"Don't even think about yelling 'Freebird," Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy responded to the guy in the crowd who screamed out the name of the Lynyrd Skynyrd tune early in Wilco's ambitious two-hour set at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day festival. "You can wait 24 hours," he said, referring to the fact that Skynyrd was also playing over the weekend.
I hate being the crabby bastard who blasts people for jabbering at concerts, but some folks, like the dude who yelled out one of rock's stupidest clichés, got in the way of this being a truly stellar show. Sure, it's bound to happen at any show, especially at festivals, but I just wish the crowd would have shown the band a bit more respect, especially in the quieter moments, such as when Tweedy offered up a gorgeous acoustic take of "Remember the Mountain Bed."
But while the crowd did have its share of talkers, there were obviously a fair number of true fans, which was apparent during "Jesus, Etc.," when Tweedy had the crowd sing the first few verses of the song, one of the many highlights of the night, and during energetic takes on "Handshake Drugs" and "Impossible Germany," which showcased some remarkable playing by guitarist Nels Cline.
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Digging into a diverse selection of the band's catalogue, which spans fifteen years, Tweedy introduced "Box Full of Letters" (from Wilco's debut, A.M.) by saying, "Beavis and Butt-head love this song." Before launching into "I'm Always in Love," Tweedy said, "Beavis and Butt-head never weighed in on this one." Then to add to an outstanding one-two-three punch of older tunes, the guys kicked out a damn fine take on "A Shot in the Arm." While hearing the older material was great, the songs from the last few albums were equally strong, especially "Wilco (the Song)," "One Wing" and "Hate it Here."
Critic's notebook and set list on the next page. CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: It was well worth the three-and-half-hour (with traffic) drive to Snowmass. Random Detail: Near the end of the show, a group of girls were somehow dancing like hippies while at same time including elements of the cabbage patch dance. By the Way: Wilco will supposedly starting working on a new album in October.
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Wilco 09.03.10 | Jazz Aspen Snowmass Set list
1. Wilco (The Song) 2. Ashes of American Flags 3. Bull Black Nova 4. You Are My Face 5. Remember the Mountain Bed 6. Company In My Back 7. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart 8. One Wing 9. Handshake Drugs 10. Hummingbird 11. Impossible Germany 12. Via Chicago 13. Jesus Etc. 14. I'll Fight 15. Box Full of Letters 16. I'm Always in Love 17. A Shot in the Arm 18. You Never Know 19. Hate it Here 20. Theologians 21. I'm the Man Who Loves You
1. Walken 2. Heavy Metal Drummer 3. Kingpin 4. Late Greats 5. Hoodoo Voodoo