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Jeff Tweedy — 8 January 2023, Los Angeles, CA (Largo at the Coronet Theatre) [Night 4 of 4]

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[Since anyone can watch this show for themselves, courtesy of the now-exhausted hand and arm muscles of one Susan Miller Tweedy, and the fact that I have an early trip to the airport to try and get home before another bad-weather phenomenon hits the West Coast (not to mention the fact that our resident Tweedy Show chronicler has already covered the basic outline of tonight's live stream), I don't feel too badly about postponing my final recap of Jeff's 2023 Largo run in favor of a little bit of shut eye. I shall put finger to keyboard in due course, either when I get home or at least have a little more time.


Consider this post temporarily parked until then, though obviously people can comment on their own if they want to...]


OK, I'm finally getting back to this. Basically because I already accepted the half 'ta' deposit from Herr Tatlock and I don't want to let him down. Nothing like writing about a show that happened more than a week ago and that anybody who's interested enough to read a recap about has almost certainly already watched for themselves. Actually, maybe that should be liberating in a weird kind of way. In any case here we go, back in time to those halcyon days of early January 2023 , for a report from the fourth and final night of Jeff's de facto-annual run of shows at Largo. Put some M 'n' Ms in your popcorn like they apparently do in L.A., pull up an Internet-enabled device and join me, won't you?


Ah, Night 4 at Largo. The night Jeff gaslit us with a banjo (or did he?) The night he tied up most, if not all, loose ends. The night that the Tweedy Youth finally joined Papa Tweedy on stage for a few numbers. The night that Jeff certainly played a bit more to the camera that he knew would be running somewhere in the Largo theater...


Let's start with this banjo business. On Night 1, Jeff had explained away a small goof during New Madrid by saying that he had gotten distracted by thinking about how he should have played the song on the banjo, which he apparently had learned how to do. He said he had forgotten the banjo in his hotel room, but teased that it might make an appearance sometime during the run. Of course Nights 2 and 3 go by and still no banjo, so not long before Jeff took the stage for Night 4, it was impossible not to notice when Jeff's guitar tech brought out a stand with a banjo on it and set it up behind where Jeff would be standing. Whereas Jeff used to play solo shows in years past with a number of guitars on stage set up on stands behind him, the banjo was the lone instance of that at Largo. Still, the entire show went by and Jeff didn't look at or even mention said banjo until he grabbed it and took it with him after finishing his first encore.


Of course, someone couldn't resist taking the bait and yelled out, "Banjo!" as Jeff returned for one final song. "Banjo?" he said, milking the moment with a wry smile on his face. "I think you're seeing things." Well played, Mr. Banjo Gaslighter, well played. There would be no banjo pickin' on this night — or any night, of this run anyway.


What we did get on Night 4 was a nice distillation of what Jeff had basically given us on Nights 1-3, which included some new songs, a couple on the gorgeous-sounding 12-string guitar he would use for a tune of two each night and a cover or two (including a somewhat surprising and delightful Kooks, in honor of David Bowie's birthday. Even though he struggled a bit with the lyrics — there are a lot of them in that song — toward the end, he managed to get through it relatively unscathed, jokingly quipping, "Nailed it," afterward. Which is kind amazing to me that he can pull out that song sort of off the cuff, but not seem to remember some of the lyrics to his own songs that he must have played hundreds more times. But I digress.)


As I mentioned, Jeff also tied up some loose ends on the final night of this year's Largo stand (with Judd Apatow once again providing comedic support, assisted by Second City improviser Ryan Asher, as he ran through jokes for his upcoming Directors Guild Of America hosting gig). Relatively early on, Jeff addressed his comments at an earlier show about his pooh-poohing of people who woo at his shows. Apparently Susie had told Jeff that by "shaming" the wooers, it kept the crowd from enjoying the show.


"She thought that I inhibited the performance, the joy that the audience can have in the room with me here," Jeff said, as people took his comments as encouragement to woo. "Now I think that maybe she was wrong and I think that you're just fucking with me and I think I was right in my assessment that the woos sometimes read as patronizing. ... Maybe we should just get them out of our system, (which led to more loud woos from the audience). That was even worse than I imagined. I guess we'll just have to live with it. Guess we're just gonna have to be tolerant. It's not something I would ever do. Keep doing it; watch how this show goes downhill really fast. I'll show you. But God forbid I ever play to an audience entirely made up of people like me — it'd be dead silent. I don't think I've ever clapped at a show. I'm having the time of my life. It doesn't occur to me to just (clap). What is this? So don't be like me, but don't woo."


