Monday, December 8, 2008

I am trying to make your ears bleed: Wilco Rochester Auditorium Theatre

Ceiling of the Auditorium that Wilco tried to blow off

Sometimes I hate everything about being a musician, loving music, and music in general. Peaks and valleys. Thankfully it was not the case this evening. Wilco's first performance in Rochester was an absolute knockout. Being in an "Alternative Country" band automatically places you somewhere in the lineage of a long line of bands that pay homage to this band. The Alpine Black does not consider itself above or outside of this lineage. 3 of the 4 of us were in attendance and the 4th one would have been there if possible. Many people in the 'scene' were at arm's length in the auditorium. It was rumored that The Flaming Lips were going to be the opener; Neil Young was going to make an appearance; Fleet Foxes, etc. None of the above. Jennifer O'connor took the place of the Lips-big shoes to fill but she was on nonetheless. How incredibly fortunate to have landed this gig. Frankly, if the Lips opened up I would not have made it out of the venue with my head on. Wilco did everything right. Hit after hit, sound near perfect, Jeff Tweedy seemingly in a good mood, Nels Cline the professional guitarist/contortionist, flailing around the stage...By the end of the show I was having difficulty protecting my ears at peak levels. Only complaint. I forgot ear plugs and I paid the price. It is was so nice to see a band so tight and comfortable in their sound, in their skin. (Opposite of the portrayal in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart documentary) My first Wilco experience, definitely not the last.

With stomach turning over,


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