First of all, I would like to say thanks to Rachel for getting in a car crash and breaking both of her legs so we could park for free in handicapped parking and sit in handicapped seating. The handicapped seating at the Orpheum is beyond words. Even if people stand up and jump and down (which they did, cuz it's Wilco) you still have an unobstructed view.
Second of all, I would like to say thank you to the people who recruited the opening act, some Britishspeakers named Eliza Jane and Liam Finn. Not making that up. Not since the Felice Brothers have I so...listened to the opening act. It wasn't just noise. There was writhing and growling, musical cleverness, a good rapport with the audience and Margaret, the gold shirt. Oh--and they are terrific singers and musicians. Eliza Jane came across like someone's kid sister giving a helping hand. And not in a Meg White "sister" sort of way. Her voice is airy and sweet and powerful and she doesn't look like an indie-waif. She gently swayed side to side as Liam turned did the Worm, the Hendrix kneel and burn, and that guy who always climbed on the drum kit. Clever turns of phrase. And oh, just generally eager to see them again. I hope that piques your interest. If not, just go check out the website and be impressed on your own terms. I can't satisfy all of you.
And now for the interactive portion of the blog. Someone suggest a synonym for "tight." As in, "Wilco is a really _____ band." You can just leave it in the inbox, thanks.
I don't remember ever thinking this about a band before, so it must be true: Wilco is the single most connected band I ever heard. The way six musicians move together it was like ocean waves or, or, something else that moves seamlessly back and forth together. Lifelong lovers, maybe. The sound bounces. Bounces. For everyone who ever took choir or voice knows that when a director says "give it a bounce" he really means pulse the sound with a tiny push of extra energy that gives vibrancy and richness to the note. Wilco sustained that tiny push of extra energy that recalls the runner's high, the yogi's flow, the pump and cycle of a piston, and leaves the listener oh, so satisfied. They played a lot off the new album, which, I am ashamed to say I have not heard yet. But they filled it in with crowd favorites off YHF and SBS. Next payday, probably.
But the highlight of the evening? At the end of "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" Jeff Tweedy broke off the music to make a request that audience members not film or record the concert. Not because they want to control distribution, etc. Rather, because "you should live your life and not live it based on an imperfect medium."
Since "Cinnamon Girl" was apparently not YouTubed, enjoy this instead. Particularly the guy's really big nose. You'll see what I mean.