Wilco + Nick Lowe: 22 September 2011 – New York

Wilco matched, and exceeded, its many reputations last Thursday night during a nearly two-and-a-half-hour long show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. As harbingers of “dad-rock”, those pushing forty were aplenty. Lead singer, and songwriter, Jeff Tweedy became increasingly chatty as the night progressed. But most importantly, the group’s idiosyncratic blend of country-soaked rock and avant-garde experimentalism sounded great. Their stage setup suggested theatrics—strobe lights and hanging, illuminated, tissues—but instead the band focused on its internal dynamics: loud, thrashing Nels Cline solos juxtaposed with perambulatory ballads. Predictably, their set featured the new record, The Whole Love, heavily. However old favorites reigned supreme with the crowd: “Hummingbird”, especially when Tweedy sang the Manhattan lyric (“in the deep chrome canyons of the loudest Manhattans”), and “Jesus, etc.”, in which the crowd carried the entire first verse by themselves.

Opener Nick Lowe was charming and melodic and self-deprecating. With a career practically symbiotic with Elvis Costello’s, or vice-versa, standards like “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” and “Alison” were expected, and gladly received.

Wilco Setlist

Art Of Almost

I Might

Ashes of American Flags

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

One Wing

Bull Black Nova

At Least That’s What You Said

One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)

Shouldn’t Be Ashamed

Born Alone

She’s A Jar

Handshake Drugs

Standing O

Rising Red Lung

Impossible Germany

Dawned On Me

A Shot in the Arm



Via Chicago

Whole Love

War On War

Jesus, Etc.

I’m the Man Who Loves You


Outtasite (Outta Mind)

Nick Lowe: