Last night I figured something out. Well besides the fact that Wilco
are truly a seminal and classically great band. I figured out that their Sydney Opera House
show was the eighth time that I have seen them live. And each and every time has felt special and just damn wonderful. Tuesday night would be no different. A display of mind bending guitar work, heavenly harmonies and never ending melodies. This show was perhaps different though. Firstly it was in the iconic setting of the Opera House. Secondly it was a shorter than usual set. Most Wilco
shows easily push past two hours at a pinch. But this was a concise 90 minutes. Which Jeff Tweedy mentioned, somewhat with annoyance. The interwebs have thrown up many theories. Some plausible. But it did seem unusual. Why didn't the band start earlier than 9.30. Why the finish at 11? Who knows. But it was surely a strong and exciting performance. What else would you expect from this band that stands on the shoulders of giants.
This tour was showcasing their most recent record in "The Whole Love" and the album shone brightly. Especially the epic "Art of Almost" and the joyous romp of "I Might". "Born Alone" was pretty great too. Of course the back catalogue is entirely superb and any song is welcomed with open arms. "Impossible Germany" was the perfect song for Nels Cline to destroy his guitar magnificently. "Sunken Treasure" is as close to perfection as a song will ever reach, whilst "Handshake Drugs" was sinuous and sublime. But probably the most fun was the ending. 'The pop medley' you could say. Tweedy cajoled us to our feet and we smiled and laughed through this glorious ending. "I'm The Man Who Loves You" never fails to entertain and "A Shot in the Arm" is just total bliss. So it ended. Perhaps too soon, but no matter. We all got to see and hear Wilco again. A band of true greatness with all players on the top of their game. In total sync. Long may I continue to keep seeing them.
One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)
Art of Almost
At Least That's What You Said
One by One
I'm Always in Love
Heavy Metal Drummer
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Dawned on Me
A Shot in the Arm