Monday, April 24, 2006

Wilco @Starland Ballroom, Apr. 21st

This time, did a "road trip" to Sayreville, NJ, (home of Bon Jovi, yeahhhh!) for a sold out Wilco show. Hopped in Wawa's car with the Indie Twins for the little over an hour drive. While heading towards the Lincoln Tunnel, Stacey told us how she had to come up with car related songs for her job (she's at VH-1) and so Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hotrod" came up. Amazingly enough, it was one of my songs on my iPod -- I guess that's what having a 10,000 song capacity will do for ya. I don't think I had listened to that song since it was big in the early '90s. Stacey and I dug it over Wawa's car speakers. I don't think he was too pleased, so he made us listen to some Cheap Trick live album. Ugh!

After a pleasant dinner at what seemed to be the one sit down restaurant in the area -- Bella Napoli, check it out! -- we missed the opener and headed to Starland. The only other time I went there, it was pleasant. I caught Ryan Adams there with the Britta and the floor was loosely packed. I was left with the impression that it was easier to weave to the front in Jersey cos maybe they don't care as much. But when we got to the Wilco gig, it was immediately apparent that it was packed. And packed with meat heads. Hipsters were the minority here. There was no weaving through the crowd for this one. So we settled for a spot to the right of the sound board, with some view of the band. Julie1 and her sister and bro-in-law showed up too, but there was no standing with them.

Wilco hit the stage around 10:15, I think. I love Wilco and always will, but soon we concluded that perhaps it is time for them to go back into the studio and record new stuff. They played a lot off of their last album, A Ghost Is Born, and a few cuts off of Being There and Summerteeth, and the requisite "I'm The Man Who Loves You" and "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart." They sounded fine, but I think they too are probably tired of touring.

At points during the performance, Jeff Tweedy addressed the crowd and seemed kinda annoyed with the boozers and frat boy atmosphere. He even asked some people to "stop being a dick." People laughed, but I think he was 100 percent serious. I saw him last November at the free solo show he did at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. He was much more mellow and chatty then. This time, although they sounded fine, it felt like they were going through the motions a little bit.

They finished their main set and did two encores of 3 songs each. We didn't stick around to the end, tho. Wawa had spotted the setlist from where he was and then convinced us to ditch the standards "Heavy Metal Drummer," "War on War" and "Late Greats" so we could get a jump on traffic before the one lane got all jammed up. It felt as if we were leaving Yankees Stadium with only 1 out left in the top of the 9th, and the Yanks were up by 5...maybe cos that was as soon as we got in the car, Wawa had to listen to WFAN to get the latest MLB scores...

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