Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Wilco gets Weir'd

Bob Weir joined the unfortunately named Americanarama tour for the first 4 dates, opening the shows with a short acoustic set. While much collaboration among the bands was hoped for on this tour, thus far only Weir has interacted with both Wilco and My Morning Jacket. It should be no surprise that Mr. Dylan has kept to himself, although one can dream. 

For the first two Wilco guest spots, things started out fairly simple with acoustic numbers like Ripple and Dead Flowers, both of which Wilco had just covered a few days prior during their all request show, and classic Americana numbers like Friend of the Devil and California Stars. I should note that the three most frequently performed bedtime songs for my two daughters are Ripple, Friend of the Devil, and California Stars. A little hesitant to start singing them Dead Flowers. Maybe in a few years.

After the second show, I sent out the following tweet:

To my surprise, it got "favorited" by both Mikael and John of Wilco. I had some hope that things could get weird, but I don't think anyone could imagine what would transpire over the final two shows. Nels has expressed enjoying early Dead up until around 1970. John seems to be a fan based on some tweets he's sent out over the years, though certainly not a Deadhead. Jeff Tweedy has commented a few times that Wilco does not jam, and I have a solo recording of him from about 10 years ago in which he says some fairly ambivalent if not negative things about the Grateful Dead and their fans. Well, seems he's warming up to the idea, as on the third show, Weir joined Wilco for a jammed out version of the Dead's signature 60's tune Dark Star, flowing into Wilco's California Stars, before ending up back in Dark Star to finish it off. Maybe not as weird as what I hoped for in my tweet, but to take on the ultimate psychedelic anthem that has come to be seen as cliched by Dead haters is as bold of a statement as can be made. You can listen to Dark California Stars here:


After stunning us on the third night, you had to wonder how they would finish things off on Weir's final night of the tour. They stuck to the jams with a stunning rendition of the country jazz of Birdsong, into the Beatles psychedelic masterpiece Tomorrow Never Knows. Wilco is likely a bit more familiar with Tomorrow Never Knows, and it really fit their strong suit of noise jams they've perfected on songs like Via Chicago and I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. It also allowed Glen to go absolutely apeshit on one of the most iconic drum beats of all time, along with Nels and the rest of the band. Too bad Weir isn't sticking around for the rest of the tour. You can only imagine what they'd come up with next - Barbed Wire Whipping Party into Misunderstood?

Weir also joined My Morning Jacket for Dear Prudence, I Know You Rider, and Brown-Eyed Women over the course of 3 nights.

Bonus Jonas, here's Wilco doing Daft Punk's Get Lucky from their all request show:

And because why the fuck not, here's an unreleased Neil Young song.