Wilco's performance at Verizon last night was crowd-pleasing, if not spectacular. "Not spectacular" because Jeff Tweedy's voice was shredded and torn, making him sound like he was channeling Tom Waits. "Crowd-pleasing" because Tweedy as a result spent a fair amount of the night affably apologizing and compensating by playing a longer set (six songs in the encore) comprising many older songs from the Wilco catalog ("Kingpin," "Red-Eyed and Blue," "Monday"). I would have preferred more songs from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Summerteeth, and I would have definitely liked to have heard "At Least That's What You Said" (which they didn't play the last time I saw them, either, at ACL Festival '07). Standouts of the night were "Via Chicago," "A Shot in the Arm," "Pot Kettle Black," "Jesus, Etc.," and, of course, "Impossible Germany." Of the four times I've seen Wilco, this was probably the weakest show, though it's still Wilco, so I riked it a rot.
As with almost any show, the most egregious element was the concertgoers. Gwen and I were standing in the General Admission floor area, but we were immediately behind the small area set aside for handicapped people (where there are chairs so they can sit). This is generally a good place to see a show because there is no one standing in front of you (if you are directly behind the barricade that marks the back of the handicap section), and you are still relatively close to the stage. There was one group of middle-aged women inside the handicap area last night, however, that abused this accomodation unmercifully. They seemed unfamiliar with Wilco's music generally and instead were just tickled at the idea of themselves being at a "rock concert." The specific problems, in order, were that they were (a) not handicapped, (b) standing, and (c) dancing. The dancing was particularly egregious. Mainly because it was from the incredibly painful please-look-at-me-while-I-sensually-look-at-my-own-body school of dancing. There seemed to be a sizable gap between how attractive they thought they were and what they actually looked like. And this, um, sultriness went on for every song in the set. It is a scientific fact that you cannot sexy-dance to "Jesus, Etc."! What's next, Adagio for Strings?!
UPDATE: Breakfast on Tour's pictures and recap of the show can be found here.