I am consistently blown away by any live Wilco performance. Last night's show at McCarren Park was no exception - a gorgeous evening with a nice breeze, standing but a few meters away from the stage where Jeff Tweedy in his stylin' lime green blazer was clearly in my line of vision - who could ask for a more serene and blissful August evening?
Wilco's setlist spanned their wide spectrum of musical genius, beginning with the eerily intense (and absolutely fantastic) "Via Chicago," and each subsequent song a special treat. Much to my inner joy and supreme happiness, they played "Shot in the Arm," off of the glorious Summerteeth album, and surprised me greatly with "California Stars." Because their sound is so dynamic, I don't think there was a single moment when the audience wasn't in suspense and awe.
In addressing the audience during "Kidsmoke," Tweedy encouraged the crowd to join in the clapping beat. (Mind you, the song runs for about 13 minutes, so there's ample time to join in and vary the monotonous rhythm of audience beat-clapping). About half-way through, the beat actually changed - and not by any action taken by the band, causing Tweedy to call us all "free thinkers," claiming to never, in all his times playing "Kidsmoke" around the world, have witnessed an audience that morphed the initial rhythm. Hah.. it was amusing to the say the least..way to impress him, New Yorkers...
Even with the park's 10pm curfew, the show was able to run over two hours (and I could still make it home and in bed for work by 11pm!) The double encore still left the crowd wanting more. Needless to say, Wilco's return to NYC is greatly anticipated.