Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wilco @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles 6/24/09 (Review, Setlist, Video)

Special thanks to guest contributor and West Coast Genius, JB, for the submission.

Wilco at The Wiltern from Dragoncito on Vimeo.

I've seen Wilco four times in the last four years and I have to say that last night was the best show I've seen yet. I've been twice at the Greek Theatre LA, once at Austin City Limits and last night at the enclosed and intimate Wiltern Theatre in LA. I knew seeing them at an indoor venue with great acoustics would be a good start, but I hadn't anticipated the amazing energy of the band, a rocking setlist, and a great crowd. Let's start with the crowd because Wilco definitely attracts the strangest crowd of any band I go see. I saw Phish at Jones Beach three weeks ago and while there are a lot of weird people at a Phish show, it's mostly people in the early 20's who are acting out, trying to be different or going through a phase. One exception were the two 30 year old guys dressed in full snorkel gear in my aisle, but that's a different story.

Suffice it to say that Wilco is a bonafide rock band still making the music that exemplifies a band in its prime, the average age at a Wilco show is...I'm going to say 29. Fitting staunchly into the age demo at a rock concert is rare for me, and the strangest thing about this crowd is that everyone is seems normal at first glance, but there is an intangible quality to the crowds' demeanor as if we've all been released from the pysch ward a few days ago, given our older brothers hand me downs to wear, and told to act as normal as possible in public. There are no band t-shirts, drunks, puking, coke snorting in the bathrooms, teenie boppers who decided an aging alt rock band is cool (as you find at Phish), or general acting out. Just a bunch of people in their late 20's to early 40's who knocked off worked a bit early, changed their shoes in the car, and came out to see a great band. Wilco plays some laid back country rock and straight up ballads, but they also have a bunch of rocking tunes that the kids at the phish show would be spinning through the aisles to. Not Wilco fans -- a barely discernible head bob or clapping to keep the band in rythm to "Spiders" is the most you'll get out of them. Reacting to a fan that had yelled "Thank you!" after a particular song, Tweedy quipped, "Why don't you all just yell thank you instead of clapping at the end of songs...has any one thought of that?" And when a fan typed Thank You on his iphone and showed it to Tweedy after the next song he said, "oh look at that, you wouldn't even have to say thank you." Strangely this scenario doesn't seem too far fetched for a Wilco crowd. Despite all this, the show last night had incredible energy. The band ripped through old standbys such as "I am Trying to Break your Heart," "Via Chicago," "Heavy Metal Drummer" and "California Stars" with passion and verve adding multi layered intros to each song, and pleased with new songs such as the title track "Wilco" on the new album and "Impossibe Germany" from Sky Blue Sky. And the crowd stayed glued to every guitar riff and syncopatic digression as if dancing, talking or doing anything but the aforementioned head bob would distract from their full appreciation of this incredibly talented and tight band.

Thanks again to JB for sharing. Check out his blog at

Wilco @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA 6/24/09

Via Chicago
Company In My Back
Wilco (The Song)
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
One Wing
A Shot in the Arm
Side With The Seeds
Bull Black Nova
Jesus, Etc.
Impossible Germany
Forget The Flowers
Deeper Down
California Stars (ft. Jonathan Wilson on guitar)
Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway (again)
Heavy Metal Drummer
A Magazine Called Sunset
You Never Know

First Encore:

Poor Places
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Second encore:

The Late Greats
Hate It Here
I'm The Man Who Loves You
I'm A Wheel

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  1. Well, I am 56 and enjoy with Wilco like a child. Sorry