I keep hearing people talking about Monday night's Wilco show as one of the best ever and I feel bad that my mindset was in another place that night. People are saying it was the "concert of the year" and the like, and I feel bad that I didn't give a proper review. So I'm sorry for my blah review. My friend Greg has written a proper review of the show at the Greek, however, so I hope this makes up for my shit post.
photo credit AA (a pic of Wilco at the Greek -Berkeley, CA, not LA, fyi)
The Greek Theatre
Los Angeles, Ca,
Wed, August 29, 2007
Before I get into the proper review for the show, I just have to comment on the restroom facilities at The Greek. Anyone who has ever been to the Greek knows it is an amazing picturesque outdoor venue nestled in the hills of Griffith Park in L.A.; which has won all kinds of national awards for best small outdoor venue over they years. The gorgeous, tree-lined setting surrounding the venue , the great, initmate seating arrangement (at least for an outdoor venue) and the great acoustics give little reason to doubt that fact. However, the wild-card that probably pushed them over the top, no doubt was the immaculate restrooms of this venue. I mean, I almost felt guilty and unworthy of using them. A part of me felt like hunting down a port-a-potty or going up in the trees behind a bush. A simpleton like me using these restrooms that looked like they we're constructed for royalty? How dare I? The nerve! I mean, you're talking to someone who has had endure some of the most disgusting, vile, disease ridden restroom facilites in the world at some of the other venues I've been to. Plus, and I'm not joking here, I've actually had to use an outhouse (also known as the redneck port-a-potty) from time to time years ago when I stayed with my grandparents . They had one in their back-yard that we had to use it when their septic tank went out from time to time. So, going from that to the majestic facilities of The Greek was quite a humbling experience. I actually thought I walked in the wrong place when I went to use it last night. I almost felt like asking the attendant for permisson or if I had to pay a luxery fee. I mean, the only thing these restrooms didnt have was the proverbial red carpet and servants dropping rose petals at you feet as you walked to your stall. I guess that is why the Greek is so decorated. They pay attention to the most mundane details, making you feel like a king or movie star just about everywhere you go there. It is in the Hollywood hills, so I guess it shouldnt be that big of a surprise. If you ever go see a show a show there, see for yourself. I'm not over-exaggerating this at all. And, better yet, it was free from naughty, dirty old Congressmen hiding out trying to solicit other men for sex. (I will defintiely think twice about using the restrooms in the Minneapolis airport if I ever fly there).
Ok, onto the small little issue of the show itself. For those of you who have read about or went to the show in San Diego two days previously, the setlist at The Greek pretty much consisted of the same songs from their new album with the exception of "On And On and On" which closed out the first part of the set. Regardless of what people feel about their album "Sky, Blue, Sky", I think the new songs sound great live. They also played a healthy portion of songs from "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" which, again, almost mirrored the San Diego set list with the exception by "Pot Kettle Black", which amazingly was the first time I had heard that song played live, after 6 shows since YHF came out. And of course the band played concert staples "A Shot In The Arm" and "Via Chicago" from Summerteeth.
What is surprising me a bit about this tour is the lack of songs from "A Ghost Is Born". They only played two at The Greek: "Hummingbird"; and a song that will undenieably be a part of their setlist until they hang it up, "Spiders (Kidsmoke)". It was also quite refreshing to hear "Too Far Apart" from A.M. again . It had been over 10 years since I had heard that song played live until the San Diego show. I'm glad they broke it out for this show as well. They pretty much ignored their twangier songs for the encores, which was a little surprising. They traded them in this night for all out rockers "I'm Always In Love" and "Outtasite (Outta Mind)", which they rocked incredibly hard and had the crowd going nuts, myself included. It had been a while since I had heard "Outtasite" as well and it was great to hear it again and get transported down memory lane for a little bit. They closed the second encore and the show with the crowd pleasers "Heavy Metal Drummer" and "Spiders (Kidsmoke)".
Overall it was a great show. The good thing about the pit section at The Greek is that it is GA WITHOUT seating (hint,hint SDSU OAT) which gives it that old-school, bar/club vibe. Wilco is a band that thrives in that scene and you could tell they we're enjoying that vibe at The Greek, as well. The pit crowd was pretty much energized throughout the show and the band seemed to feed off that energy, delivering an inspired, rocking set that left the crowd very satisfied. So, overall it was a great night of music; and was worth the trip up to L.A., if only for the reason to say that I got graced with the spendor and pageantry of the Greek restrooms; which made me feel like a king for a few minutes. Until next time. Greg Padgett