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Jeff Tweedy — 4 December 2023, Riviera Maya, México (Hard Rock Hotel) [Sky Blue Sky Festival; Day 3 of 4]

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Typically the third day of Wilco's four-day Sky Blue Sky Festival has been an "off night" for the headlining band, so that means another act — this year it was Father John Misty — takes the featured slot on the Main Stage and gives the members of Wilco the flexibility to do some other things (mezcal tasting with Nels and John, anyone?). In Jeff's case, that has primarily meant playing a set with his solo band, and this year was no exception.


And just like she did at the last SBS, beloved cinnamontoastographer Susie R. Miller Tweedy gave those unable to get to Mexico a glimpse at what life here looks likes by live streaming (and archiving) the show on her Instagram page, which is why I don't feel my reportage is especially necessary. Yet I shall persist...eventually.


Anyway, I guess we should just start at the beginning with what I believe was the live full-band debut of a new song called Cry Baby Cry that Jeff shared an early version of on his Substack a few months back and then played again the other day on the latest episode of the Tweedy Show. It might still be a work in progress, but it obviously it's far along enough that it's ready to be performed. Actually, the real news — assuming Jeff wasn't joking — was that there was to be another new song in the set, one with lyrics that included, "Ain't it a shame when you want to die on the beach in the sun/Ain't it a shame when you want to die young."


"But we didn't get that shit together for you (in time)," Jeff admitted. "I think my children slow rolled that one."


Just before that, Jeff had maybe his lengthiest visit to Banter Corner during the set when he told, or perhaps slightly botched, a story about having gotten into the ocean earlier in the day and trying to send a text message to his wife but instead sending it to the author Salman Rushdie. I won't attempt to try and recount the various ebbs and flows of the storytelling here, but suffice it to say that Rushdie did not text back.


At any rate, there wasn't a great deal of time for idle chatter during the relatively tight 75-minute set (though Jeff was certainly in a loosey-goosey kind of mood, realizing at one point that he had accidentally skipped a song or two on the setlist and then suggesting that the band could skip other songs). When some in the crowd balked at that suggestion, he quipped, "Just because we're on vacation doesn't mean we don't keep strict time. Don't be a dick."



More to come, but for now, here was the complete setlist, as played, for what should more accurately be called Jeff Tweedy and friends (Flowering/Guaranteed was on the printed setlist I saw but was scratched out, while You Are Not Alone was listed as the penultimate song of the set but wasn't played; also the order of the songs in the second half of the set got jumbled):

Cry Baby Cry

A Robin Or A Wren

Natural Disaster


Summer Noon




Don't Forget

I Know What It's Like

Some Birds

The Red Brick>

Warm (When The Sun Has Died)

Family Ghost

Low Key

Guess Again

Let's Go Rain

Friendship [Pops Staples] (with Sammy and Spencer Tweedy and Sima Cunningham on lead vocals)

Houses [Elyse Weinberg] (with Cate Le Bon on vocals)

Cosmic Dancer [T. Rex] (with Sammy Tweedy on lead vocals)

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  • bböp changed the title to Jeff Tweedy — 4 December 2023, Riviera Maya, México (Hard Rock Hotel) [Sky Blue Sky Festival; Day 3 of 4]

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