

Love Is The King

A Robin Or A Wren

Opaline

Flowering

Some Birds

Orphan

Having Been Is No Way To Be

Gwendolyn

Love Like A Wire [Diane Izzo]

Low Key

Save It For Me

Evergreen

Don't Forget

Half-Asleep

Even I Can See

I Know What It's Like

World Away

Natural Disaster

Let's Go Rain

Guess Again

Family Ghost

The Red Brick>

Warm (When The Sun Has Died)

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

Helpless [Neil Young] (Sammy Tweedy on lead vocals)

You Are Not Alone

California Stars>

Give Back The Key To My Heart [Doug Sahm]

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Top 3 in my pantheon of Barrys.

 

(1) Barry 'The King' John. Quite possibly the sexiest man ever to have graced this earth.

(2) Barry Cryer. (recently deceased unfortunately)

(3) Barry island.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tb5R_eLxzc

 

Some may question why Barry Gibb is not number 3, but then I've never eaten a choc-ice whilst sitting on Barry Gibb. So worthy runner up for him I'm afraid.

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11 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

Top 3 in my pantheon of Barrys.

 

(1) Barry 'The King' John. Quite possibly the sexiest man ever to have graced this earth.

(2) Barry Cryer. (recently deceased unfortunately)

(3) Barry island.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tb5R_eLxzc

 

Some may question why Barry Gibb is not number 3, but then I've never eaten a choc-ice whilst sitting on Barry Gibb. So worthy runner up for him I'm afraid.

 

Whot, no Barry O'bama? 

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  • bböp changed the title to Jeff Tweedy — 21 and 22 February 2022, San Francisco, CA (The Fillmore)
6 minutes ago, Pennyghael said:

The walking boot is peak Eitzel. He’s just recovered from a heart attack.

 

Oh, didn't realize! He said the first night that it was his first show in, like, more than two years.

 

Here’s a quick pic I snapped the first night:

 

85041B6E-6577-4EB1-BF53-4C5B60082F59.jpeg

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I have a love/hate relationship with the great man. I was just saying on a Facebook fan page about him being shambolic, and commented that I’ve seen some of his shows when I’d have craved a shambolic performance. One of those who you just don’t know what you’re going to get when going to see him. 

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4 hours ago, tinnitus photography said:

Eitzel has incredible talent and is one of the most self-sabotaging artists i've seen outside of Pentagram.

Definitely. It’s heartbreaking at times. I’m in the don’t really need to see him again stage at the moment, have been for 10 years or so.

 

There’s a wonderful paragraph in his biography which is set at their (AMC) biggest London show. They’d signed to a major, just released Mercury, he’d won Rolling Stone songwriter award. You name it. As they returned for the encore, Mark came to the mic and said something along the lines of, “I guess it’s downhill from here?” Or words to that effect.
 

 

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