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Wilco — 22 June 2022, Barcelona, Spain (Poble Espanyol)


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O Tatlock My Tatlock,

 

Well, what can I say? Barcelona always turns out for Wilco, and tonight was no exception. As I think I mentioned in yesterday's missive, I attended the band's first headlining tour of Spain back in 2005 (consisting of four shows). But Jeff and Co. actually first performed on Spanish soil the year prior when they played a headlining set at the 2004 Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, which actually was the third show ever with the current six-piece lineup after Nels and Pat officially joined the band that month and played that pair of debut gigs at Otto's in DeKalb, Ill. :o

 

Fast forward a little over 18 years and the band found itself back where it all started in Spain at the Poble Espanyol, an open-air artisan and architecture space — I was told that apparently there are examples of different types of architecture from all over Spain — and tourist spot located in the lovely Montjuïc area. I didn't realize this before, but a friend told me that the Poble Espanyol was actually the site of the first few editions of Primavera Sound before it expanded into the global behemoth it has now become.

 

The irony, then, was not completely lost on me that since the Barcelona audience had never experienced Wilco as anything other than the current six-piece lineup, that all these years later it would randomly get to see the band as something other than that. And of course, that was the case with our favorite guitar hero Nels still in Covid quarantine and awaiting the negative test(s) that he needs to rejoin the band before this tour wraps up next week. As usual, you kind of felt badly for the folks who might not have otherwise gotten to see Wilco at full strength before, who came to hear songs like Impossible Germany, Dawned On Me, Ashes Of American Flags or numerous others that the band simply was not going to play without Nels. But at the same time, it was a tradeoff of sorts with Wilco's deep catalog; for example, you might not get to hear Ashes, but you did get to hear Poor Places.

 

And you couldn't really have asked for a better audience to embrace what Jeff called a "make the best of it" situation than this one. Once Jeff made his usual remarks about Nels' absence early in the set ("Our compadre Nels Cline could not make it tonight. He sends his love and wants the show to go on, so we're here to give Nels' love and play our songs for you. Thank you for letting us do that."), not much more needed to be said. It feels too weird to even write this, but because of the selection of songs, you almost forgot at points that there was a very significant member of the band missing. If you didn't know better, you could have easily thought, well, this is the band.

 

I can't say with absolute certainty what the mood was throughout the crowd, but from what I could see, it seemed like most people were at the very least happy to just be enjoying live music again on what turned into a beautiful evening. I think Jeff must have picked up on that vibe, too, saying how happy he and his bandmates were to be there and how much they had missed this during one check-in with the audience. As you might expect, several "Oeee oeee oeee oeee Olé, olé, olé, olé" chants broke out as the show went on and Glenn would do his part to egg them on every time by hitting his kick drum in time with them. When one such cheer broke out after Box Full Of Letters and before Jesus, etc., Jeff had to gently rein it in by joking that it was simply "too much love. The next song's kinda slow. We'll do more of that (rocking out) later." :rock

 

A little later in the set, Jeff mentioned that it was guitar/keyboard tech Austin's birthday and got the audience to sing happy birthday to him and also to give a collective cheer for all the members of the Wilcrew as a way of thanking them for all of their hard work in keeping the proverbial train on the tracks during this challenging tour. Of course when the cheers got a little too animated/excited, Jeff also gave the universal "knock it off" hand signal, joking that they couldn't have the crowd cheering more enthusiastically for the crew than for the band. :lol

 

All of the crowd love ultimately resulted in a dedication of the first song of the encore, You And I, to everyone in attendance. As Jeff remarked, sincerely, "You are the best audience we've ever had." From that point on, it was the aforementioned and promised rock songs, etc., mini-set to sweatily and satisfyingly close out the show (John had a couple of very emphatic jumps during all of this, fwiw). I could get into a bit of the nerdery here and note that Jeff sang the lyric in Red-Eyed And Blue as "the drugs we can't afford/not to take" tonight after singing the album version of "the drugs we can't afford/on the way" the previous couple of times. Jeff also did the count-in to Monday in Spanish, natch: "Uno...dos...uno, dos, tres, cuatro!” And for the record, it was Glenn who once again mouthed the "son of a..." transition from Monday into Outtasite.

