Review: Wilco at the Fillmore, 1/19/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Jon Solomon
Wilco's Jeff Tweedy last night at the Fillmore Auditorium.


"I'd like to thank the Fillmore for having us back," Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy told a capacity crowd last night. "It's a pretty sweet joint you got here. It's a good rock and roll joint with chandeliers. I don't think anything rocks without chandeliers. It's just where I am in my life. I need a fucking chandelier to rock."

Jon Solomon
Nels Cline of Wilco last night at the Fillmore.

While the band did bring the rock, particularly during the eight-song encore, Tweedy and company eased into the set, opening with "Poor Places," which started fairly tame and ended in a crescendo of swirling feedback. Following with "Art of Almost," from the band's latest effort, The Whole Love, the band locked into a riff-heavy groove near the end with guitarist Nels Cline digging into one his many fiery solos of the night.

Jon Solomon
John Stirrat of Wilco last night at the Fillmore.

Throughout the night, Wilco dug into another five songs from The Whole Love, attacking them with similar fervor, especially notably rocking takes of "I Might" and "Dawned on Me." The bouncy shuffle of "Capitol City" recalled Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, while "Whole Love" had a buoyant playfulness.

After touring a fair amount already with The Whole Love, the band clearly has a good handle on the new material, but the older songs were just as compelling, maybe even more so. "Misunderstood," from 1996's Being There, and "She's a Jar," from 1999's Summerteeth, were fine renditions early in the set, even if Tweedy did jack up the harmonica part of "She's a Jar."

Jon Solomon
Glenn Kotche of Wilco last night at the Fillmore.

"I know a poor craftsman blames his tools," Tweedy said after the song. "That was a bad harmonica. That was not my fault. There's something wrong with that harmonica. I mean, that's such a simple part. Who could mess that up? Jeff Tweedy did, that's right."

Jon Solomon
Nels Cline last night at the Fillmore Auditorium.

But Wilco more than made up for it on "Impossible Germany." Sure, the band usually plays the hell out of it, and it's become a staple of the band's shows, but there's always something kind of magical when Cline takes his guitar solos. Last night the solo opened the same way it does on 2007's Sky Blue Sky, with flashes of Tom Verlaine's playing seeping through. But that was just a launch point, and pretty soon the guy was knee-deep into a insane solo filled with flutters and tremolo picking high on the neck of his Jazzmaster with his neck and shoulders tightened up.

Jon Solmon
Pat Sansone of Wilco last night at the Fillmore.

Then Cline played a riff that cued Tweedy and Pat Sansone, who were facing each other to start playing their repetitive harmonized riffs, while Cline guitar playing intensified. When he finished soloing there was a thunderous applause. The guy standing next to me proclaimed, "That was ridiculous." Indeed.

Jon Solomon
Mikael Jorgensen (left) and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco last night at the Fillmore Auditorium.

While the crowd seemed a bit restrained for the most part throughout the night, sometimes just bobbing heads and mouthing lyrics, there were moments where the band summonsed some strong reactions from the audience members, like when Wilco closed out the first set with a righteous take on "A Shot in the Arm" which had some folks pumping their fists and singing along to the lines "something in my veins bloodier than blood."

Jon Solmon
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco last night at the Fillmore Auditorium.

The eight-song encore was particularly energetic. Closing out the night with a feverish one-two-three punch of "I Got You (At The End of the Century)," "Outtasite (Outta Mind)" and "I'm a Wheel" was a hell of way to close out the two-hour long show.

Jon Solomon
White Denim last night at the Fillmore Auditorium.

Austin's White Denim opened the night with a solid half-hour set, walking the line between jam and progressive and a bit of indie rock. While it was a slightly bizarre mix of genres, it somehow worked. With two guitarists who both had serious chops, the guys stretched out a few cuts.


Personal Bias: While Wilco has songs they play at every show, the band always seems to add something fresh to them. I just wished the band played "Handshake Drugs."

Random Detail: There was a creepy brown macramé owl that blinked hanging near Cline's amp.

By the Way: Just before starting the encore, Tweedy, "I don't know if we've started a lot of tours here, but I can really feel this altitude in my haunches."


Fillmore Auditorium - 1/19/12
Denver, CO

Poor Places
Art Of Almost
I Might
Side With The Seeds
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
One Wing
She's A Jar
Impossible Germany
Via Chicago
Born Alone
Capitol City
War On War
Box Full Of Letters
Pot Kettle Black
Dawned On Me
A Shot in the Arm


Whole Love
Heavy Metal Drummer
I'm The Man Who Loves You
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At The End of the Century)
Outtasite (Outta Mind)
I'm a Wheel

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Location Info


Fillmore Auditorium

1510 Clarkson St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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A couple of my notes:  That was one hell of a rock show... perhaps the best I have seen in a while and certainly Wilco rocked it.  I also have to think that Wilco did more in their encore than most bands do in their entire sets.  Bravo Gentleman.. Bravo. Great review and pictures ... you captured everyone in the band which is no small feat!  


Comment from some one not knowledgeable of Wilco: So is it normal for Tweedy and Cline to not acknowledge or look at each other, ever?  To me it seemed like two different bands - the singer/songwriter band (think Cracker with a little Elvis Costello thrown in) and the avant-garde sonic mayhem band (Think Bill Frisell playing Tom Morello). Personally, , I much preferred the sonic mayhem band.  Cline is really good...


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