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Jeff Tweedy — 12 April 2024, Los Angeles, CA (Largo at the Coronet Theatre) [Night 2 of 4]

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Geez, are we halfway through this year's Largo run already? Well, Night 2 of this four-night stand for 2024 gave us slightly less chat from Jeff overall than on Night 1 but did give us a chance to hear yet another new song as well as revisit two other new songs played on Night 1, get some "fucking pie" for Jeff's nephew Charles (Tweedy Show holla!), be very pleasantly surprised by a song off Wilco's first record (no, not that one) and listen to California Stars for the 4,000th time and genuinely not mind (as long as some sort of singalong can be achieved).


I guess we can just start from the start. Following a short opening set by none other than Sarah Silverman, who appeared to be trying out some new material and even had a joke about Jesus, etc., and how she had to be corrected by her friend that Jeff wasn't calling Jesus "honey" in the song, Jeff emerged and immediately played two songs from Cousin. The latter of the two, Pittsburgh, finally saw him pick up and put on the harmonica holder that had been lying unused on his side table since the start of the previous night's show and it was cool to see him use the harmonica held therein to fill in the guitar bursts on that song that Nels normally makes when Wilco performs it live.


"I just wanted to take advantage of the good mood everybody's in after some laughs and just hit you with some pure misery," Jeff said prior to Evergreen. "The contrast is uncomfortable. Here's a song about my dead father..."


Initially, Jeff seemed as if he would continue with the same bit he had begun to develop on Night 1 — namely, spelling out to the audience exactly what he had been thinking about while playing the previous song after playing that song. He joked that after 30 years of being a singer-songwriter, he was no longer thinking of the songs he was singing while he was singing them; rather he was thinking about where he had put his keys or something, or he was writing other songs. "Wait until you hear those other songs," Jeff joked. He continued with the bit after the next song, Many Worlds, when he said he was thinking while playing it that he hoped people wouldn't think he was playing it because of the "stupid eclipse." And then he worried about whether he had put the stress on the correct syllable, as in e-clipse (as in, electric clipse?)


But before too long the focus switched to the new songs he shared on Night 1, and he played two of the three again (KC Rain and Enough) sandwiched around a surprising and lovely rendition of A.M. deep cut Should've Been In Love that certainly pleased at least a handful of us if no one else. Jeff also unveiled yet another new song, called You're Not Gonna Win, that opened with the lyrics, "Winter in the west/Hits me in the chest/I remember things/I want to forget," and also contained a verse with imagery about "Eating a peach/sitting in the street..." and a chorus with "You're not gonna win/you're not gonna win/you're not gonna win/Again."


For whatever reason, Jeff decided to have his guitars arranged on stands on stage with him tonight as opposed to the first show and whether or not that had anything to do with it, there was much less guitar talk than the previous evening; the disuse of the bowed-neck 12-string might also have contributed. Generally speaking, there was a bit less crowd back-and-forth with Jeff than on Night 1 (though the "I'll Fight" guy made his presence known again, thankfully in a relatively understated fashion).


That made for some funny visits to Banter Corner in the back half of the set, especially when Jeff started to sense that he wasn't playing enough "crowd pleasers." At one point he started to play the opening chords to Jesus, etc., and then stopped and said he guessed that he sort of had to play it tonight — alluding to Silverman's mention of it — but joked that those few chords were really enough, right? Jeff then shared that Wilco HQ had actually made pamphlets to put in the lobby at shows with tips for how to cope with that point in the show when people realized they weren't going to hear the song they came to to hear. I've never seen one of those myself, and Jeff said maybe they had never actually put them out, but it sounds like they actually exist.


As the show began to wind down, I figured we'd almost certainly hear Pecan Pie at some point tonight because I had spotted Jeff's nephew Charles before the show and I knew that song is one that Jeff usually plays (and changes the lyrics to "fuckin' pie" to amuse Charles) when he is in attendance. And sure enough, we got that one...even if Jeff slightly botched the second verse. It's always a bonafide crowd pleaser. And they continued on into what would have been the encore, if there had been one. Instead, as Jeff explained the night before, he wasn't doing encores anymore but rather just marking where one would have come and staying on stage to enjoy the applause.


So in the de facto encore, then, he took another crowd-pleasing request for Hummingbird. And then as he searched for another song to play, someone toward the back mentioned "a song about California," and Jeff went back into unspooling his thoughts to the audience one more time for the evening. After briefly pondering a cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication, he asked if we really wanted to hear that California song again, and admitted what he was thinking was he couldn't help looking at some people in the front who had come to see him play a lot and whom he considered to be friends and wondering what they would think about having to hear California Stars for the 4,000th time. (Uhhh...:ninja  For the record, the only thing that I find a little tense about Jeff's shows at Largo is the occasional vibe of some people who are so draconian about not singing along, even at appropriate times. And that's the only reason I would ever not want to hear California Stars, honestly. It's supposed to be a singalong, IMHO, and I'll just leave it at that.)


Here was the complete setlist, as played, on Night 2 at Largo (2024 edition) [edited to reflect new song titles taken from Wilcoworld despite my, er, initial best guesses]:


Infinite Surprise

Pittsburgh (w/harmonica)


Many Worlds

new song-KC Rain

Having Been Is No Way To Be

Should've Been In Love

Don't Forget

new song-Enough

Jesus, etc.

new song-You're Not Gonna Win

Lou Reed Was My Babysitter (started and restarted on different guitar)

Soldier Child

Impossible Germany

Pecan Pie


California Stars

A Shot in the Arm

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I liked the emphasis on new songs and a few choice deep cuts.

I love California Stars but as you say, we’ve heard it many many many times and if there’s an obligation to honor the locale, perhaps we can nominate Magazine Called Sunset as the new requisite California song?? Or Jeff did offer up Californication and we didn’t have the nerve to dare him. 

Great seeing some old friends and making new ones in the line. I’m less homesick for the old Vic shows, having a venue like Largo. 

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9 hours ago, bböp said:

Did you mean T(opang)a, as in the Canyon?

I think you're making an unseemly display of your geographical advantage. Wait until I have you on home ground again.

Alternatively, errr .. . . yes. 

P.S. I also have to admit a grudging admiration for your thinking outside the box by splitting the T and A ( no pun intended), though really it’s not cricket and I will stick to the accepted rules henceforth.

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