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Jeff Tweedy And Friends — 29 May 2022, North Adams, MA (Mass MoCA) [Solid Sound Festival; Day 3 of 3]


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I think they livestreamed this set as well — why wouldn't they? — but I didn't see quite as many cameras as for the Wilco sets, so anyway. In any event, this Tweedy and friends set has always been the traditional way that Solid Sound concludes and often has its biggest surprises as far as collaborations with other artists performing at the festival and the like. This year there was only one real surprise — the appearance of David Byrne — and even that was kind of not quite as big a shocker as it might otherwise have been, after Byrne came out to perform a couple of songs with old friend Terry Allen earlier in the day.

 

Nevertheless, when Jeff introduced the Talking Heads frontman by saying it was one of "the biggest thrills of my life," it was clear that this would be one of the defining moments of Solid Sound 2022. While some — myself included — held out hope that Byrne and the Tweedy band might perform the Talking Heads' classic Heaven, which Jeff had played over the end credits of the Every Other Summer documentary about Solid Sound if I'm not mistaken, the big ensemble finish for this year's fest turned out to be the more conventional and safer California Stars. Byrne struggled with the first verse lyrically, though neither he nor anyone in the band seemed to get too thrown off, and eventually others joined in the vocals and the song came off like the celebratory anthem it has become.

 

Otherwise, the festival-closing set on a gloriously sunny afternoon was a nice distillation of what the Tweedy band has been up to the past couple of years following the release of Love Is The King and the additions to the mix of Sammy Tweedy to the mix as a backing (and occasional lead) vocalist and Ohmme's Macie Stewart on violin and backing vocals. The usual cast of Spencer Tweedy on drums, James Elkington on electric guitar, Liam Kazar on bass and Stewart's bandmate and Kazar's sister Sima Cunningham on backing vocals and electric guitar rounded out what has come to be an all-star family band.

 

Anyway, more to come perhaps, but for now here was the complete setlist as played for the final set of Solid Sound 2022 (there were no changes to the printed list, except I believe Jeff accidentally flip-flopped Guess Again and Let's Go Rain):

 

Evergreen

Love Is The King

A Robin Or A Wren

Opaline

Gwendolyn

Having Been Is No Way To Be

I Know What It's Like

Save It For Me

The Red Brick>

Warm (When The Sun Has Died)

Don't Forget

Half-Asleep

Natural Disaster

Even I Can See (Jeff and James Elkington only)

World Away

Bombs Above>

Some Birds

Guess Again

Let's Go Rain

Family Ghost

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Helpless [Neil Young] (with Sammy Tweedy on lead vocals, Janet Bean and Rick Rizzo of Eleventh Dream Day on backing vocals and Sam Evian on electric guitar)

It Must Be Love [Labi Siffre]

California Stars (with David Byrne on vocals and acoustic guitar and ensemble, including Nels Cline on electric guitar, Glenn Kotche on percussion, John Stirratt on bass, Mikael Jorgensen and Pat Sansone on keyboard)

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Still a bit surprised that more songs from Sukierae don't seem to get played by TWEEDY. It's like that release has sunk without trace.

Edit - there was World Away there wasn't there.

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Apart from DB showing up and Sammy's magnificent Helpless rendition it was a bit flat and actually something of a snoozefest. Too many similar songs played in a similar way. Some great moments of course, but my least favorite of the 3 closing sets I have witnessed. Quite a few people near me (right up front) left early muttering things about lack of beach balls ...

 

And Sukeriae is the best thing he has done since (at least) Sky Blue Sky

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32 minutes ago, jackpunch said:

David Byrne's vocals were pretty poor really. Blown away with Sammy's efforts

Well, he's never been the greatest singer, just great to see him up there

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i think this was the most lackluster SSF closing set i've seen yet. 

 

the special guests were really just limited to Byrne, and Rick and Janet from 11DD along w/ Sam Evian on guitar. now that Tweedy has a couple solo records to draw from, there are less random covers or UT songs to get played. I don't mind Love Is The King or Warm/Warmer but it does get a bit samey to me. "Love Is The King" seemed to have the most spark due to Jim's lead guitar playing. 

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Thanks for the updates bbop.  I like them even when I see the show live or via live feed.  I really like them when I cannot attend the show!  Its been cool to see the Tweedy band come together and I look forward to more adventures!  

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My unpopular opinion:

 

I also found the Sunday set uninspiring.

 

If Solid Sound is going to sell this many tickets and be out in the middle of the country where people have to drive fairly long distances to find accommodations, there should be three Wilco sets.

 

Let Tweedy (the band) have a set in the daytime just like the other band members' side projects.

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I agree. I enjoy Jeff's solo albums. I truly enjoyed the Tweedy and friends set, but I wanted more Wilco. Especially after a set of Cruel Country, an album I listened to several times before the show and love. Even more especially after hearing 7 repeats from the first set in the second set. Those Cruel Country repeats are good songs and fit seamlessly into the set. If it was a regular Wilco show, no complaints. But every time they played a Cruel Country song in the second set, my thought was " could've heard a new (to Solid Sound 2022) Wilco song". When the count reached 7, I held that in reserve. After the show I'm thinking of the 7 songs I could have heard.

 

I understand the band wanting to play those songs, but that's what the upcoming tour is for. Solid Sound is different., Wilco overload, if you will. I didn't feel overloaded on Wilco. Not that I ever could.

 

If not have Tweedy play an earlier in the day set like other side projects, as sonnyfeeling proposed, then at least close the second night and let Wilco close the third.

 

My wife and I enjoyed ourselves. Excellent music is why we came, but 3 Wilco sets, with no repeats, and Tweedy and friends in the afternoon, would have been true bliss.

 

This band is amazing to their fans, no question, but these are fair points. At least it wasn't as ill-conceived as a fan karaoke set. I wasn't there then, but can't imagine not being pissed off about it.

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6 hours ago, tinnitus photography said:

not really sure where to put this since it seemed self-gratuitous to create a new thread... my review and photos from the weekend:

https://digboston.com/fotobom-wilcos-solid-sound-festival/

 


Nice review and photos!

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As always, your photos are amazing. They are all top drawer. Thank you.

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