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Wilco — 2 July 2024, Toronto, ON (Massey Hall) [Night 1 of 2]


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I'll leave the full proper recap to the professional, if @bböpso chooses to make one. But...... I suppose it wouldn't hurt to share a few of anecdotes.

Apologies in advance if nothing makes sense, I am running on about 3 hours of sleep!! 🫠

A high school choir came out for the encore and sang next to Glenn, behind the Autumn Defence. Jeff introduced them with the wrong name, I'm not sure if he just said the name incorrectly, or mentioned the wrong school entirely, but he quickly corrected himself and told the crowd that it was Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute Chamber Choir... a mouthful for sure! They fittingly sang on Cruel Country ("all you have to do is sing in the choir") and they stuck around for California Stars. I don't know how Wilco got linked up with them but the kids did a great job. I had a thought before they left the stage... has Wilco ever been outnumbered on stage by Canadians before? They definitely knocked a few letters off the MAPL code, if they ever wanted to release these recordings to Canadian radio. (Does anyone understand what I'm talking about or have I gone too canuckle?)

This was my first time at the historic Massey Hall, in my opinion, the most prestigious venue of this size in Canada. Neil Young famously played a solo set in 1971 that has gone on to become one of his most celebrated live albums. Check out this YouTube channel, scroll down for the videos from 5ish years ago (black+white thumbnails with red text) for some well produced live performances from the theatre, I recommend the Andy Shauf, Sloan, Weather Station videos to start with but there's lots of music there that would interest most Wilco fans. Anyways! This was Wilco's first time playing here since the renovations a few years ago. All the fans I spoke to seemed very positive about the venue's face lift, it seems to me that they approached the renos from the perspective of trying to highlight and preserve the building's history while also add some modern amenities like more than one washroom.

This was my first time seeing Wilco in my home country since March 11 2020. Last time there was a lady in the crowd who shouted out about wanting to stand. Same thing last night (same person? maybe!) and Jeff responded similarly. "We don't get involved with this" but then he mentioned that Glenn had said before the show that we wouldn't because we're too polite. This caused everyone to finally stand for the last 1/3 of the show. It was a ton of fun and I have to imagine the band prefers people standing and dancing.

I was hoping for some deep cuts since so many of them would be freshly rehearsed from the Deep Cut set at Solid Sound. In fact I submitted a tragically unsuccessful request for Blue Eyed Soul. But we got Panthers which was beautiful. Annihilation, the lone representation from the new EP sounded really good live too. There was a point in the set they did At Least That's What I Said and a part of me naively hoped this would be the start of the full AGIB record. Till I remembered they have already played Handshake and Hummingbird. 😅

I wasn't expecting to do this trip but I found cheap airfare and a front row ticket for a, sort of, reasonable price. I wish I was going for night 2 but I'm already back home. Night 1 alone was well worth the trip though! I haven't seen the band since October and I'm guilty for thinking the best Wilco show I've seen is the last Wilco show I've seen. That said, I did think the band was really tight and clearly having a ton of fun.

 

Via Chicago
Misunderstood
Forget the Flowers
Handshake Drugs
Panthers
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Meant to Be
Annihilation
Hummingbird
Bird Without a Tail / Base of My Skull
Evicted
Random Name Generator
At Least That's What You Said
Jesus, Etc.
Impossible Germany
Whole Love
Box Full of Letters
Heavy Metal Drummer
A Shot in the Arm
-----------------------------------------------
Cruel Country (with the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute Chamber Choir)
California Stars (with the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute Chamber Choir)
Falling Apart (Right Now)
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

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Just back from night 2, seen pretty much every Wilco show at MH except last night. After a closing run of Impossible Germany, Late Greats, HM Drummer and I'm the Man Who Loves You, was expecting an encore break but NO. Jeff straps on an acoustic and I finally got Less Than You Think!!! Can't thank Wilco enough, was an incredible ending to a great show. Been chasing that song for many years. 

 

Regarding the MH renovations, they built an extra outside wall up on the balcony level  (mostly windows) that allowed them to reveal the original stained glass on the original outer (now inner) walls. These stained glass windows had been bricked over for decades due to noise - there is a hospital right across the street  - and it's quite a joy to see them revealed again. You can see them from the seating area which is awesome. The Improvements to the bar on the balcony level are very impressive too, I recommend any visitors to check out the Rush and Gordon Lightfoot exhibits at the very least. 

