Wilco & My Morning Jacket: Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, PA - June 23, 2005
A beautiful summer evening on the historic Philadelphia waterfront, with two great bands - Wilco and My Morning Jacket and a bunch of music loving friends. It doesn't get much better.
It was my first time seeing Wilco at an outdoor venue. Compared to the previous times I've seen Wilco at clubs like the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, the huge crowd and wonderful weather seemed to feed Wilco's energy.
As a lovely mellow sun set directly behind the stage, Wilco opened with a surprising acoustic version of Woodie Guthrie's "Airline to Heaven" and just kept cranking. Everyone in the band was their usual tight self playing off one another's riffs and harmonies.
Nels Cline's frenetic guitar playing on "Handshake Drugs," "At Least That's What You Said," and "I'm the Man Who Loves You" were simply phenomenal.
The big surprise of the night was a sublime and semi-rare "Sunken Treasure" with a very different arrangement from the album. When Tweedy sang the lyrics, "I was maimed by rock & roll. I got my name from rock n roll", it seemed to touch everyone and be acknowledged by a loving crowd roar. Superb version. (Setlist below.)
Here's what BigFox2 posted -- somewhat hyperbolically -- on Via Chicago:
"I've seen McCartney from 5 feet away, Dylan from 20 feet, Sonic Youth from 5 feet, The Who twice, the list goes on and on, but without a doubt, last night's performance by Wilco was the greatest rock show I have ever been a part of. And while they played so many songs that I never thought I'd see them play live (like Sunken Treasure, Airline to Heaven, Monday, and Outtasite) and they were all so, so good, it was the synergy between the crowd and the band that made last night the tops for me...the crowd was so into it - every song.
Last night, they were on in every way imaginable...they were funny, they were angry, they were soft, they were loud, but most of all, they were rockin', and it wasn't just them, the whole place was rockin' because of such a great crowd and such a great show! Thank you Wilco!"
Jeff Tweedy was pretty funny when he realized that he could hear the bass thumps from Rock Lobster -- a dance club -- on the next pier over from Penn's Landing Festival Pier on the Delaware River.
Tweedy comments: "It sounds like a shoe in a dryer!".
Later, just before "Kingpin", Tweedy cracks about the next door dance club's sounding drifting over to their stage:
"This is what we're gonna do and you all are gonna help me out... we're gonna fuck up their dance party. They're probably all high on designer drugs and all of that crap.. they won't notice."
Jeff was in a really good mood throughout the night, but did go into rant mode about:
"runaway brides and terry schiavo distracting us from real issues. So when I say 'how can I', I want you all to scream. The loudest, most profane scream you can scream. And I want you all to give the ugliest face you can... the face you make in the throes of your deepest orgasm. I'm gonna turn away because I don't want to see all of yours. And I don't want you all seeing mine."
Wilco then blasted "Kingpin" out of the park.
Other random notes included over 30 plus "Nothing"'s on "Misunderstood". Not vocal cord blowout "Nothing"'s. More just shouted. Nice mike twirl during "Hummingbird". And the asshole near us who requested "Kidsmoke" between every song. Please.
As the band left the stage, Jeff said: "Thank you Philadelphia - you really know how to treat a band".
My Morning Jacket opened for Wilco and really got things started. I guess the big surprise was that lead guitarist Jim James got a haircut. Last year when we saw My Morning Jacket at the 9:30 Club, James' hair was below his shoulders. This time, above the shoulders.
So when Jim would crank and whip his head, rather than the ensuing hair windstorm obscuring everything, we could actually see his face and hands!
MMJ played a great set, in particular, "Golden" was a fantastic jam.
As the sun sank behind the stage, the entire band seemed to appreciate the big crowd for the opening act as they waved and walked off.
Wilco setlist posted by hondo0524 on Via Chicago:
Airline to Heaven
Shot in the Arm
Company in my Back
War on War
Hell is Chrome
I am Trying to Break Your Heart
Heavy Metal Drummer
At Least That's What You Said
Muzzle of Bees
I'm Always in Love
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Misunderstood - with 35+ "Nothing's!!!
Just a Kid
I'm a Wheel
More concert details at WilcoBase: EVENT - Wilco @ Penn's Landing - Philadelphia, PA - 2005-06-23, the bit torrent is now up and running!, Ben Kramer's concert photo album and Maudie's (gogo) concert photos.
More on Wilco concerts, recent sightings and My Morning Jacket. And more photos from Glide Magazine.
Great seeing you e2f, Sarah, Randy, Paul, Anna, and everyone else!