 

You want more nerdery? OK, how about the fact that the band really adhered to the album versions of all of the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot songs — from Pat playing the outro to Kamera on keyboard as opposed to the xylophone (although I actually thought the original, original version was Glenn playing the outro on crotales?) to no “stick twirl” verse on Heavy Metal Drummer to the filled-in backing oohs, singing of "Writing this letter to you" the second time around and end guitar slashing in I'm The Man Who Loves You. Or Jeff changing the lyric in Sunken Treasure from "I got my name from rock and roll" to "It's not the same without rock and roll." What sort of dork would take note of these things? I mean, really! :loser

 

I guess that's about all I have to report from Barcelona, where I'm also told they will shortly welcome summer with a big party in honor of St. John (Sant Joan), the patron saint of Catalonia, and the summer solstice. Should I espy Señor Tweedy out on the streets, sparkler in hand, I shall return and make special mention here. But in any case, this celebratory night following the Wilconic fireworks should make for quite the festive evening full of bright lights and such. Wish me luck! :cheers

 

Once again yours in concert and banter reportage, Your Faithful Correspondent.

 

Here was the complete setlist, as played (I got a brief glimpse at the printed list and it appeared that there were no changes/omissions):

 

I Am My Mother

Cruel Country

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Kamera

Hints

Story To Tell

Sunken Treasure

If I Ever Was A Child

All Across The World

Hummingbird

Poor Places

War On War

At Least That's What You Said

How To Fight Loneliness

Tired Of Taking It Out On You

Box Full Of Letters

Jesus, etc.

Forget The Flowers

California Stars

A Lifetime To Find

—happy birthday sung by audience to crew member Austin—

Heavy Metal Drummer

I'm The Man Who Loves You

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

You And I

Red-Eyed And Blue>

I Got You (At The End Of The Century)

Monday>

Outtasite (Outta Mind)

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Such an accurate review of last night's show, gracias!!! It was a wonderful set and the band seemed to enjoy a lot! It felt wonderful to have them back over here. 

Cris

 

PS: By the way, the chanting is "oeee, oeee, oeee, oeee" instead of olé (that's used for bullfighting chant, and we are not that keen on the matter in this region of Spain).

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3 minutes ago, CrisBcn said:

 

PS: By the way, the canting is "oeee, oeee, oeee, oeee" instead of olé (that's used for bullfighting chant, and we are not that keen on the matter in this region of Spain).

 

I did not know that. Is it the same at futbol games?

 

I suppose the toreadores no hablan Catalan!

 

Back on topic: another nice recap bbop!

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17 hours ago, CrisBcn said:

Such an accurate review of last night's show, gracias!!! It was a wonderful set and the band seemed to enjoy a lot! It felt wonderful to have them back over here. 

Cris

 

PS: By the way, the chanting is "oeee, oeee, oeee, oeee" instead of olé (that's used for bullfighting chant, and we are not that keen on the matter in this region of Spain).


Thanks for being my editor, Cris! I didn’t know that about olé vs. oeee either. I made the correction in my post. It was fun to get to spend some time with your friends and family! You are the mayor of Barcelona. ;)

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7 minutes ago, Albert Tatlock said:

k2kc0n.jpg

 

Another morning, another day on tour in Spain for Bbop. Hope your notebook is still readable.


It’d be awfully nice to have my own tour bus to hide these sorts of shenanigans from the general public, but I’m sure you would find me out anyway, Mr. Tatty McTatTat. :pirate

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1 hour ago, bböp said:


Thanks for being my editor, Cris! I didn’t know that about olé vs. oeee either. I made the correction in my post. It was fun to get to spend some time with your friends and family! You are the mayor of Barcelona. ;)

It was a fun night with lots of friends, yeah!!! See you later in Valencia! 🙌🏻

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3 hours ago, bböp said:


It’d be awfully nice to have my own tour bus to hide these sorts of shenanigans from the general public, but I’m sure you would find me out anyway, Mr. Tatty McTatTat. :pirate

 

Tatty does just about sum me up.

 

In other news, looking forward to a virtual Glastonbury via the wall to wall BBC coverage. Will be worshipping at the altar of Macca tomorrow. Think it would be a fine time to retire actually, but he probably just loves playing.

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