And I'm trying to understand myself

So last Sunday was the big alternative pop/rock show out in Northampton. Wilco and Low played at the Pines Theater, which is about the size of my backyard growing up in New Hampshire. So it was pretty sweet.

Alan Sparhawk, Matt Livingston

Low's never really done well as an opening act, and tonight was no exception. When I saw them open for Swans in 1997, people actually yelled out "You suck", and while no one at Wilco yelled it, I heard it murmured pretty loudly. They certainly don't take the easy road of playing their 45 minutes worth of their pop - opener "Canada" held the crowd's attention, but the rest of the set was just too quiet for the crowd. Nice close ["Pissing" into "When I Go Deaf" into "Murderer"], and the only real disappointment for me was the lack of "Breaker".

Mimi Parker

Wilco were great. I had never seen them and I certainly couldn't have asked for a better setting to break that particular cherry. Jeff looked a little rough around the edges at the start, but about 3 or 4 songs in he warmed up real nice.

Jeff Tweedy

Can I tell you a secret? Jeff Tweedy's got a great ass.

Jeff Tweedy

So by the time he got to the good songs I was in the palm of his hand. "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" kicked in, and it was just so beautiful. "Kamera", then the drugged out pair "Handshake Drugs" and "A Shot in the Arm" - all amazing.

Jeff Tweedy

Something I learned at Coachella last year was just how watching a band play as the sun sets can just etch a memory into your brain. Sigur Ros did it for me with Untitled 8, and now Wilco with Impossible Germany. Also, that dude Nels Cline? Freaking amazing. For reals - I'm totally not one to worship guitarists, focusing in on the singers, but Nels is God.

Nels Cline

The show closed with "Hummingbird", including a dancing into the crowd Jeff Tweedy [I was too busy dancing with him to get a picture]. The first encore opened with a beautiful "On and On and On" - my favorite track on the new record that I totally didn't expect live [I hadn't seen it in any of the setlists][just checked the message boards and apparently it is a rarity on this tour]. "Poor Places" noise right into "Spiders [Kidsmoke]" for 12 minutes. I should have blown off the second encore and left then to beat the traffic, but just couldn't. Luckily, it only took about half an hour to get out.

Last Friday I broke down and bought a ticket for the Bank of America Pavillion show this Thursday [they've been slowly releasing seats, and I lucked into a center row P]. I really wish I hadn't. There's no way either act will top last Sunday's show. Impossible. The only thing I'll gain by going is access to the merchandise tables that I somehow missed.


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