this week is dedicated to Wilco multi-instrumentalist + secret weapon, Pat Sansone, who's celebrating his 48th birthday today! In Pat’s honor, we're looking back at the last Wilco show we saw - Wolf Trap, June 9, 2017.
Wolf Trap's a great venue for Wilco, and we were blessed with a gorgeous Spring evening at this show. If you haven’t experienced Wolf Trap, do yourself a favor + catch a lawn show this summer. You can bring in your own food + drinks, so pack a dinner and a blanket for a fantastic picnic date. Just get there early, 'cuz it fills up fast!
Jim has seen Wilco many times over the past 20 years, and they never disappoint. The best Wilco shows start slowly and build throughout the set, so it was a great pleasure to hear them open with a beautiful, understated version of "On and On and On". After a handful of selections from the Schmilco album and fan favorite "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", the show came fully to life with an explosive and lengthy psychedelic excursion through the only Whole Love track of the show - "Art of Almost". From there, Jeff Tweedy and company played numbers from nearly every album in their catalog. Crowd pleasers like "Jesus, Etc." mixed with dark takes on "Misunderstood" and "Via Chicago". Plus, deep dives into the back catalog with "Theologians" and "Box Full of Letters". Of course, if there’s one constant in Wilco shows since the release of Sky Blue Sky, it’s "Impossible Germany", and Nels Cline delighted the faithful and the barely interested alike with yet another blazing solo.
In contrast with the gentle opening, the back end of the show raised the volume and the energy with a set-closing run - "I’m Always In Love", "Heavy Metal Drummer", "I’m The Man Who Loves You", "Hummingbird", and "Late Greats". After that, one could easily forgive the band for playing a quick encore and peacing out. But this is Wilco, and they didn't let us go before they blessed us with a five-song encore, highlighted by a typically ferocious "Spiders". Currently on a well-deserved 2018 break from the road, you can be sure that they'll be back at it in 2019. We'll be there to see it. Make sure you are, too!