Reviews > Shows
Wilco, The Fillmore Miami Beach, Miami, FL – 3/22
Jeff Tweedy wore his white shoes in Miami, the location of their very invention if you believe his claims. Noting that the city is the only one in America founded by a woman, the talkative Wilco frontman apologized for not playing South Florida in such a long time before leading his band through two sets worth of its signature songs. The audience’s increasingly warm reception suggested that it was worth the wait.
The 60-year old art deco Jackie Gleason Theater, recently swallowed up by the growing Fillmore chain, boasts an expansive auditorium adorned with chandeliers and offering general admission access. While the room was undoubtedly the site of the most flannel per-capita in the state of Florida on this night, it also provided a comfortable setting for the musicians to kick-start the most recent leg of their Wilco (the album) tour.
“Wilco (the song)” prudently kicked things off, with pauses for computer-voiced introductions at its close. Leaning heavily on 2009’s self-titled LP, their 7th studio effort, the Chicago sextet appeared in mid-tour form throughout the opening set. “Impossible Germany”, from 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, was lifted to blissful heights by Nels Cline’s thoughtful guitar work before resolving into its rollicking refrain. Following the groovy “Handshake Drugs”, Tweedy announced a short setbreak, suggesting that the crowd “elect a few representatives” to visit the restrooms.
The second set began with a stripped-down acoustic arrangement, and a few audience requests. “Kamera” and “Sky Blue Sky” received hearty recognition, and the crowd was only too happy to oblige the inevitable “Jesus Etc.” sing-along. In hindsight, the placement of “Monday” as the set closer was predictable, given the date of the concert and the song’s many references to the state of Florida. This upbeat country-fried selection, a standout from 1996’s double-disc Being There, completed the set in powerful fashion.
Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the festivities was the comfort level of the band, particularly deeper into the show. Often noted as a difficult performer, Tweedy soundly plied his charisma and even his reminder to a patron in the front row that videotaping would result in ejection was played for laughs. The friendly vibe in the building certainly contributed to a spirited rock and roll blowout. White shoes and all, Wilco delivered.
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