bböp Posted June 15, 2022 Share Posted June 15, 2022 Well, have you heard the one about a Glaswegian bloke in Cologne who tried and failed to ignite some sort of football-style chant during a Wilco show (and even tried to get Jeff to lead it)? I guess you could say it was Impossible Germany. #Rimshot OK, bad jokes aside, this actually happened tonight when a Scottish guy in the front row — ironically, NOT the guy sporting a shirt that boldly read Scotland across the front — took the opportunity to try and start some version of the "Here we, here we, here we fucking go" chant that is apparently popular in Scotland. When the German audience didn't join in kind, he appealed to Jeff to help him get the chant going. After a half-hearted attempt, Jeff quipped, "I appreciate the gumption it took to try and start a chant — and get me to participate." He then further defused the situation by telling the story he first told on The Tweedy Show about someone who bought he and his wife a tiny square of land in Scotland that made them a duke and duchess or something like that and joked that he shouldn't really be speaking to someone beneath them. It all added a bit of levity to an otherwise music-focused night at the E-Werk, where Wilco had last played nearly a decade ago. It's a converted power station that can hold up to 2,000, but was probably only about two-thirds full. It definitely wasn't as intimate as the previous night's venue in Copenhagen, but at least was still a general-admission situation. Kicking off the show, as she will be in Frankfurt on Thursday, was the Irish singer-songwriter Aoifa Nessa Frances, who delivered a moody half-hour solo set. As for Wilco's set, it looks like the general framework for this first bit of touring featuring Cruel Country has been more or less established but it's nice to know there's still some room for more variety — even if they can't get to it all every night. For instance, we got the welcome additions of Company In My Back and Muzzle Of Bees early on tonight while one of my personal CC faves, Hearts Hard To Find, replaced Tired Of Taking It Out On You. And though I didn't get a glimpse of a printed setlist, I was told that The Universe — as well as Spiders (Kidsmoke) — were listed in the encore. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you're a Being There fan, the band appeared to have to adjust its plan due to (I'm pretty sure) an 11 p.m. curfew and wound up concluding once again with the tried-and-true Red-Eyed>I Got You>Outtasite trifecta. For me, and probably for a lot of fans, it's hard to ignore the parts of the set that Jeff and his bandmates have created for themselves to stretch out instrumentally. I'm thinking of the tacking-on of the Many Worlds outro to Via Chicago which really makes that into an epic piece (on which, incidentally, Jeff played one of his rubber bridge guitars for the duration; I don't remember that happening before) as well as Bird Without A Tail/Base Of My Skull, which is such a unique and weirdly thrilling song among the Cruel Country material. In general, there's quite a lot of guitar workouts sprinkled among the 25 songs played each night so far — and there's still room for more (IMHO). Aside from the "incident" with the Scotsman, Jeff didn't pay too many visits to Banter Corner. One other moment that actually might have opened the door for the wannabe chanter came pretty late in the show when Jeff started to say something and hesitated for a second, which led someone in the crowd to say, in a German accent, "You can speak." To which Jeff replied, "I can speak. I've just been keeping quiet because we have a lot of music to play. Well, not anymore. We already played most of it. See, this is why I don't talk." The only other significant comments I remember Jeff making were introducing Everyone Hides with his line about how every time the band puts out a new album, it makes people like the last one, and just a general thank you to people for coming to the show and how nice it was to be able to come back. As much as I would have liked to hear a different encore tonight, I will say that one nice bit of getting Red-Eyed>I Got You again was seeing Glenn with his sleigh bells again for the transition between the two songs. The night before in Copenhagen I worried that perhaps that instrument hadn't made the trip across the pond because he only had a tiny little hand tambourine, but no worries...the sleigh bells returned in their full glory in Cologne! As a friend pointed out to me, this is a detail that probably only I would notice or care about. But then again, these are the sorts of things you definitely notice from night to night — and part of what makes seeing multiple shows on a given run fun. We shall see what future nights have in store, but I'd say that the integration of the Cruel Country material into the larger framework of a Wilco setlist seems to be going pretty swimmingly so far. Seems like you can already tell what the deep cuts off CC will be, although at least we won't have a Sunloathe situation hanging over our collective heads for a few years. And personally, I'll still be — perpetually, I'm sure — waiting for that The Empty Condor>An Empty Corner jam...sigh. Here was the complete setlist, as played, in Cologne (as I mentioned, I didn't get a look at a printed setlist, but I know the planned encore was at least partially different): I Am My Mother Cruel Country Company In My Back Hints Handshake Drugs War On War Muzzle Of Bees If I Ever Was A Child Via Chicago> Many Worlds (coda only) All Across The World Everyone Hides Story To Tell Bird Without A Tail/Base Of My Skull Hearts Hard To Find At Least That's What You Said Country Song Upside Down Impossible Germany Jesus, etc. Box Full Of Letters A Lifetime To Find The Late Greats Falling Apart (Right Now) ---------------------------------------------- Red-Eyed And Blue> I Got You (At The End Of The Century)> Outtasite (Outta Mind) Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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