Music, etc.

Monday, April 24, 2006

WILCO: Starland Ballroom 4.21.06

I arrived at Starland Ballroom at 5:30 P.M. (two hours before doors
opened) so I could get a great view of one of my favorite bands, Wilco. I enter the small, bar-like venue to see that there was practically no one near the stage yet. I got the fourth row, center. After a few episodes of "The Three Stooges" I was ready for the opener, A band I'd never heard of called Morricone Youth. The place nearly shit itself when vocalist Dreiky Caprice remarked, "Your this much closer to seeing Wilco!"

Prior to the show I was a Wilco virgin, in the concert sense. I was determined to make my first show one to remember. Morricone Youth did a really good opening act. They got the crowd really into it with their "Movie Music" I must say it was really unique. After their set, everyone in the crowd was ready. 30 minutes later I was ready to die. I haden't eaten all day so I was hungry and my feet hurt due to my refusal to wear socks. But when the lights went off at a crazy Africa beat played on the speakers, I was no longer hungy and my feet felt fine.

When Wilco hit the stage I nearly cried. I just kept thinking, "Jeff fucking Tweedy is standing 20 feet in front of me" For a first time show, this was all very overwhelming. They started it off with the "Ghost" track Hell is Chrome which lead right into Handshake Drugs, one of my favorite Wilco songs. For a few songs it was a flawless; the crowd was singing along,dancing and having a good time. Then this obviously wasted guy came plowing through the crowd and decided to stand right next to me. Jeff, obviously pissed, gave the guy the middle finger during "Muzzle of Bees" After a few songs Jeff decided it was necessary to tell the guy off. "I know your excited because of the show and that makes me feel guilty because I hate you" Everyone in my sectionwas so greatful because he finally did shut up.

With that little conversation the band went right into "Jesus, etc." My favorite track from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I tried not to sing along the whole show, but I could resist singing "Our Love is all we have, Our Love is all God's money, everyone is a burning sun" From there it just got better. Spiders live is unlike anything I've seen before. The whole crowd was into it and the band didnt disappoint. After a little mistake, they did a little tune from Being There, "Forget the Flowers" The band finally left the stage while the entire crowd clapped until they came back for Encore. With Brown University horn players, they tore up "I'm the Man who loves you" and "Monday" To end the night they played my favorite Ghost track "The Late Greats"

With a great view and a great band, my night was also great, but it wasn't over. While waiting for our ride, my friend and I decided to wait by the tour bus with about 15 other fans. To my amazement I got to meet the man who just mezmorized me with his hard rockin guitar, Nels Cline. He gave some great info to the fans: the new CD should be out by late 2006/ early 2007. After him it was bassist John Stirratt who also chatted with us before heading for the bus. While waiting for Tweedy it began to rain. So the 9 or so remainging fans headed under a little roof. The members, feeling bad for us, gave us a pizza to eat! It's a great story to tell people that you ate Wilco's pizza. Sadly Tweedy never showed, but drummer Glenn Kotche came out. "Are you guys eating my pizza?" he remarked. He was extremely nice. I got him to sign my ticket.

I got the feeling of something great after the show: viewing one of the best bands in the world playing as well as they could. They sounded so tight and things I didn't think could be done live, were done better than they had been in the studio. Watching 50 year old cuitarist Nels Cline rip it up is a great sight. And just being in the same room as someone as talented as Tweedy is a real treat. After all this excitement I was ready to pass out. It was truly an amzing event. This definatly not be my last Wilco show!