I saw Wilco three times this week.

They called me crazy.  THEY HAD ME LOCKED UP.

I showed 'em.  I showed all of 'em.

Anyway.

Image courtesy of Timothy Norris - LA WeeklyJanuary 24 - Hollywood Palladium

Best Tweedy Banter: “How’s everybody doing tonight?” (later) “How’s everybody doing tonight?  Wait, I already asked that.  I won’t ask again, I promise.” (later) “So how’s everybody doing tonight?”

Fanboy Squeal Trigger: The opening strums of “Candyfloss” – a deep cut from 1999’s Summerteeth

Most Heroic Nels Cline Moment: Although “Impossible Germany” was performed each of the three nights, Cline’s solo at the Palladium was transcendental, a perfect blend of his jazz virtuosity and rock ‘n’ roll sensibility.  

Song Completely Ruined by Drunken “WOOOOOO!”: The subdued intro to “At Least That’s What You Said”, dismantled by those ready to RAWK RIGHT NOW.

Moment That Justified Every Penny of the Ticket Price: An unexpected second encore featuring the stunning and melancholy “The Lonely 1”.

 

January 25 - The Wiltern

Best Tweedy Banter: (talking to an audience member after “A Magazine Called Sunset”) “You what?  You have a what?  One more time?  Oh, you have a boulevard called Sunset.  Well, thanks for killing the momentum, man.”

Fanboy Squeal Trigger: The aforementioned “A Magazine Called Sunset”, originally found on the 2003 EP More Like the Moon.

Most Heroic Nels Cline Moment: Trading licks with multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone during encore closer “Hoodoo Voodoo”

Song Completely Ruined by Drunken “WOOOOOO!”: “She’s A Jar”; I also give song-ruining credit to the man standing next to me trying to convince his girlfriend that the band would indeed play “Jesus Etc.” at some point in the evening.  They did not.

Moment That Justified Every Penny of the Ticket Price: Finally getting to scream along to the insistent “NOTHING!” chant of “Misunderstood”.

 

January 27 - Los Angeles Theatre

Best Tweedy Banter: “Thank you.  That was Nels Cline on the guitar, the 82nd best guitarist of all time.”

Fanboy Squeal Trigger: Hearing Tweedy sing the opening lines of “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” over a beautiful new acoustic arrangement. 

Most Heroic Nels Cline Moment: Each member of Wilco does outstanding work on Whole Love highlight “Art of Almost”, but it was impossible to tear my eyes away from Cline’s utter mastery of his instrument.

Song Completely Ruined by Drunken “WOOOOOO!”: “Radio Cure”, a hushed and eerie ballad from 2001’s essential Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.  Major props to the guy two rows in front of me arguing with an usher over whether he should be allowed to stand up and block the view of everyone seated behind him.  The argument concluded when the dude ran off to get another beer.

Moment That Justified Every Penny of the Ticket Price: A haunting rendition of “Reservations” that was a perfect fit for the superb acoustics of the Los Angeles Theatre.  I cried.  I mean, I almost cried.