As with the Shepherd's Bush show in 2007, Wilco's show at London's recently revived Troxy started off fairly sedately, with the band thundering through a few tracks before Tweedy addressed the crowd and the atmosphere began to grow. That atmosphere was cemented by the birthday cake brought on stage for the 42 year old Tweedy and a rendition of Happy Birthday launched into a great version of Hate It Here. With the show now in full-swing, I'm The Man Who Loves You worked the crown into a cheering frenzy.
Guitarist Nels Cline adds a live-wire element to the band, near-permanently twitching on the sidelines, waiting for the opportunity to unleash another blistering solo - a fact not overlooked by Jeff Tweedy who joked that Cline's double headed guitar was a reward for the preceding guitar solo on a magnificent Impossible Germany. Wilco are no one-trick pony though and every member of the band contributes at a notable level, with the band constantly adding new touches and flourishes from songs all through out their back catalogue - such as the gorgeous slide guitar and keyboard on Jesus Etc. An encore of Don't Forget The Flowers was a brief reminder of Wilco's 'alt.country' roots, before the sonic assault of At Least That's What She Said and Kidsmoke brought us more up to date with their later sonic adventures, as well as dropping in a crowd-sourced mini-cover of We Are The Champions (see it on video!). A band with three guitarists capable of virtuoso solos is unlikely to disappoint, as noted by the flamboyant guitar duel between Nels Cline and the admirably capable Pat Sansone.
Wilco may be a bunch of (mostly) middle aged men who make great music, but as a (nearly) middle aged man looking for little more than great music, who's complaining? If you forget the fancy lightshows and expect nothing more than guitars and cowboy shirts you are unlikely to be disappointed by one of their ever-outstanding live shows.
Wilco (The Song)
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Company In My Back
Bull Black Nova
You Are My Face
A Shot in the Arm
You Never Know
Can’t Stand It
Hate It Here
I’m The Man Who Loves You
At Least That’s What You Said
Forget the Flowers
Heavy Metal Drummer
I’m A Wheel
26th Aug 2009 - Tumblr4
Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
Sky Blue Sky 'Tour Edition' EP
Because Of The Times
Royal Festival Hall, London
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