The biggest loose end, of course, was the guy who attended all four shows and would, at some point, during each show make a loud request for I'll Fight. Jeff deflected the request on Night 1, suggesting that he might get to it by the final show. But each night, the same gentleman — no matter where he was seated — would make his request. And so he did again on Night 4, earnestly but firmly. Jeff wasn't surprised, pointing in the man's general direction, as if to say, "There it is."


"You know, I wasn't gonna play that song," Jeff said. "(Actually) I was gonna play it if you could restrain yourself from shouting it out for the fourth night in a row." After a little more back and forth, much to the amusement of the rest of the audience, Jeff sarcastically informed the guy, "You're gonna get your request, but I'm gonna play it with spite," and began singing the song in a sort-of-dour voice and while strumming in an exaggerated motion. Then he started to play it for real, before stopping again to tune briefly. "I just wanna get this song over with," Jeff deadpanned. "It's gonna be smooth sailing after this one."


That sequence led to another brief visit to Banter Corner when Jeff joked about performing the following day at the College Football Playoff national championship game between Georgia and Texas Christian, which was being played at SoFi Stadium the following evening. "I'm playing halftime tomorrow at the big game, so thank you for letting me do these shows to warm up," Jeff joked. "It's a big stage, but I think I've got the songs picked for that." Helpfully at that point, someone yelled out for California Stars. Which gave Jeff the perfect retort: "That one didn't even occur to me."


Of course you knew there was almost no way Jeff was walking out of Largo without playing one last California Stars. He did jokingly adopt his dour voice again briefly, showing he is fully aware of the blatant crowd-pleasing nature of that song. But he's still not able to be a complete curmudgeon and not play the song(s) that the casual (read: majority) of fans want to hear. And with the camera rolling on another episode of "The Tweedy Show," you also knew there was no way that Sammy and Spencer weren't going to make an on-stage appearance either. It was a pretty modest one, with the two just helping out on a pair of comfortable, safe numbers — Save It For Me and Evergreen — in the first encore. Despite not being especially deep cuts, though, Jeff even had a bit of a lyric struggle on the latter, muttering an exasperated "Goddammit," under his breath, before Sammy came to the rescue.


Ultimately, though, it was another fun run at Largo. I'm glad that Jeff continues to feel comfortable playing there, and that the Largo powers-that-be keep bringing him back. At this point, after a decade, it's become almost tradition. And while to a certain extent that might take some of the "specialness," for lack of a better phrase, out of these shows, that is certainly replaced by a sense of gratitude that they continue to happen and a level of enjoyment at seeing a performer in the same setting year after year continuing to evolve.


Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 4 at Largo (2023 edition):


Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You [Bob Dylan]

Having Been Is No Way To Be


new song-The Tunnel At The End Of The Light

Family Ghost

On And On And On

I'll Fight

Normal American Kids

Radio King

In A Future Age


Impossible Germany

Story To Tell

new song-Evicted From Your Heart

Kooks [David Bowie]

Jesus, etc.


We've Been Had

Save It For Me (w/Sammy Tweedy on backing vocals and Spencer Tweedy on backing whistling)

Evergreen (w/Sammy and Spencer Tweedy on backing vocals)


California Stars

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Thanks for your tremendous reportage on these shows, sir! With your setlist and Lady Susan’s videography, I think we are covered for night 4 except for one thing. Who was the opener? It looked like Judd Apatow was backstage so I’m guessing it was him but can you confirm?

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Yes, Judd Apatow was the opener. Per his telling, he will be hosting the Director's Guild Awards, with the requisite opening monologue, and was using the Largo stage to test some of his monologue  jokes. He was accompanied by a woman whose name I don't recall, with whom he could banter a bit in connection with the jokes. He told a story about his early career when he and Seth Rogan were pitching a movie idea to Tom Cruise, during which Seth was discussing on-line porn, about which Tom had no familiarity or idea. Seth was convincing him online porn was real and that he did it everyday. Judd did a reasonable impersonation of Seth. It was entertaining but I don't do it justice - I guess you had to be there... 

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Jeff sang "I'll Fight"! That determined fan must've been super happy.


And as a big fan of the song so am I. I need to go check out the Instagram feed.

Thanks for all the write ups. These have been fantastic (and while I saw Friday in person, it's nice to get the recap and detailed set list.)

Hopefully there will be Road Case versions of the shows.

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13 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

Your incomplete Ta transaction has timed out.

Please log out and recommence the payment request..


Haha, I was waiting for the time out. Guess I'll just have to do it for free now. Thanks for your indulgence. :coffee

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2 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

Your Ta basket has now completed checkout. A delivery date will be provided as soon as packing has completed at our depot (pronounced depot not deeeepot). 

Will I receive a really long CVS-style receipt (or whatever it’s called over there, probably “bill of sale” or some such, even though it was a service provided for just a Ta and not quid). And if so, will it be pronounced det-tritt-us, or deee-try-tus?

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