Wilco @ The Vic Theatre: Setlist and Recap

The first two Wilco shows on the group’s “Incredible Shrinking Tour” of Chicago carried two completely different vibes. On Monday, you had opening night jitters and a very soulful rendition of The Weight featuring Mavis Staples and Nick Lowe to close the show. Tuesday night saw the band playing very loosely and jamming out several numbers with the 15 minute Spiders (Kidsmoke) as the crown jewel of the evening. What vibe would Thursday’s show take on?

[Photo by @ndebardlebon]

With Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in attendance, Wilco reached deep into their extensive catalog and treated the sold out crowd at the Vic to a fun filled show. A great example of the band digging deep was the early set Hotel Arizona. It was played for only the second time since 2009. The songs energy built up slowly like a locomotive gaining speed all the while Nels Cline franticly covered all 21 frets on his battered Fender Jazzmaster at break neck speed.

“We haven’t taken time to introduce ourselves. We wrote a song about it,” noted Tweedy before Wilco (The Song). Instead of Tweedy introducing his bandmates towards the end of the song, a synthesized voice introduced the entire band one by one. Hesitating Beauty and Summer Teeth were very pleasant late set surprises before Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway(again) and Dawned on Me closed the set.

Wilco has done a nice job of switching up the encores and last night was no different. What would a Wilco show be without some dad rock? In between monster drum fills and a touch of cowbell from Glenn Kotche, keyboardists Mikael Jorgensen and Pat Sansone exchanged riffs during Hate It Here. Kicking Television brought out the punk rock in Wilco, while also nodding to the venue where their only live album, Kicking Televison, was recorded.

[Photo by @ndebardlebon]

The Mermaid Avenue cut Hoodoo Voodoo was really fun. First off, Wilco crew member Josh, (who look like Borat) ran around the stage shirtless banging on a cowbell. Throw in an intense guitar duel between Nels Cline and Pat Sansone and that makes for one hell of an encore.

Wilco dug deep Thursday night, but with two more shows to go, let’s see how deep they can go.

Thursday, December 15, 2011
The Vic Theatre
Chicago, IL

Set: One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend) > Hell Is Chrome > Art of Almost, I Might, Muzzle of Bees, Hotel Arizona, Radio Cure, Born Alone, At Least That’s What You Said, Rising Red Lung, Say You Miss Me, Wilco (The Song), Capitol City, Hesitating Beauty, Summer Teeth, Standing O, A Magazine Called Sunset, Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway(again), Dawned on Me

Encore: Whole Love, Hate It Here, You Never Know, Theologians, Casino Queen, Kicking Television

Encore 2: Hoodoo Voodoo > Outtasite (Outta Mind), The Lonely 1

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