Friday, June 24, 2005

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.

Jeff Tweedy - Rant Mode: ON

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.

Pat Sansone Windmills!

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
Handshake Drugs
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
Sunken Treasure
I'm Always in Love
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
Misunderstood - with 35+ "Nothing's!!!
Jesus etc.
Late Greats
Just a Kid
I'm a Wheel
Outtasite Outtamind
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!


At 6/25/2005 03:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Wilco in Montreal and at Radio City earlier this year, and this was by far the best crowd yet! It was an amazing experience to be front row at a show like this. MMJ was also amazing... I saw one girl crying as they played "golden"

At 6/25/2005 06:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I was at the Philly show and it was rocking. You have excellent pictures too!
It's funny how actually the music from Rock Lobster sounded like a shoe in a dryer. It was perfect. I think I heard Prince's "Kiss" once during the night.
They were fantastic and so was your entry, it made me thoroughly remember the night, even the fuzzy parts, heh.

At 6/27/2005 11:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i too heard kiss at one point.

At 6/28/2005 03:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome show. Probably the best one Ive been to this year. MMJ was great and Ive never seen them before, but Wilco with the Roots would have kicked ass too.

At 6/28/2005 05:05:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Published at:

From Name: T Mo

Comments: I had the fortunate experience to also see the MMJ and wilco show at
Meadow Brook Theatre in suburban Detroit. MMJ came on stage at 7:10 and shared with
us a compassionate combination of agressive guitasr play with passionate voacals and
melody. They truly have a magic amongst themselves and really put a lot of the heart
into the jams. By the end of the show they were getting standing ovations from a
rain drenched late arriving crowd.

Wilco came out to War on War and showed off their new additions to the band. I had
seen Wilco on the YHF tour and see a truly emotional quiet interpretations of a
beautiful CD. THe additon of Nels cline and Pat Sansone and Jeff Tweedy\'s clean
bill of health gave a new thickness to the sound of Wilco that was missing in the
earlier stark interpretations of YHF Tour

Wilco\'s ability to combine reverb and melody is unsurpassed by anyone in the music
today. Their beautiful melodies of Hummingbird and Muzzle of Bees combined with
their ferocious band accompaniements in Kidsmoke show the range of the band. In
addition it really looks like the band likes and trusts each other on stage. Their
ability to interplay guitar solos in a variety of songs is unmatched.

If you are going to spend #45 for a show this summer and want to see what Rock n
Roll is all about today got ot he Wilco MMJ show you will not be disappointed!

At 7/30/2005 04:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was front row at that show and i dont think it'll be possible for me to ever see a better show. When they walked out I was so excited, I could barely move; there were definetly a few tears in my eyes. I think Tweedy is the most gifted lyricist around, so when he looked down at me, I just about lost it. "Misunderstood" was incredible and I enjoyed every last one of the "Nothing's." "Sunken treasure" was orgasmic. When they played songs like "At least that's what you said" and "Spiders" they rocked so damn hard it was incredible. Yeah, I will be attending every show possible that they play.


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