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Wilco — 29 April 2023, Greensboro, NC (White Oak Amphitheater)

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Starting with a personal note, I hadn't planned on extending my "Wilco-ville tour" road trip (Nash-, Knox-, and Ashe-) to Greensboro, as that would take me even further from my home in Lexington KY for the drive back home.  But once again TicketMaster dropped the front row platinum prices to regular front section prices, and that kryptonite is just too much for me to ignore.  So I grabbed a ticket (during a break in the Asheville show actually) and plotted a new course.  Little did I know....

... that the White Oak Amphitheater is part of a really large complex that includes the Greensboro Coliseum (where a sold out Kenny Cheesny concert was being held), the Greensboro Aquatic Center (a 5000 seat center which was holding some kind of swim meet), and a great big parking lot that had been turned into a festival / carnival with rides and carny games and food and the whole shebang.  The Kenny C fans were in force, turning a few parking lots into RV tailgating extravaganzas and the others into seas of pickup trucks.  That made for a nervous morning trying to secure affordable lodging, but all worked out thanks to AirBnB and some kind old lady's spare bedroom.  But back to the show.

The venue itself (once you navigated the area to find the actual entrance) was one of the recently commonplace venues with a pit (which for this show had maybe 10 rows of attached folding chairs set on the concrete floor), then permanent chairs behind that, then lawn space in the rear.  Wider than deep, with a couple layers of walking paths behind the seats and splitting the lawn.  The stage was covered but the pit and seating area were open air, giving the stage setup a bit more of a festival feel than a permanent structure.  Sight lines were good and sound was good, although the carnival was immediately adjacent to the space and you could hear the occasional screams of the swinging boat thingie ride amongst others. 

Once again not a ton of banter, with Jeff not really checking in with the crowd for a bit.  I think his first comment was something like "This isn't the Kenny Chesny concert.  If you're looking for that I apologize.  This is OUR kind of country music, although we're really all from the same country." 

Later he did a "how's everyone doing?" where we all clapped and wooo-ed and all.  He then said "In the back?" (cheers).  "Over here" (pointing to the left side; more cheers).  "Here?" (right side, cheers).  "On the tilt-a-whirl?  You gotta be having fun on the tilt-a-whirl".  Before playing "Hearts Hard to Find", he did his usual explanation / apology (expology?) that it really isn't nice to be glad when someone dies but (without mentioning names) he did acknowledge that this would happen at some point in the future.  Hmmmm.... Before Everyone Hides, he mentioned how they really messed that song up the night before in Asheville and promised to get it right tonight (they did - which gave him cause to celebrate the victory with a fist pump and some comment I missed immediately after).

Later in the show he thanked everyone for being there, and thanked the A's for their opening support this tour (oddly, they never did join for the usual CaliStars encore on this final show they did or any show for that matter that I know of). 

Tonight's bombshell (OK, not really) was regarding the highly coveted Best Behaved Fan trophy.  Jeff said that they had FINALLY run out of those, and that tonight would be the last one.  He explained how valuable these trophies were, and didn't immediately deny it when someone in the audience suggest they were made of "rose gold".  He did cop to the fact that they were actually plastic.  He picked someone in the second row wearing a striped shirt and a beanie (it was a little chilly and quite humid outside in the open air) who Jeff picked because they were "doing the best job of making everyone around have a great time".  I have no idea what this was referring to.  The person's name was Carl, and the now-obligatory chant followed.  Jeff did seem relieved to have that part of the show come to an end.  Alas. 

The show was great as always, and I'm glad I made the extra trek to see friends and get one more Wilco show in on what turned out to be my 1400 mile road trip (which incidentally included at stop in Lexington NC as a bit of a joke for the folks back home).  One thing that was not quite up to normal standards was the use of the fog machines.  They have 4 of them going, and it seemed like they wanted to use up all of the supply of fog-stuff before going back home.  Those 4 were cranking out a BUNCH of fog, and the outside breeze and heavy air in general made for some really bad stage clouds quite often.  And with those big searchlights sidestage going at full shine at times it was like driving a car in heavy fog with your high beams on.  I'm sure that in the back all you could see at times was a whiteout, and Mikael must have disappeared completely.  Even up front (we were pretty far over on Pat's side) there were times where Jeff was foggy and Nels / Mikael were lost in the clouds.  Minor quibble I suppose but not your usual Wilco visual. 

Didn't make that final Athens Ohio show, so this will be my final fill-in report this run.  Great seeing everyone and getting to see some really great shows. 




Here's the setlist per Wilcoworld, and this does match the printed setlist that I saw. 


At Least That's What You Said

Spiders (Kidsmoke)

The Universe

I Am My Mother

Cruel Country

Handshake Drugs

Hearts Hard to Find

Everyone Hides

Bird Without a Tail / Base of My Skull

Side with the Seeds

One and a Half Stars

Impossible Germany

Sunken Treasure


Jesus, Etc.

Either Way

Box Full of Letters

I'm Always In Love

Dawned On Me


Falling Apart (Right Now)

The Late Greats

Heavy Metal Drummer

A Shot in the Arm

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On 5/3/2023 at 6:13 PM, martyjack said:

The band was great except the bass ruined it for me. Clunky and louder than the mix could endure, I felt the bass and or bass player trashed  the whole sound. Sorry to be so negative but I call em as I see em.



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