On July 8, Wilco played a sold-out show at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, Ill., home of the Kane County Cougars, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. If performing at a minor league baseball stadium wasn’t cool enough, fellow Chicagoan Andrew Bird served as the opener.
As part of Wilco’s second encore, Bird joined the band for a version of “California Stars,” a live staple and a beautiful standout from the Mermaid Avenue albums. Frontman Jeff Tweedy dedicated the performance in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, which is today. To celebrate, the band is streaming the performance on its website.
There’s nothing quite like a 2 1/2-hour set — stuffed with a catalog-spanning 26 tracks (check the pie chart!) — to gently remind you of the greatness that exists in my Wilco collection. Since Saturday’s show at Gammage Auditorium, I’ve gone on a little Wilco bender, from watching the band’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert in October to falling in love with Summerteeth all over again. (Their newest rendition of “Via Chicago,” which morphs from hushed acoustic stillness to a chaotic blur of drumming/noise behind it, was startling and spectacular.)
On Wednesday, the band released its first video since 1999 — an animated take for “Dawned On Me,” starring Popeye and friends. Naturally, frontman Jeff Tweedy has his sights set on Olive Oyl. It’s a fun, if not totally senseless, collaboration, and you can poke around www.wilcospinach.com for more.
Setlist for Wilco at Gammage Auditorium, Jan. 21, 2012:
One Sunday Morning
Art of Almost
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Bull Black Nova
(Was I) In Your Dreams
I’m Always In Love
Dawned on Me
Shot in the Arm
Box Full of Letters
Heavy Metal Drummer
I’m The Man Who Loves You
This show announcement has awoken me from my recent blog hibernation: According to a Facebook post from the band’s official HQ, Wilco is playing Gammage Auditorium in Tempe on Jan. 21. And that’s an official screengrab of said post.
What you probably already know is that Wilco’s new album, The Whole Love, came out last month, one of the many albums piling up that are demanding my attention.
I have zero ticket information, but I can only assume this is a Stateside Presents show. More info as it comes. Full list of dates at the band’s website, too.