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Wilco — 4 October 2023, Los Angeles, CA (Theatre at Ace Hotel) [Night 1 of 3]

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Decided I would just start this thread up as a way of letting people know that I wasn’t at this show (and unfortunately won’t be at the next two either), so don’t wait to jump in with your thoughts/comments/etc.


I’m sure the good folks at Wilcoworld will have a setlist posted fairly expeditiously, since they’re just so darned efficient these days…and there it finally is. Can’t say if any changes/omissions obviously, but Night 1 at the Ace apparently went as follows:



Infinite Surprise

Handshake Drugs

I Am My Mother

Cruel Country

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Soldier Child

Bird Without A Tail/Base Of My Skull




Impossible Germany

Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

Jesus, etc.


Box Full Of Letters

Meant To Be

The Late Greats

Heavy Metal Drummer

A Shot In The Arm


California Stars

Spiders (Kidsmoke)

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1 hour ago, bböp said:

Wot? This post has been up for 17 minutes and Tatlock hasn’t responded? For shame…tut tut.


Few things to do this morning even before breakfast. You know when I first saw the thread title my heart leapt - it's so good to know the report was there waiting as I got my cuppa ready (rather than an unpredictable midday arrival) I put it down to the extra couple of hours time difference for CA. Imagine my disappointment now that I actually open the thread. Bollocks.

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DAMN, now THAT was a Wilco show! :wub It's hours since and I'm still gobsmacked by how good it was. Stellar setlist with something to please everybody, but I don't have it & can't remember it all...it's late and I'm exhausted.

Suffice it to say, they played everything like what they are, a band at the top of their game. The early-on "Handshake Drugs" pulled people to their feet and may have melted off part of my face so be kind when you see me next. I'll leave more details to others to tell. Must sleep.

Oh and Jeff's got crowd control figured out now. Tomorrow he's bringing a laser pointer to zero in on disruptive audience shouters. So you've been warned.

Also we got to sing the guitar line to Spiders! :spider

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A little commentary on some silliness last night...when Jeff forgot the lyrics to "Love is Everywhere" and had to stop, he commented wryly, laughing at himself, that that's what he got for having just thought to himself "Well, this is going well!" :lol And it had been! Going fabulously in fact. Anyway after a bit of embarrassed memory-searching, "Love is..." resumed beautifully and the set continued. A bit later, between songs, some of the audience cat-callers were yelling out shit and setting each other off, and Jeff commented in a deflated voice, "I don't think this is going so well, now!" prompting a big laugh from the audience. A very funny little moment.

I mention this story because I saw that some bozo in the fb group used Jeff's comedic crack to try to argue that Wilco were having a very "off" night last night :rolleyes:P and Jeff had even admitted it and apologized to the audience, saying "I don't think this is going well, now."

Jeebus, people. Context matters. I wonder if that person misses this much in real life. :lol

It was one of Jeff's funnier moments last night. He looked so disappointed in us. But in truth he (they) had the audience eating out of their hands.(And he knew it!)


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The highlight of this show was definitely the Cousin tunes. All six that were performed translated beautifully live. "Misunderstood" (26 nothings) stood out among the classic tunes, as did "Box Full of Letters." I think back to when they would play A.M. tracks on the Being There and Summer Teeth tours and the audience would mostly shrug. Last night, there was a big roar from the crowd at the opening notes of "Box." I think it goes to show how, in 1997 or 1999, you pretty much had to buy an artist's older catalog to hear it, as compared to today where streaming makes an artist's whole catalog available to anyone (says a guy who has no streaming subscriptions but thinks he knows how they work).


The aforementioned roar notwithstanding-- and you should definitely check out the new EP by the Aforementioned Roar-- I thought there was a real lack of energy in the room last night. The crowd sat throughout. Even the "hit" ("Jesus etc.") and fan favorites like "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" did not bring this audience to its feet. (This is always the way it is at the Ace, but the sitters won the battle for the first time that I can recall. Happiness was postponed.) There were some extenuating circumstances. For one, it was uncomfortably warm in the theater. (It was a hot day in L.A. outside, but the sidestage clock showed a temp of 78 degrees in the theater.) For another, there were a couple of hundred of unsold seats in the balcony (in a theater with a capacity of just 1,600). And then there was the unfortunate situation involving a gentleman who apparently jumped from the roof of the theater onto the street below in full view of fans entering the theater. I don't know how many people actually witnessed this, but it would be understandable if it put a damper on their enthusiasm once they got inside the venue.


Other notes: Jeff completely forgot the second verse of "Love Is Everywhere (Beware)" ("Where the sunlight grabs the lake/It's frozen in the flames..."), bringing the song to a screeching but hilarious halt-- so hilarious that I resisted the temptation to cue him by shouting out the missing lyric because the confusion was so much more entertaining (and I wasn't close enough where I think Jeff would have heard me anyway). "Bird Without a Tail/Base of My Skull" seemed sped up for some reason. After "Meant to Be" elicited little reaction, Jeff quipped that, "In three years, you're going to be complaining about how we're not playing that song."


At the signing today, I asked Pat if we might hear "Sunlight Ends" or "A Bowl and a Pudding" at any of the upcoming shows and he replied, "We're working on them." Here's hoping they take the opportunity of three straight shows at the Ace to sprinkle them and "Levee" into the set. Otherwise, I have a feeling we're in for less variety this week and next than we have enjoyed on other tours or at the residencies earlier this year.



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This show was so much fun. I was on the floor and there was a lot of energy down there - a few standers but the sitters mostly won until the end of the show. At Shot everyone on the floor was up and remained up throughout the entire encore.


The Spiders Singalong was so fun. It reminded me of a Cake concert where John encourages the crowd to free themselves and revel in the joy of singing along. Jeff gave a similar shpiel - in a way that fit his personality. Also it was just a real mean version of Spiders overall. Jeff's guitar work was superbly weird and great.


I also really enjoyed the dueling guitars from Jeff and Nels at the end of Handshake Drugs - it was a rocking version with a very psychedelic ocean of feedback ending.


New songs are incredible live. Pittsburgh is an amazing show opener. The band is feeling very Pink Floyd in a lot of ways on these new songs. The new songs also feel right at home amongst all the Ghost Is Born songs that are popping up on these setlists.


This is the first show I've seen since SS22. The CC songs have really matured over time. Bird is just a fantastic set piece. It went to some amazing places - jazz, psych, raucousness, etc. Really a strong live track that shows off Pat and Nels.


Misunderstood and Shot were killer. They had a lot of energy and the crowd seemed very into them - singing along and loud.


I love the version of IATTBYH that they having been doing since the YHF shows, where it's closer to the album version than what they played for years.


Just got home from Night 2 and it was awesome and about half of the set was different songs. Will comment on the thread when it pops up - we did get Sunlight Ends at Night 2 and it was soooooooooooo good. Also Hell is Chrome opener.



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