Procter and Gamble Hall at the Aronoff Center for the Art
June 14, 2007
Starting with the slowly building jazz riffs of "Shake It Off" from their recently released disc, Sky Blue Sky, Wilco played to a packed theater at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati on June 14. It was the second stop on their summer tour, and both the band and leader Jeff Tweedy seemed to be in high spirits.
The focus of the evening was material from Sky Blue Sky, and a peaking early point of the performance surrounded the second track of the album, "You Are My Face." Bounding through "Side with the Seeds," Tweedy and co. quickly upped the ante as they broke into a trio of songs at breakneck speed.
Wilco’s secret weapon, guitarist Nels Cline, enveloped the Aronoff Center’s shimmering sparkle of lights with cascading chords on "Handshake Drugs" and the wistful "Impossible Germany." Playing alongside an acoustic strumming Tweedy, Cline reached back into a grab bag of distortion and feedback on the new recording’s title track.
Both guitarists reached a summit of punchy electric, frenzied soloing on "War on War" and "Walken." Tweedy joked with the audience and relented during a silly pause while he put on sunglasses and jewelry thrown towards the stage before summoning the ensemble to launch into "Jesus, Etc." off of the 2002 gem, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
2004’s A Ghost is Born was largely reserved for the back end of the evening as Wilco closed their set with the light, breezy "Hummingbird," and then dove into the half hour propulsive assault of "Spiders (Kidsmoke)." The rapturous applause did not stop, even when the group closed with the radio friendly "Heavy Metal Drummer."
Focused and polished within a moderate level of eccentricity, Wilco’s concert at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati was a model of grace under pressure and relaxed pacing wrapped inside tension and release, leaving the enthused patrons begging for more.
Setlist: Shake It Off, You Are My Face, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, A Shot in the Arm, Side with the Seeds, Handshake Drugs, Impossible Germany, Sky Blue Sky, Pot Kettle Black, Via Chicago, War on War, Jesus, Etc., Walken, I’m the Man Who Loves You, Hummingbird
Encore 1: Hate it Here, Poor Places, Spiders (Kidsmoke)
Encore 2: What Light, Heavy Metal Drummer