Live Review - Wilco @ McCarren Pool

Well, after mentioning it a few times over the past 2 weeks, the night of Wilco’s show at McCarren Pool finally came and went. And what a damn show it was. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but I suck at taking concert photos anyway so it doesn’t matter. The show itself was the perfect ending to a flawless day. As I did last year after seeing them at the Hammerstein, let’s get to the highlights:

1. There was a guy who walked past my friends and I as we got closer to the venue who whispered “doses” to us. Awesome. Haven’t heard that since Phish back in ’97. Then we thought it would be funny to say it to other people as we walked by them. Chad took it too far when he said it to an 8 year old. That kid’s dad was not amused.

2. Got rid of my extra for an even $50, exactly what I paid after Ticketmaster charges and what not. My buddy John had 2 extras and sold both for $40. Total. Sucker.

3. The show started slowly - “Via Chicago” into “Blood Of The Lamb” (wtf?) into “You Are My Face” into “Hummingbird”. Thankfully things got better quickly.

4. “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”, despite hearing it every time I’ve ever seen Wilco, was incredible. Then “Shot In The Arm” and I was thinking how superior these songs were to the opening run. And “Handshake Drugs” is still my favorite live song to hear from any band.

5. “Side With The Seeds” = pee break.

6. “Misunderstood” got things going in the right direction and the band never really looked back. They played “Far Far Away” and a really sublime “California Stars” (w/ horns!) that were just beautiful.

7. I was pleasantly surprised by a few old favorites I don’t think I’ve ever heard live before - “Pieholden Suite”, “Pot Kettle Black”, and, best of all by far, “Can’t Stand It”. Wow, that song is such an underrated and overlooked gem in their catalog. Overall, the set was much less dependent on Sky Blue Sky songs and all the better for it.

8. You didn’t hear this from me (I‘m not a gossip site), but a certain older celebrity couple known for being devoutly liberal were hanging out on the soundboard stage enjoying the show. I don’t want to mention any names, but you may know them from a certain stone classic movie about minor league baseball from the late 80s. I was standing pretty much right next to the board and looking over during “California Stars” I noticed the gent lighting up a big fat splif. Hm, I thought. Likes Wilco, likes weed. Cool. Wife shook her head “no thanks”. Soon after security and paramedics were surrounding said gent who was stumbling around the stage and wound up on the ground for a solid half hour, pretty much oblivious to what was going on around him. Silly celebrity, drugs are for kids. I honestly thought I was witnessing what could have been front page news, as the staff people looked confused as to what to do with him. If this wasn’t the guy who starred in that bomb movie with Jeff Bridges or that Mystic River movie with Sean Penn he probably would’ve been tossed out on his a$$. Wouldn’t you know it though - dude was rallying by first encore and walked out on his own after the show.

9. I had a bird’s eye view of my buddy Wagner’s (very) close encounter with a touchy feely dude passing us by. Let’s just say it was very crowded where we were standing and the guy invaded poor Wagner’s personal space. It was pretty sexy.

10. “Poor Places” into “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” was tremendous, as usual. All songs played during the encore (there were about 10 of ’em) were as well. “The Late Greats” was a highlight, as was “Monday” and “Outtamind (Outtasite)” (w/ horns!).

11. I don’t love “I’m A Wheel” but watching Pat Sansone windmill is pretty fuggin’ awesome.

12. No new songs tonight, which was a little disappointing. Really wanted to hear “One Wing”.

13. Goodbye to McCarren Pool - a really fun venue to see a show that’s growing up and becoming a real pool again next year.

13. “Goodnight. Thanks. See you again after we finish our next record”.

MP3 :: One Wing (live from Lollapalooza)


Matt said...

totally saw the same celebrity duo pre-show. amazing to hear what ended up happening and glad he's alright. we're gonna need him for future Coen brothers films.

nice personal recap of an awesome show last night. Nels was on fire.

Anonymous said...

great review!

Anonymous said...

Good review, although I have to say Via Chicago is always one of my favorites to see.