April 22, 2005
"Does anyone here even own any Wilco records?!" Lead singer/guitarist Jeff Tweedy got a weak response after he asked about "Mermaid Avenue," an album in which Wilco and Billy Bragg created music for lyrics Woody Guthrie left behind. So, he gave that first line in an exasperated and halfway lighthearted tone.
Things were tougher for Wilco on Friday afternoon at Jazzfest than they were the night before at the more intimate State Palace Theatre(check out Pt. 1). Wilco was just as tight at Jazzfest, but the concert wasn't as enjoyable.
Wilco was fighting a sun-soaked, fest crowd that didn't necessarily have a majority of their records. The Sprint Stage also isn't exactly known for hosting contemplative rock acts that use silence as a weapon.
Tweedy was smart to keep things copacetic by making references to New Orleans mainstays. He made sideways jokes about the lack of jazz in Wilco's music. He implored the crowd to employ call and response(a foundation of early jazz), and he supposed Woody Guthrie was a part of everyone's "heritage."
That's how Tweedy led into "Hesitating Beauty" and "One By One," two songs from the Mermaid Avenue albums. Besides the sun, the Guthrie/Wilco songs were the biggest difference from the night before. Wilco executed them with just as much passion(which doesn't exactly equal volume) as they did their own songs. Drummer Glenn Kotche provided a solid and restrained locomotive beat with brushes on "Hesitating Beauty."
1. The Late Greats
3. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
4. Handshake Drugs
5. At Least That's What You Said
6. A Shot In The Arm
7. Jesus, Etc.
8. Hesitating Beauty
9. One By One
11. I'm The Man Who Loves You
12. War On War
13. Ashes Of American Flags
14. Poor Places
15. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
17. I'm A Wheel