Wilco @ the Aronoff Center (6/12/09)

I did two things to prepare for Beth’s visit to Cincinnati.  First off, I weeded the portion of my backyard over by the rosebush.  I saw in a movie once that girls like roses and I thought that the flowers would be more aesthetically pleasing if they weren’t surrounded by gigantic weeds.  Secondly, I purchased a couple tickets to Friday night’s Wilco show down at the Aronoff Center.  Sure, Wilco’s been my favorite band since 1996 and I would’ve bought a ticket for myself even if Beth weren’t in town, but I tried to play it like this was something I did for her.  It didn’t work out.  My preparations intertwined in a way I hadn’t forseen and I was left all grumpy and miserable.

You see, an army of spiders decided to chew on my leg while I was bent down weeding the roses.  I didn’t notice the spiders going about their nefarious business at the time, but the very next day I had four or five absurdly itchy bites on and directly beneath my left knee.  They’ve gotten bigger and redder since then.  I’m guessing it was all the spider venom coursing through my veins that caused me to get sleepy and bored about three minutes into Wilco’s performance.  All I thought about during the main set was how I wished I could take off my pants so the cloth wouldn’t rub up on my spider bites.  I think I felt baby spiders crawling beneath my skin.  That is not cool.

Here’s the setlist (and yes, they played “Spiders”):

Main set: Wilco (The Song)/I Am Trying to Break Your Heart/Company in My Back/Bull Black Nova/You Are My Face/One Wing/Handshake Drugs/Side With the Seeds/A Shot in the Arm/At Least That’s What You Said/Sonny Feeling/Jesus, etc./Impossible Germany/California Stars/You Never Know/Hummingbird/Misunderstood/Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Encore: The Late Greats/Hate It Here/Walken/I’m the Man Who Loves You/I’m a Wheel

Did you ever stop to think that maybe I don’t even have any spiderbites?  Maybe I just made that up so I’d have an excuse for being disappointed by a Wilco concert.



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15 Responses to Wilco @ the Aronoff Center (6/12/09)

  1. Melissa says:

    we saw in the paper yesterday that Wilco were in town. I figured that you would go. I'm sorry it wasn't great.

  2. M-----l says:

    I enjoyed a few of the songs in the main set (specifically "California Stars", a song I put on your never-listened-to treadmill mix). I also liked the encore set in its entirety. Mostly I disliked the annoyingly loud crowd full of frat boys and mail-order brides.

  3. homebody says:

    (Hiya, Melissa!)

  4. M-----l says:

    Well, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. Strangely enough, I rarely have a good time at concerts. I go and get all grumpy for various reasons…most of which have nothing to do with what's going on onstage. I'm usually glad I went, though (but sometimes not until days later).I'm glad we went to Wilco even though I didn't enjoy a lot of the show. Although the main set was largely a disappointment (with the exceptions of "California Stars", "Misunderstood", and the new songs "One Wing" and "Sonny Feeling"), I thoroughly enjoyed the encore set. And no matter how much excessively loud guitar wankery is going on, it's always a thrill to see Glenn Kotche perform. He is, by far, my favorite rock drummer.(And they're spiderbites, dammit! Spiderbites are much more manly than poison ivy and I refuse to accept that I would fall prey to a plant.)

  5. No "Heavy Metal Drummer?" Waah! Um, and what did you mean by "mail order brides?" Just curious. Regardless of whether it's poison ivy or spider bites, Benadryl cream works on both. My son once came home with a rash covering most of his left leg after a buckthorn removal project outside of his high school. I thought it was poison ivy, he thought it was a massive insect attack. But I treated the rash like it was poison ivy and it disappeared after a week. I let him tell his friends he was almost eaten alive by killer ticks, though.

  6. hotrod says:

    The last time I saw Wilco, I heard some d-bag talking on his cell phone on the way out of the 9:30 Club saying: Don't ever see Wilco anywhere but Chicago. I wanted to punch him.Wilco is, I think, a difficult band live because I still don't think JT has gotten over his stage fright. It's possible you caught him on an off night. (Though that setlist is a bit unimaginative.) Here's hoping they pass through Cinci again at the end of their tour. The best time to see them is when they're not backing a new release.

  7. M-----l says:

    Um, and what did you mean by "mail order brides?" Just curious.I was surrounded by a gang of Lithuanian girls who snapped pictures of each other and talked on their cell phones throughout the show. Each was accompanied by a man who couldn't have wooed these young ladies without the promise of a green card.Thanks for the Benadryl recommendation. I'm not one to treat medical conditions, though. I prefer to suffer and complain.

  8. M-----l says:

    It's possible you caught him on an off night.I think it's more likely that he caught me on an off night. The band used to be incredibly important to me, but my interest has been waning lately. I'm sure the band was on and they were playing the songs with the appropriate energy and proficiency. It's just that new songs like "Bull Black Nova" don't compare very well to older songs like "Far Far Away" or "Poor Places". And do I really need to hear "Impossible Germany" again? No. It's basically a Phish b-side.

  9. homebody says:

    I was surrounded by a gang of Lithuanian girls…Say what? I noticed one or maybe two young ladies who appeared of Eastern European descent, though I was too annoyed by the cell phone usage to notice much else about them (but, hey! – fine music taste is much more important than appearance in a potential mate). There were an awful lot of little glowing screens fired up in the theater during the show, but at least they are safer than the guy who fired up his lighter.

  10. homebody says:

    That's interesting that Jeff Tweedy has stage fright; I didn't know that, but it would explain what struck me both times I've seen Wilco perform. While the rest of the band seemed highly energized, he started the show quietly setting to the task at hand, without much more than a nod to the wildly cheering audience. (He warmed up as the evening progressed, though, and by "Hummingbird" evening seemed to be digging the attention.)

  11. M-----l says:

    While I'm here, I'd also like to say that I hated the guy in the front row with the hat and the flappy arms, the millionaire geezers front and center who had no idea what was going on, the guys doing the hippie dance, and the frat boys who gave each other high fives during "I'm the Man Who Loves You". I also hated the person waving their crutches around. The only people I liked were you, me, Glenn Kotche, and the dude a couple rows back whose tickets I stole.

  12. hotrod says:

    Yeah, his addiction to painkillers was a result of that. He used to get migraines and throw up before shows. I don't know if he still does. The first time I saw Wilco – in Baltimore while shopping YHF around for a new label – he acted very much like you described. It was not a great show.And M—–l, I agree with you that the band's new stuff has been sub-par. The last two records have been a disappointment. At best.

  13. M-----l says:

    As I mentioned in one of the above comments, a couple of the new songs sounded very good. There was one, though, that was just terrible. Wilco (the Album) will probably be a mixed bag…like their last couple releases. As long as it doesn't feature a long drone track, I'll be (sorta) happy.

  14. hotrod says:

    I've heard it, and I think it's better than Sky Blue Sky in that it's less consistent. SBS was pretty evenly boring. W(TA) has higher highs and lower lows.

  15. Pingback: I reserve the right to add, delete, or move things around if something changes in December. | Outgoing Signals

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