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Jeff Tweedy — 14 April 2024, Los Angeles, CA (Largo at the Coronet Theatre) [Night 3 of 4]

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As he strummed the opening chords to another midtempo number he was about to play — I'm pretty sure it was Evicted — Jeff paused for a moment and took stock of how the third show of this year's annual multi-night run at Largo was going on this Sunday evening. "I get a real hushed vibe tonight, guys," Jeff observed. "That's great, I enjoy that. But is it too quiet? I can play some uproarious numbers." And with that, he switched tacks and suddenly launched into a twangy and fun version of Casino Queen that instantly injected some energy into the room and explained how that had been the original arrangement of the song.


After returning to Evicted, Jeff followed it up with another A.M. track that got the crowd in more of a singalong mood in Passenger Side before closing out the set with a few more tunes, including granting his wife's friend's request for a show-closing California Stars. It seemed like the perfect way to close out a show in which Jeff seemed happy to try and make as many people's nights as possible, even at the expense of performing new songs as he had on the first two nights.


That even included the by-now infamous "I'll Fight" guy — whose name is apparently Chuck — who has made himself known with the same song request at seemingly every Largo show Jeff has played in recent years. Tonight the request came early in the show, and Jeff seemed almost prepared for it. "I heard you the first time three nights ago," Jeff said in a slightly mocking tone, "but OK, fine." So despite predicting he would "fuck it up," he began to play the song, but unfortunately got hung up on the second verse ("You'll rise each day as planned/Your will is your command/And stand each Sunday/A hymnal steady in your hand," and had to get a little audience assistance to muddle through it. Jeff admitted that he had even run through the song earlier that day during soundcheck in anticipation of getting the request during the show, he had still forgotten part of the song immediately afterward (which frequently happens to him, he said.)


It wasn't the only time Jeff erred over the course of the evening. Heck, he might have set a record for quickest lyric flub tonight when he messed up the second line of his first song, Someone Else's Song, by singing "I can't tell you anything/Your eyes, they just roll..." instead of "You don't already know," and then realizing his mistake with a knowing smile in the second verse when he sang the correct lyric, "I keep on singing/Your eyes, they just roll..." Afterward, he joked, "There was a missing lyric; I kind of like it better."

Then again, in one funny visit to Banter Corner later in the show, Jeff subsequently also suggested that his goofs were an indication that the show was finally hitting its stride. "My wife tells me it's really not interesting until I fuck up," Jeff said, "and really that's why I've been fucking up — it's to engage with my wife. I know these songs."


Actually it seemed to please Jeff that a decent number of folks in the audience seemed to know his songs as well, seemed to know them well enough to request a bunch of them well enough to yell out requests — and not just for the usual suspects. He was, I'm sure, at least partially joking, but he did say something about how he didn't take it for granted that just because people had paid for tickets to come to see him perform that they would actually know his songs. Of course, Jeff still only chose to play the ones he felt like playing. Please Tell My Brother? I don't see why not. The Universe? Sure! Via Chicago? Why not? You Are Not Alone? Jeff: "I played that the other night." Requester: "Well, I wasn't here." Jeff: "I don't give a fuck." Then, after a short pause, "Now I have to play it, because I was rude in refusing the request. But not right now."


A bit earlier, after Jeff had just finished a lengthy introduction to the song An Empty Corner by regaling the crowd with illicit tales of his employment as a teenage liquor store employee in Southern Illinois, Jeff once again gave some indication of his mindset for the evening when he conducted his "mandatory" audience check-in to see how everyone was doing — something he said he had learned to do over 30 years as a live performer. When someone in the crowd replied, "How are you doing?" Jeff quickly shot back, "It doesn't matter. That's another thing I've learned over 30 years, that it matters not (how I'm doing). I'm here to perform a service." Again, as with much of what Jeff says on stage, most of it is joking but with at least some truth mixed in as well.


In the end, Jeff wound up playing just one newer song — Cry Baby Cry. It's actually not even really that new a song, but I think it hasn't been released anywhere but on his Substack. I'm too lazy to look up right now whether he has played it at a solo show before or maybe just on the Tweedy Show, but anyway there you go.


Perhaps Jeff simply was rolling with the crowd-pleasing vibe of the evening as a whole, which featured not one but two surprise comedic opening acts. First up was a reprise of the opening's night's father-son duo with Bob and Nate Odenkirk doing a series of improvised "interviews" with various characters (Bob Odenkirk also did a very abbreviated monologue — a tight three?), followed by Fred Armisen doing some bits from his comedy act. It was another one of those only-at-Largo kind of evenings, and I'm already sad that we've only got one more left to look forward to for this year...even if a lady from Encino turned around and glared at me for singing along at an appropriate moment. Ahem.


Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 3 at Largo (2024 edition):


Someone Else's Song

new song-Cry Baby Cry

Summer Teeth

I'll Fight

You And I

Company In My Back


An Empty Corner

Please Tell My Brother

Sky Blue Sky

The Universe

Via Chicago (w/harmonica)

Casino Queen (twangy arrangement)


Passenger Side

Family Ghost

You Are Not Alone

Falling Apart (Right Now)

California Stars

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1 hour ago, Ken Dunbar said:

Isn’t “Cry Baby Cry” a Beatles song? 


Well, there is of course a song on The White Album by that name, but the one Jeff played at Largo was a more developed version of the demo he shared on his Substack last year. Not sure if you have to be a paying member of the Starship Casual to access that post, but anyway.

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