Jump to content

Wilco — 28 August 2022, Vineyard Haven, MA (Veterans Memorial Park) [Beach Road Weekend; Day 3 of 3]

Recommended Posts

Well, after a year's worth of anticipation and some last-minute hiccups, the idea of a large-scale music festival on an island off the coast of Massachusetts featuring some of today's most beloved indie and Americana performers, finally became a reality this weekend with the three-day Beach Roach Weekend event on Martha's Vineyard. Following headlining sets by the Avett Brothers on Friday and Beck on Saturday, it was Wilco's turn to put a bow on a Sunday schedule that also featured performances by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Caamp and Emmylou Harris.


And while Wilco's scheduled 90-minute time slot meant that there would be a few songs necessarily cut from the band's typical Cruel Country tour set, that didn't mean that Jeff and Co. didn't make use of every minute they had to play — and then some.


Despite the VIP setup at the festival ensuring that only those who purchased the "Beach Club" level tickets would be in the area closest to the stage — in my experience, most VIP situations split the stage so that a portion of the area in front consists of "regular" general admission ticketholders and then another part is the VIP section — at least the sightlines and sound quality if you got close enough to the "outer rail" (that is, the area behind the "Beach Club" pit) were pretty good. It seemed like there were plenty of folks who would call themselves Wilco fans in attendance and, in general, it seemed like a decent audience, although obviously it was a festival so you had different levels of fandom as far as interest and enthusiasm.


As for the band, it came on a couple of minutes early and stretched its set about as far as time would allow by starting Spiders (Kidsmoke) just before the scheduled end time at 8 p.m. and playing until about 8:08. So we ended up getting about 10 extra minutes, by my count. And we also got a little bonus collaboration when the band invited "old friend" Jason Isbell out to join on electric guitar on California Stars, which is always a fun treat to see him doing a little guitar dueling with Nels.


From a Banter Corner perspective, there were a couple of bits worth noting. Before going into If I Ever Was A Child, Jeff remarked, "I like to sing this song to myself, so you don't have to listen if you don't feel like it." I'm not sure if that was meant to try and get a chatty festival crowd to pipe down a bit, or just steeling the audience in general for a quieter tune. And a bit later, after a loud request for Cruel Country deep cut Darkness Is Cheap, Jeff replied, "We're not gonna play that one tonight, but thanks for knowing the name of one of our songs, sir. That makes us proud. Here's another song you may know the name of (Jesus, etc.). It's been a long tour. I'm talking slow. We...will...play...the...song...now." Maybe you had to be there for that one, but it was pretty funny.


Otherwise, pretty much the only other noteworthy chat from Jeff came during the clapping section of Spiders, as he tried to get as many people as possible to participate. "This is something everyone can do," Jeff urged, adding that it was pretty dumb but that it was part of the rock 'n' roll spirit (or something to that effect).


Of interest to perhaps no one, I noticed that Jeff and John sang different words on the first pass through the hook on Story To Tell, when it goes "The world is always on the brink/Love is dumber than you think...," and one of them sang "Singing songs of death and doom" and the other sang "Writing songs..." which of course comes during the next pass. I'm not sure who sang the wrong word, though I think it might have been Jeff because I saw him go over to John afterward and give what looked like a "My bad."


Otherwise, though, this one was a pretty good distillation of what the band has been up to the past couple of weeks as it presents Cruel Country nightly for the first time on this side of the Atlantic. I would expect something similar for the ensuing run of shows next month after a short break, and hopefully Jeff and Co. will keep adding in some other CC material into the setlists, as well as also continuing to incorporate some old favorites/deep cuts. Kicking Television, ahem, would be welcome again in September/October...just saying. As would a number of other chestnuts, and I'm not just saying that because I've heard California Stars — by some accounts — 3,000 times and KT probably only, like, 30...


Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Wilco's set at Beach Road Weekend 2022 (didn't get a look at a printed setlist, so can't say if there were any omissions/additions):


Handshake Drugs

I Am My Mother

Cruel Country

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart


War On War

If I Ever Was A Child

Via Chicago>

Many Worlds (coda only)

Story To Tell


Bird Without A Tail/Base Of My Skull

Jesus, etc.

Impossible Germany

California Stars (w/Jason Isbell on electric guitar)

Box Full Of Letters

Falling Apart (Right Now)

I Got You (At The End Of The Century)

Spiders (Kidsmoke)

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a fantastic time, yesterday's Isbell>Wilco 1-2 punch to close it out was perfect. Wilco delivered the goods with this about 100 minute festival set. I thought they were right on from the first second until the last. When they started Spiders at 7:55 I was wondering how the heck are they going to do this in 5 minutes, expecting a very abbreviated version. But they just blew past the 8:00 line. Always love being with music friends who are seeing Wilco for the first time.  There were several yesterday, and let's just say they are not missing any more Wilco shows. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I brought 3 newbies to New Haven the night before and suffice to say, I now have 3 more friends to attend Wilco shows with.  everyone was floored by how great the band sounded and for me, as one who has seen them 40+ times since 1996, the new tunes were the highlight for me

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I know I keep promising more to come... Sorry for my recent slackerism, Uncle Albert."


To be honest I could not help but feel our relationship had soured recently, but now just like Jennifer Lopez I'm finding love the second time around.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...