Wilco @ Lincoln Hall: Setlist and Recap

Our coverage of Wilco’s “Incredible Shrinking Tour” of Chicago comes to a close with a recap of last night’s finale at Lincoln Hall. We’d like to thank Jimmy Coulas of Scents and Subtle Sounds for his kickass coverage of the run. Be sure to check out Scents & Subtle Sounds for much more from Jimmy, but he’ll be back around these parts soon.

If Friday’s Wilco show at Metro was a family reunion then Sunday night’s show at the 507-capacity Lincoln Hall was the greatest holiday party ever thrown. Many fans braved the frigid Chicago temperatures for hours just to secure a prime spot on the floor. The band showed their appreciation by passing out coffee to those in line.

The small stage resembled more of a cluttered living room than anything. The vintage looking lamps that were spread around the stage enhanced the living room vibe. Due to space constraints, the band was using less than half of their normal gear. Nels was sporting a much smaller amp and didn’t have his table full of gadgets including his trusty Korg Kaos Pad. Keyboard wiz Mikael Jorgensen was without his organ and Pat Sansone was limited to one keyboard.

Wilco treated the lucky group of fans to a b-side and rarity filled show that just kept getting better as the show progressed. From the opening chords of One Sunday Morning, it was evident Wilco had everyone’s undivided attention. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. One by One, In a Future Age and Country Disappeared gave the crowd a sense that this wasn’t going to be your average Wilco show.

Not For The Season carried a Radioheadesqe vibe and saw the band stretch their jam legs a bit. The song came to a close with Tweedy furiously strumming his acoustic guitar. Tweedy and Nels Cline teamed up for the second-ever performance of Dash 7. A Feist-less You and I lightened the mood while opening act Fred Armisen joined the band on shakers for I’ll Fight.

The highlight of the night for me was the acoustic version of Spiders (Kidsmoke). This version, while much shorter, was stark in comparison to the dark jammed out version from Tuesday night at the Riviera Theatre. I did see a taper in the audience, so let’s hope this recording surfaces online because it definitely warrants another listen.

The first encore was a nice mixture of classic Wilco tunes mixed in with a few gems. “What a journey. It’s been a fun week,” exclaimed Tweedy before launching into the honky talk-infused Someday Soon. John Stirratt traded his bass for an acoustic guitar on It’s Just That Simple while Jeff Tweedy showed off his bass skills. Mikael Jorgensen added a little flare to California Stars with a synthesizer solo, which brought a smile to Tweedy’s face.

The show also carried some historical significance. “It’s nice to play a gig on Lincoln,” noted Tweedy before dedicating the show closing On and On and On to Lounge Ax. The former indie rock club was situated right next door to Lincoln Hall and is very dear to Tweedy for good reason. Tweedy’s wife, Sue, owned the club and Wilco and Uncle Tupelo both played shows at the iconic venue.

It’s hard to believe that the “Incredible Shrinking Tour” of Chicago has come to a close. Wilco treated its hometown crowd to five unforgettable nights of music. If I learned one thing about Wilco this past week, it’s that you would be hard pressed to find a band with a bigger heart.

Sunday, December 18, 2011
Lincoln Hall
Chicago, IL

Set: One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend), One By One, In A Future Age, Country Disappeared, When The Roses Bloom Again, Why Would You Wanna Live, Cars Can’t Escape, Rising Red Lung, At My Window Sad And Lonely, Someday, Some Morning, Sometime, Laminated Cat, Open Mind, Dash 7%, Remember The Mountain Bed, You And I, I’ll Fight#, Born Alone, Spiders (Kidsmoke)$, Whole Love, Art Of Almost

Encore: Someday Soon, Airline To Heaven, Passenger Side, It’s Just That Simple, California Stars, I Must Be High, Dawned On Me, War On War, I Might

Encore 2: Misunderstood, On And On And On^

Notes: This show was a benefit for Inspiration Corporation. # – w/ Fred Amrisen on shakers, % – Second ever live performance, $ – performed acoustic, ^ – Dedicated to Lounge Ax

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3 Responses

  1. Yes, bryon, same tune. “Not For The Season” is Wilco’s arrangement from the YHF sessions, and “Laminated Cat” is the Loose Fur arrangement.

    This setlist looks amazing…wish I could have made it.

    1. Right on. I didn’t realize that there was that distinction. And yes…that setlist looks like one of the best/most interesting I’ve ever seen for a Wilco show. I wish they would release the whole Incredible Shrinking Tour run for download, the way Phish does….or at least even just this show. I’d defintitely lay out the scratch for it.

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