Three Hours With Wilco

DCist/Jeff Martin

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Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy promised fans he would “feed them with tunes” during last weekend’s show at New Jersey’s Wellmont Theater, and feed them he did, serving the hungry crowd with three hours of music spanning the credible indie band’s seven albums. They even dipped into side-projects and performed an exquisite cover of Big Star‘s “Thank You Friends” in memory of Alex Chilton, who died last month of a heart attack. Concert-goers who paid $45 a ticket essentially paid $1.20 a song for their evening with Wilco. Not too shabby, eh?

On a stage primarily lit with fancy candelabras and a light-soaked back-drop, Wilco played a three-dozen song menu that included everything from art rock and folk rock to country rock and near hard-rock. Having released their last album more than a year ago, Wilco’s current cross-country tour is not an advertisement of their current work, but rather a showcase of the veterans’ two-decades of experience. Tweedy’s vocals were subdued, yet powerful in the stunning “Poor Places,” while the percussion in “Via Chicago” was thunderous. The show also featured the band—additional drum set, keyboards, and all—parked at the edge of the stage for an acoustic set lit only by floor lamps featuring rare gems like “Someday, Some Morning, Sometime” and “Laminated Cat.” Kudos to the stage crew for executing such a complicated shift mid-show. 

The final set featured a number of high-energy fan favorites, like “A Shot in the Arm,” “Heavy Metal Drummer,” and “I’m the Man Who Loves You”—each of which left the crowd wondering, “Oh no! Is this the last song?” But each time, Wilco kept going, albeit with a few interludes of Tweedy asking if the audience had had enough. No! (Duh.) For me, the icing on the cake of this hearty show was Nels Cline strapping on a double-neck guitar, an instrument I’d never seen in action live. Next up, Wilco embarks on the international segment of their tour, heading to Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, and then on to numerous dates in Europe. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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