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Jeff Tweedy — 15 April 2024, Los Angeles, CA (Largo at the Coronet Theatre) [Night 4 of 4]

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Just before playing the final song of his four-night run at Largo for the year, Jeff tried to come up with a few words to summarize what the venue and this run of shows has come to mean to him over the years. And I, for one, am glad that they were recorded as part of a live-streamed episode of The Tweedy Show that his wife Susie was diligently filming from the back of the room — which has also become another tradition of sorts — because unlike some of Jeff's myriad banter over the course of four shows, it felt like these were sincere sentiments that you wanted to get right and so I appreciated the opportunity to go back and check myself to make sure I did actually capture exactly what Jeff had said word-for-word, which isn't a luxury I'm always afforded for these little summaries.


Things will inevitably change, as they always do, but it's nice to think about this moment in time, these recent years of Jeff solo performances in the 300-seat Coronet Theatre on La Cienega Boulevard, as being a special one that those who attended got to be a part of.


"This is my favorite place to play in the world, I think," Jeff said. "I think what it is is this is like the height of my ambition my entire life. I think the size of this, the way it sounds, this is what I thought music was supposed to be like my whole life. It could be loud too — I mean, it could be like a punk rock show or something — but this size audience, this size room, this size feeling of people being together doing something that feels bigger than themselves but also really, really intimate and sweet and not, like, a spectacle. I don't know. Anyway, I just think that this is perfect. I'm never playing anywhere else ever again.That's it. I'm done. I'm done trying to fill up the bigger places."


On Night 4, Jeff once again tried to keep the setlist varied enough to navigate the "balancing act" of satisfying the handful of hardcore fans who had attended all of the shows and only wanted to hear the deep cuts ("That's a lot of money...I'm definitely gonna have to try for those people,") and those in audience who were maybe hoping to hear a few more familiar tunes. Ultimately, though I think he demurred from granting requests for some deep (Sunlight Ends) and deeper (Quarters) cuts, he wound up only repeating two songs out of his 18-song set, and one of those was a new song, Enough, that he also played the first two shows of the run.


We also got the début of yet another new song, Feel Free, which is a long, sprawling tune, almost stream-of-consciousness thoughts anchored by the mantra of "Feel free to" do this or that. So for example, "Feel free to lay down like a wreath and jump over what's underneath," or "Feel free to keep it all pristine, in its original packaging," or "Feel free to take it slow, even though your heart is racing," and all these many thoughts finally brought to a close by the thought, "Feel free to sing a song that never ends."


Speaking of never ending, apparently the bit where "Chuck" aka "The I'll Fight guy" requests that song also has unfortunately become a permanent part of Jeff's Largo shows. At least it's become almost comical now and seems to amuse Jeff rather than irritate him, but even after finally getting his request played on Night 3 (albeit not the greatest version of the song), "Chuck" made himself known again tonight almost immediately when Jeff was pondering aloud whether to play a longer song. He chimed in with the suggestion of Remember The Mountain Bed, but Jeff shot that one down right away and said he wasn't going to play that one and then almost immediately the reflex came back, "I'll Fight." To which Jeff just had to shake his head and reply, "You thought you could move to a different seat and I wouldn't know where to direct my scorn, but I know."


From there, Jeff seemed to direct his attention to dealing with a "rogue" facial hair over the course of a few songs. Rehashing a bit he had been doing on and off since Night 1, he proceeded to share with the audience what really had been going through his mind during the previous song and after Whole Love, he said that in addition to embracing the "spirit dove" lyric as the stupidest one he had ever written and delighting in the fact that he had allowed himself to be so whimsical, there was a long hair from his mustache that "was tickling the inside of my nostrils when I was doing the falsetto." And I guess he couldn't shake the feeling on the subsequent song, New Madrid, because it was the first time I can remember him having to stop mid-song and sort of rub his face and shake it out before continuing. You knew that there was going to be some kind of issue when he put his harmonica on for She's A Jar, and indeed, after a slight lyric flub during that one, he blamed it on the same hair that had gotten caught in the harmonica. Which in turn led to another funny visit to Banter Corner...


"This is the kind of stuff you don't get at other shows — they're not gonna tell you that, maybe for good reason," Jeff said of his facial hair-harmonica snafu. "I'm fascinated by show business because I don't have it in me. I wish I did, and I've been on stage my whole life. What the fuck? Why? I don't like it. Just kidding, I love it. But I wish I was more like David Lee Roth, I really do. That looks like fucking fun. Anybody else wish they could be more fun? Yeah. Oh, well."


All things considered, I'd say Jeff is doing pretty well in his own little corner of the universe, and I'm sure those in the Largo orbit, like tonight's surprise opening act Judd Apatow — who was sporting a vintage A Ghost Is Born-era Wilco T-shirt...represent! — would agree. It's always a little bittersweet when these Jeff Largo runs end because they always seem to go by so quickly, but considering that we weren't even sure that a 2024 run was going to be in the cards at all, I'm walking away as always feeling grateful that they happened again and that the stars aligned for another year and that I got to be here again with some dear pals. Thanks Tweedy fam, Wilcrew and Largoites...until the next time!


Here was the complete setlist, as played, for Night 4 at Largo (2024 edition):


Less Than You Think

One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)

new song-Feel Free


Ashes Of American Flags

Whole Love

New Madrid

Far, Far Away

She's A Jar (w/harmonica)

Out For A Walk

Either Way

Dawned On Me

If I Ever Was A Child

Even I Can See

Heavy Metal Drummer

new song-Enough

You Are Not Alone

I Got You (At The End Of The Century)

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Dear bbop, I've been reading your reviews with appreciation and admiration for years, but this one so perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the night, the energy in the room...you've outdone yourself! It's a truly great review. 

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51 minutes ago, kidsmoke said:

Dear bbop, I've been reading your reviews with appreciation and admiration for years, but this one so perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the night, the energy in the room...you've outdone yourself! It's a truly great review. 


Thanks, kidsmoke, or should I say (San) ta (Monica)? B)

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From someone who was there, thanks for all of the reviews this week. I am still scrambling to catch up from having been out of town the week before the shows, and then from the long days in line at the shows, and then Holy Week for Pearl Jam fans, so I have not had a chance to add some thoughts about these shows. Hopefully, I will get around to that some time this week. In the meantime, I just want to say that Jeff was totally going to play "Sunlight Ends" when I requested it-- he actually said something like, "O.K., I'll try that one," and started to tune it up-- until he was spun around by the request for "Quarters," which he remarked was the first time anyone had ever requested that song. I tried to bring him back to "Sunlight Ends" but the moment was gone. I almost said, "I thought we agreed on this!"


Anyway, thanks again, and more later...

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