November 12, 2019
Wilco with special guest
Deep Sea Diver
Old National Centre
Photos by: Tony Vasquez
Setlist: Bright Leaves, Before Us, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, War on War, If I Ever Was a Child, Handshake Drugs, Side With the Seeds, One and a Half Stars, Hummingbird, White Wooden Cross, Via Chicago, Bull Black Nova, Laminated Cat (Loose Fur cover), Random Name Generator, Reservations, Impossible Germany, Jesus Etc, We Were Lucky, Love Is Everywhere (Beware), Forget the Flowers, Box Full of Letters, Everyone Hides, Theologians, I’m the Man Who Loves You, Hold Me Anyway, Misunderstood
Encore: California Stars, The Late Greats
Deep Sea Diver took the stage at the Old National Centre Tuesday night, kicking off the evening of music. The four-piece band from Seattle lead by vocalist and songwriter Jessica Dobson played a short thirty-minute set. For those that made it early to catch the opening act, they were rewarded with a fantastic performance.
After a brief intermission and stage change Wilco, the Chicago sextet, kicked off their set with the opening tracks “Bright Leaves” and “Before Us” from recently released Ode to Joy. The band would perform eight songs from the newly released album as the new songs benefited with added density in their live versions. I was hoping to witness “Quiet Amplifier,” which has yet to be performed on the current tour.
The third song into the set the crowd erupted with the opening notes from “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” followed by “War on War” both from the 2001 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The entire band’s album catalog was covered even if it was only by a song or two per each album. As was the case with Wilco (The Album) with the mesmerizing performance of “Bull Black Nova.” The combination of the visuals and lighting by Jeremy Roth in unison with the songs sparse repetitive notes on keys by Mikael Jorgensen and Pat Sansone along with guitars by Nels Cline and Jeff Tweedy built to a frenzy. It gave the audience a sense of anxiety that song was alluding to in the lyrics. “Laminated Cat” the Loose Fur cover took on a harder tone than the album version and was headbanging worthy.
As most Wilco concert-goers know, Tweedy’s banter can range from humorous to profound and all things in between. After a blistering rendition of “Impossible Germany,” which showcases Cline’s guitar solo skills, Tweedy looks over at Cline and says, “You can have a seat, Nels.” Jeff then addresses the audience before going into “Jesus Etc.,” “The Least you can do is sing along for Nels,” of course, the crowd sang along together through the entirety of the song. Another singalong moment was on “Misunderstood,” which has stood the test of time having been performed over 600 times live. Tonight’s “nothing” count hit 32 times by my recollection.
The band closed the night with an encore performance of “California Stars” from the Mermaid Avenue 1998 side project with Billy Bragg and “Late Greats” from a Ghost Is Born.
Wilco has several more dates lined up for 2019, including a four-night run at the Chicago Theatre in December. For more ticket info go to https://wilcoworld.net