For the first fifteen years of Wilco’s existence, each album featured a different lineup. But these personnel changes brought a new dynamic to their writing, helping the band to evolve and put out some of the most powerful and influential albums of the last twenty years.
Any comparisons to Uncle Tupelo were torn to shreds once the band got glossy on Summerteeth and sculpted new sonic landscapes on the epic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. By the time they had completed A Ghost Is Born in 2005, the band had finally found its own identity and built their most cohesive lineup yet; one that would give us great albums like the breezy Sky Blue Sky, and their most recent release, 2011’s The Whole Love.
Wilco’s live show has taken them to some of the largest stages in the world. Nothing compares to watching Nels Cline glide through the solo to “Impossible Germany” in person or the feeling you get during the explosion of white noise at the end of “Poor Places” that leads into “Art of Almost.” While they can do amazing things in the studio (the band’s HQ, The Wilco Loft, is hidden somewhere in Chicago), these moments really come to life onstage. But a Wilco show isn’t some spectator sport. You’d better be prepared to go hoarse from screaming “Nothing!” a few dozen times at the end of “Misunderstood” and sore from going wild when “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” picks back up. This is way more than just a performance. Seeing Wilco is an experience.
Even more exciting is the fact that this is a sort of homecoming for Jeff Tweedy, the only artist to play multiple LouFests. Originally from Belleville, Jeff has always made sure that Wilco does something special for St. Louis fans when they’re in town, including their appearance at Farm Aid 2009 and the run of intimate shows they did at The Pageant in 2008.
Who knows what they’ll have in stock for us in September? Until then, you can get ready for their headlining set with Kicking Television: Live In Chicago on Spotify.