All apologies for my tardiness in posting – if anyone is even reading this.
All this writ-twit-pic-posting is more work than I thought. And quite honestly, sometimes I guy just wants to catch a band.
I’ve done a bit of that – though not as much as I’d like – so I can tell you what you missed. And if you think I missed something – if anyone is even reading his – let me know.
By far, Thursday’s highlight was Wilco. I’m not a super fan like my friends from Bismarck, N.D. who travel three hours to see them, but I like them, even if the last two albums didn’t really grab me.
But having seen two shows in the last 16 months it seems Wilco is settling in as one of the best live rock bands in America. I’d imagine most of the people there would agree. Thursday night’s set was one of the top five concerts I’ve ever seen, right up there with one of last year’s headliners, the Flaming Lips.
Singer/guitarist Jeff Tweedy seems relaxed and comfortable in the spotlight, even copping some mock rock star poses during the group’s first song, “Wilco (The Song)” off the album “Wilco,” released in June.
From there Tweedy and co. cruised through “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Shot in the Arm” before easing into “At Least That’s What You Said,” the first song to really unleash the full range of the group’s dynamics and showcase the explosive playing of guitarist Nels Cline.
Wilco may be Tweedy’s band, but Cline was the guitar god on main stage Thursday night and when he let loose, all eyes were on the flailing, lanky axe man.
And when Cline teamed up with Tweedy and guitarist/keyboardist Pat Sansone on tracks like “Impossible Germany” and “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” the group delivered a mighty powerful prog rock wallup.
While Cline with his guitar (and a table of technology) Tweedy delivered his licks verbally.
“I swallowed a lot of bugs,” he said early in the set. “That’s OK, I had a light lunch. (pause) Thanks, I’ll be here all week. (pause) Have you swallowed a lot of bugs? You should, they get you really high.”
And with that, the group lit into (pun intended) “Handshake Drugs,” though it’s not like the crowd needed prompting.
Tweedy played with the fan’s fire all night. After avoiding a few volleys of glow sticks he adopted a faux-paternal tone and demanded “you guys” to throw their glow sticks up on stage. His mistake as wave upon wave of hurled lights flew to the stage. After joking the crowd didn’t know how to throw glow sticks, one hit Cline, seated to play slide guitar, in the head.
“Keep in mind it’s only Thursday and you’re going to need those glow sticks the rest of the weekend,” Tweedy lectured. “In this economy you can’t afford to throw glow sticks away.”
He then offered back all the glow sticks “and a show, not mine,” if the glow throws ceased, which worked.
The group ended with the playful “Hoodoo Guru,” a fitting touch since Tweedy was in such a joyful mood. Sometimes listens to his albums don’t reveal how much fun the man can have on stage, as he did Thursday night.
And he gave as good as got.
Still rocking the vote: From what he played during his Thursday main stage set, Mason Jennings’ new disc, "Blood of Man," due out Sept. 15 on Jack Jonson’s Brushfire label, will be pretty political - even if it’s nearly a year after the ’08 election.
Best blast from the past: The Honeydogs’ "Rumor has it," still hits hard, especially with the new horn section. But what happened to singer/guitarist Adam Levy’s drumming brother Noah?
Priceless?: Cost for average food entree: $6. Cost for cup of Summit beer in compostable cup: $6. Service charge for on-site ATM: $5.95
Disappointment of the night: While the lightning storm was the best light show of the evening, the weather limited Atmosphere and Junior Brown sets to an hour.