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Concert Review

My Whole Love of Wilco

First, Nick Lowe is cool.  As Jeff Tweedy said when Lowe came out to accompany Wilco for two songs (including one of his own), “It’s okay to like Nick Lowe.”  He was a perfect opener.  He played solo, just him and his pretty, old Hummingbird.  Sure, this is the guy that people mostly (if not only) know for “Cruel to Be Kind,” and that seemed to be the main criticism of him I was hearing.  But I scoffed at these doubters – these fools would doubt anyone that Wilco choose to play with them.  His guitaring was smooth, his lyrics were smart, and he was cool.  Supreme.

Now, Wilco.  "Who’s your favorite band" can be a pesky question if you don’t have a ready answer.  Wilco’s been mine since early high school.  This span of favoritism has included weeks without their music and days of listening only to them, but even when I’m not listening to Wilco I know that I’d like to be.  With 75 of their songs on my iTunes, adding up to more than five hours and 19 albums (and EPs, Singles, Compilations, etc.), they surely outnumber any other artist.  (This doesn’t even include Loose Fur or any other side projects.)  Plenty of their 4+ minute songs have over 30 plays, and the star ratings… plentiful.  I love them.

So, hooray for Raleigh.  We hosted Wilco’s new album (The Whole Love) release party, and we got a shout-out for housing their merchandiser, Kung Fu Nation. Many of my Wilco-friends thought The Whole Love has restored their faith in the band, and it’s their favorite album since (blablabla yadayadayada), etc.  Yes, the new album kicks ass, but for me, so do the old albums–all of them.  Songs from their Wilco album already feel like classics, and hell, so do half the songs from their newest album.  They proved their range of greatness with a killer set and a magnificent encore.  There’s nothing like knowing every song.  This is their set list as recorded by me (comment corrections if necessary):

1. Art of Almost

2. I Might

3. Rising Red Lung

4. Ashes of American Flags

5. Bull Black Nova

6. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

7. One Wing

8. Dawned On Me

9. Born Alone

10. Impossible Germany

11. Say You Miss Me

12. Whole Love

13. Pot Kettle Black

14. Handshake Drugs

15. War on War

16. Black Moon

17. One Sunday Morning

Encore

Shot In The Arm

Jesus, Etc.

36 Inches High (Song by Nick Lowe, with Nick Lowe)

I Love My Label (with Nick Lowe)

Red-Eyed and Blue

Walkin’

I’m The Man Who Loves You

One hell of a night.  Tweedy called it out himself.  Honestly, though… it could’ve been a little louder (and I had great, close seats).  I’ll be glad to see them as many times as I can.  They produce a poster for every single concert they put on.  If that’s not some indication for how much they care about their shows, I’m not sure what is.  You can always count on bits of Tweedy’s character in between songs. This evening was not filled with rants between each song, but there were a few gems to prove how personable he can be (plAAAtinum).

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