June 12, 2009
The legend expands. Wilco’s extraordinary performance at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati on June 12 continued a long run the band has had in the Queen city, but this time they saved their very best for the city’s art association production.
Trying out new material, the band kicked off a tightly structured concert with the self titled "Wilco" from their upcoming eponymous-titled recording. Lead singer Jeff Tweedy was a ball of dishevelment and angst onstage, harnessing the Wilco machine’s fine running engines and pointing the direction with gems such as "Handshake Drugs" and "Some Side With the Seeds." Drummer Glenn Kotche provided a steady backbeat to "Jesus, etc." and "Shot in the Arm" as the band coalesced around his virtuoso finesse on the skins.
Bassist John Stirratt’s rumbling lines pounded the Broadway entertainment haven with unusually unheard of rock fury for the quaint venue on "Walken" and "I’m a Wheel." Keyboardists Mikael Jorgensen and Pat Sansone got into the act as well, peppering "California Stars," "Impossible Germany" and "The Late Greats" with colored tones and electrified accents that added jazzy improvisations to the ensemble’s overall sound.
Yet, the star of the night was lead guitarist Nels Cline, and Tweedy graciously gave the spotlight to the avant garde surrealist as he pierced the veneer on the classic rave ups, "Misunderstood" and "Spiders." Tweedy thanked the sold out house, and promised to return when the new release had settled in their memories for a small amount of time. Odds are they’ll be back for another hearty serving the next time around.