Wilco + Nick Lowe: 22 September 2011 - New York
The threat of rain didn't prevent Wilco from playing to a sold-out crowd in Central Park last Thursday night.
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.
Art Of Almost
Ashes of American Flags
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Bull Black Nova
At Least That's What You Said
One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)
Shouldn't Be Ashamed
She's A Jar
Rising Red Lung
Dawned On Me
A Shot in the Arm
War On War
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Outtasite (Outta Mind)