The Old National Centre was the site Tuesday night for Wilco‘s first U.S. concert in support of their new album, The Whole Love, set for release on September 27. If this show was any indication of what future cities can expect, the more relaxed Wilco of the last two albums is on hiatus. This band is out to tear shit up.
From the opening notes of set opener, Art of Almost — also the first track on the upcoming album — Jeff Tweedy and company were focused on atmosphere. The song starts with a solid bass groove that slowly builds until it reaches a moment where it seems like every instrument on stage explodes. The end-of-song guitar shredding freak-out was intense. The band followed that stunner with another new track before dialing in to classic, Misunderstood. And just when it seemed like the band was set to calm things down, they kicked in to At Least That’s What You Said with it’s cathartic coda.
The set list was one epic tune after another. It felt like nearly every wall of sound song in the Wilco catalog was on the agenda. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. Impossible Germany. Via Chicago. A Shot In The Arm. Through it all the band was having fun. Tweedy was loose and engaging all night.
The five song encore kicked off with fan favorite Hummingbird from A Ghost Is Born. After another new song and Jesus Etc, the band closed strong with Walken and I’m The Man Who Loves You.
I’ve seen Wilco play several times before, but this was the most explosive I’ve ever seen the band. An absolutely tremendous show.
The legendary Nick Lowe opened the bill with a timeless 45-minutes set sprinkled with songs from throughout his career. Lowe mentioned it was the first time he’d played Indy since the late 70s. With just his voice and a guitar, Lowe provided a master class in how to hold the stage. He received his biggest ovation of the evening for perhaps his best known song, Cruel To Be Kind. Lowe’s new album, The Old Magic, is available now.
Were you there? What did you think?