Review: Wilco @ Coveleski Stadium

Words: Jon McLennand
Images: Joel Berk

Wilco @ Coveleski Stadium, July 30

Approaching ten years since Wilco entered the studio to record Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the band that took the stage at South Bend’s Coveleski Stadium on July 30 is the actualized sonic vision of Jeff Tweedy. Initially developed with the brilliant but troubled Jay Bennett, later perfected with producer Jim O’Rourke, the layered, atmospheric sound often contained studio arrangements that exceeded the band’s live instrumentation. Not until 2004 did the right personnel (and personalities) align, and they have since cruised along as a well-oiled machine, ascending to a point where there is little left unsaid and little left to prove.

Thirteen months since the release of Wilco (The Album), the band is making their final rounds before returning to the studio to write and record the follow-up, likely to be released on their own newly formed record label. Nowadays, they can do things how they want, and they’ll be doing exactly that at their own curated Solid Sound Festival next weekend.

Wilco is arguably The Best American Rock Band Of The Last Decade, but to me they embody something deeper. They are amongst those true friends, the fiercely loyal friends; the friends who listen with patient ears, understanding with disarming sincerity; the friends who help you navigate the dark hallways of life with a candle in one hand and your clutching hands in the other. What ever time may pass, what ever radio silence may come, they are never out of touch, never out of mind, never far from the heart, they remain as the whispering conscience nudging you on track before you backslide. It felt like one of those old friends walking through the pub doors after a prolonged absence as they took the stage last Friday.

READ ON for more from Joel and Jon on Wilco…

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The Mind of McL: Vegoose Cooked

We’d like to welcome back Jon McLennand to the HT family. Jon, who puts together Umphrey’s McGee Podcasts, lays out the facts behind the demise of Vegoose. Without further ado, here’s the first Mind of McL…

The super-saturated festival market has taken another victim, as it looks like there won’t be a Vegoose Festival in 2008.

As the post-millennial music festival explosion rocked music fans from Manchester to the middle of the ocean, the promoters have been happy to provide us with ever expanding opportunities to spend a weekend watching music, at times with a new twist — the destination. The ripples of the Phish hiatus, which forced untold thousands of kids to search for something else to listen to, brought a desire for new acts to be introduced into the fold of the jam rock festival.

Following Bonnaroo’s lead, many jamband festivals began looking less like jamband festivals as the lineups diversified to incorporate acts from across all genres. The growing myriad of festival options, all seeking variations on the same formula, started looking the same. The ubiquitous Flaming Lips were earlier pegged on HT as a harbinger of the ill effects of the festival circuit. Who hasn’t seen Wayne Coyne’s white suit in three time zones?

READ ON for more of McL’s thoughts about the possible death of Vegoose…

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