Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wilco @McCarren Pool, Aug. 13th

It had been a year and a day since the last time I came to McCarren Pool for a gig. I'm not the biggest fan of this venue -- oftentimes, I feel the sound can get muddled between the acoustics of the concrete and the din of the hipsters. However, for tonight's show, Wilco ought to pay their sound guys beaucoup bucks because they sounded great. Just like the green jacket that lead singer Jeff Tweedy sported, the band was sharp and played like the professionals that they are, albeit kind of a safe set, if you ask me.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I LOVE Wilco, especially after winning a contest to see them in Chicago six months ago. And prior to that, I saw them up close and personal the last time they played Brooklyn, at the intimate Warsaw. So, perhaps my slight feeling of ennui had to do with my socks being knocked off by the rarities dropped on us at those two prior gigs, and not much to drool at tonight. Or maybe a symptom of having now seen them 4 times in the last year promoting Sky Blue Sky. Or maybe choosing to stand on the side of the stage away from the guitar hero blazes of Nels Cline (although Pat Sansone's antics were pretty damn amusing). Today I even got McCarren Pool early and managed to secure a spot right up front on the rail. But despite such a great position, somehow the performance, while fun and exciting as usual, felt like it was missing something and merely ranked a solid from me. Mind you, a Wilco solid does blow most other bands out of the water, however...

Perhaps I just prefer the rumpled, denim jacket look -- when the boys seemed looser and freer while rocking out. That green jacket, while a fine garment, I'm sure, seemed to lend an element of formality that I've never really encountered before with Wilco. They usually have such a carefree sense to them that translates into their playing. Part of me even missed Nels' red pants.

Anyway, I look forward to the next time they come to town, with new songs in hand.

Here are the guys playing "Pieholden Sweet" from Summerteeth:

My Flickr set here.

1 comment:

nyctaper said...

You're absolutely right about the high quality of the sound. And I have the evidence to prove it!