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Wilco — 5 October 2023, Los Angeles, CA (Theatre at Ace Hotel) [Night 2 of 3]

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Hell Is Chrome

Infinite Surprise

I Am My Mother

Cruel Country

Handshake Drugs


I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

One Wing

Sunlight Ends (first time played)

Everyone Hides



Random Name Generator

Via Chicago --> Many Worlds

Either Way

Impossible Germany


Dawned on Me

Meant to Be

A Shot in the Arm


Jesus, etc.

Falling Apart (Right Now)


Outtasite (Outta Mind)


Set was played exactly as listed on printed set list with no changes or omissions.


[Kidsmoke should skip ahead to the bottom of this post.]


Now that's more like it! All of the energy that seemed to be missing from my vantage point on Night 1 was apparently being held in check for Night 2. The standers triumphed over the sitters and eagerly await the rubber match tonight. Jeff commented a few songs into the set that the Night 2 audience was much better than the Night 1 audience, while acknowledging that it was probably a lot of the same people. He was right on both counts. 


Seven songs in, my fear that this week's shows would lack variety seemed to be playing out, with only the opener "Hell Is Chrome" not having been played on Night 1. Beginning with a soaring "One Wing" [W(TA) 4eva!] and continuing with the note-perfect debut of the absolutely gorgeous "Sunlight Ends" and then a peppy "Everyone Hides," the variety show kicked into gear. It was a little depressing to see quite a few people in the crowd react to "Sunlight Ends" as if someone had lit off a stink bomb. Within the first 15 seconds, scores of people either sat down or headed to the lobby, but it did not diminish a shimmering performance of what is, for me, the highlight of an album full of highlights. [As an aside, It would be one thing if this were some kind of divisive song in the catalog or perhaps a played-out oldie and it got this response, but this is a brand-new song that had been available for exactly seven days (almost to the minute) when it made its debut, so the disinterest would seem to be rooted in unfamiliarity rather than distaste. Is it so hard to listen to something new for four minutes by an artist you love and paid good money to see? Whatever your favorite song is, it was at one point a song you'd never heard. Anyway, I shouldn't overstate this-- most of the audience listened attentively and, crucially, remained standing.]


"Either Way" made a welcome appearance, sounding great and eliciting an enthusiastic response from the audience. "Impossible Germany" which-- for the first time in my experience, underwhelmed on Night 1-- was back in form last night. Nels' solo, which was oddly monotonous on Night 1, was a lot more spirited and interesting on Night 2. The only drawback was that there was an equipment issue that resulted in crackling coming from a monitor or monitors on stage right. They got the crackling to stop, but the sound seemed off for the rest of the set. This could have been in part due to my location-- I was in Row E at stage right and thus getting heavy Nels and light Pat-- but I didn't notice an imbalance until "Impossible Germany." Jeff and Pat's guitars seemed to be missing in the mix after Nels' solo, at least from where I was sitting. "Evicted" then sounded a little flat and muddy-- not bad but it just seems like maybe they're still feeling their way through it. (I hadn't noticed this on Night 1.) "Dawned on Me," which was scratched from the Night 1 set, was solid and well-received. The "Monday"-straight-into-"Outtasite" combo was typically boisterous. I'm always happy to hear those classics.


Returning to the stage for the encore, Jeff singled out a gentleman in the front row directly in front of Nels for his prodigious appetite for popcorn. I was four rows behind this guy and his female companion, and I had actually noticed, because he was in my line of sight to the stage every time I looked straight ahead, that this guy was eating popcorn like his life depended on it. He was just shoveling handful after handful of it into his face-- and he was turned sideways much of the time so I could see this from where I was rather easily. Between that and the fact that he and his companion were chatting away quite a bit, I had even thought, "If I were in the band, I would find that really distracting." So I had to laugh when Jeff came out and immediately called Popcorn Man on the carpet for his enthusiastic snacking.


And now, here's my separate review for Kidsmoke, who had a great time at Night 1 and had to miss Night 2:


Night 2 sucked. Night 1 was way better, especially the crowd. You didn't miss anything worthwhile. A guy ate a lot of popcorn, that's really all there was worth noting.




All right, time to gear up for Night 3. Here I come again and I'm bringing my friends. Well, one friend.

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