 

A friend of mine worked on the renos, I'm happy to report that a vinyl copy of Summertime Dream is built into the wall just to the left of the entrance to the floor level as you walk in. And a vinyl copy of All The World's a Stage is built into the wall behind the stage. Massey Hall is a hugely important venue and it's gratifying to know the musical history of the place is literally built into it now. 

 

Back to tonight, apart from the joyous and amazing Less Than You Think, other highlights included One Sunday Morning opener, and the fan requested winning song was Summerteeth. One of the choir singers fainted (?) during the encore and Michael was over there very quickly to help her. After the song Jeff informed us she was ok, thankfully. The entire show was fantastic and I'm kicking myself for not going to night one. But Elvis Costello tomorrow and then 3 nights of Steve Earle....was supposed to be 2 but Neil Young canceled. 

 

Thanks Wilco, hope to see you soon. 

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On the one hand, it’s too bad that the band is ending its touring for 2024 as they seem to be on fire lately. Maybe not the variety night-to-night as one might hope for, but if you’re catching just one show - the set list above is about as good as you could hope for. 

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  • TCP changed the title to Wilco — 2 July 2024, Toronto, ON (Massey Hall) [Night 1 of 2]

So now that the Chautauqua show is done, we're in a rare moment where there are no publicly announced Wilco or Jeff Tweedy shows on the calendar in the near or medium-term future. Jeff has a couple of "in-conversation" dates at the Evanston Folk Festival in September, and then he's booked to perform on a cruise to the Caribbean next February/March. That's it. I assume he's going to have his other hip taken care of soon and then will need time for rehab and recovery. Supposedly, the new Tweedy band album is close to done. Are we expecting that to come out in the fall with shows in support of it? If so, I would expect that we would see those announced and going on sale soon. What do people think?

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Yeah, I would expect to maybe see some Tweedy or solo shows in the fall and then maybe some Wilco shows late in the year like they've done in St Paul and Chicago before. But who knows how the whole hip thing will effect plans.

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Looks like Waxahatchee has August/Sept dates, so Spencer is likely occupied for those. Kevin Morby has shows sporadically August through November, which I assume Liam will be playing. Unless Darren comes back to the Tweedy band, my assumption is any future shows would have to work around those tours. 
 

I sure would love some proper solo shows in fall/winter. Maybe Jeff will do another Brooklyn Made residency… 🤞

 

 

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I wonder whether the Largo shows having been delayed to mid-April this year will factor into whether he does his usual late-December/early-January Largo run. I hope not.

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4 hours ago, knotgreen said:

Looks like Waxahatchee has August/Sept dates, so Spencer is likely occupied for those. Kevin Morby has shows sporadically August through November, which I assume Liam will be playing. Unless Darren comes back to the Tweedy band, my assumption is any future shows would have to work around those tours. 
 

I sure would love some proper solo shows in fall/winter. Maybe Jeff will do another Brooklyn Made residency… 🤞

 

 

 

Oh yeah good call with the Waxahatchee and K-Mo tour dates! Personally, I would love another solo tour, it's been a few years hasn't it? At least for me, besides some one offs like festivals, I haven't seen Jeff tour solo since Warm came out.

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I would think the next thing we hear about would have to be the AGIB deluxe box set, right? Maybe they'll play a few special shows for that like they did for the YHF one a couple of years ago. In addition to the new Tweedy album late this year/early next year, I think the Autumn Defense has a new album in the can as well that hopefully comes out soon. Maybe they'll support that one with a little run of shows.

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39 minutes ago, DiamondClaw said:

I would think the next thing we hear about would have to be the AGIB deluxe box set, right? Maybe they'll play a few special shows for that like they did for the YHF one a couple of years ago. In addition to the new Tweedy album late this year/early next year, I think the Autumn Defense has a new album in the can as well that hopefully comes out soon. Maybe they'll support that one with a little run of shows.


I thought Wilco communicated somewhere that after the few post-SSF dates, which have now passed, they would be done touring for 2024. I could be wrong. 
 

Also there’s been no indication of an AGIB anniversary reissue. For YHF we got some teasers. Outside of an April fools joke, there’s been nothing re AGIB. 

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49 minutes ago, DiamondClaw said:

I would think the next thing we hear about would have to be the AGIB deluxe box set, right? Maybe they'll play a few special shows for that like they did for the YHF one a couple of years ago. In addition to the new Tweedy album late this year/early next year, I think the Autumn Defense has a new album in the can as well that hopefully comes out soon. Maybe they'll support that one with a little run of shows.

 

Before the storm abruptly ended things on Sunday, Pat said during the Autumn Defense's set that they were working on a new album, and they played two songs that should be on it, but he did not suggest that it is done.

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