Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wilco in Baltimore - September 28, 2004

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Caught the Wilco concert at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD earlier this week and had a great time at the show. Our seats were a little off to the right near the PA stack. The sound was most awesome in the Symphony Hall and really made the Wilco sound crackle with aliveness and energy.

Jeff Tweedy commented at one point on the ornate setting of wood paneling and sleek curved lines of the Hall about "playing in dumps". While it was a reserved seating show, the crowd was on their feet most the show. While not as fun a set or crowd as the 9:30 Club concert in June, it was remarkable to hear how much the album "Ghost is Born" has come alive in performance.

The band was tight and hitting on all cylinders. Everyone in the band seems to be enjoying themselves particularly veterans John Stirratt and Glenn Kotche. But the "new" guys are adding so much to the mix and jams -- Mikael Jorgensen and Pat Sansone's keyboards and guitarist Nels Cline. We even got a few Pete Townshend like guitar windmills!

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A new staging element includes rear projection of various visual elements to go along with the songs. Some are kind of literal like bee footage for "Muzzle of Bees" and buildings on "Ashes". Others are quite avant garde art such as the collages on "Hummingbird".

The highlight was definitely "At Least That's What You Said" with Tweedy whispering into the mic at the beginning of the song before launching into a furious electric solo as the it crescendoed into towering feedback. Great stuff.

Here's the setlist from WilcoBase:
1. Hell Is Chrome
2. Handshake Drugs
3. Muzzle Of Bees
4. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
5. Company In My Back
6. Hummingbird
7. A Shot In The Arm
8. Ashes Of American Flags
9. Jesus, Etc.
10. War On War
11. Via Chicago
12. Theologians
13. I'm The Man Who Loves You
14. Poor Places
15. At Least That's What You Said

Encore 1:
16. Wishful Thinking
17. Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Encore 2:
18. The Late Greats
19. I'm A Wheel
20. Kingpin
21. Passenger Side
22. California Stars
23. Be Not So Fearful

More on Wilco's album A Ghost is Born.

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