Wilco live at The Fillmore Detroit – December 10, 2011
Words by Shan, photos by Ady
Ady behind the lens (photo by Shan)
The first time Ady and I met up to see Wilco live together—for me via Cleveland and, back then Ady traveling from Miami, Florida—was the summer of 2004 at Point State Park for the free show in Pittsburgh, PA. The now well-seasoned line up of Tweedy/Stirratt/Kotche/Sansone/Cline/Jorgensen was just starting off together for the A Ghost is Born tour, and it was then and there after that show that we made a pact to take time out from the crazy world and travel together at least once a year. We’d explore some new destination where later we’d blow off some steam and do a mad dance at a Wilco show, just like we’d done that day. “Two Sisters and a Wilco Show” we said. Our mom was at the show with us.
Seven years have passed since that evening, and we’ve continued to travel together, far and wide and for other music as well. Two Sisters has evolved and expanded, we’ve added photography and artwork, interviews and maintaining this site to our repertoire. It was exciting, then, and felt full-circle that our last show of the year we would celebrate in a big way as Ady was granted an official photo pass from the kind folks from the world of Wilco for this show (this time to support the recently released The Whole Love). Our mom was with us for this show, too.
Glenn Kotche behind his percussion factory
If you’ve found this post, chances are huge that you’re already a Wilco fan yourself. Which therefore also probably means you don’t need convinced of the brilliance of Wilco, both in studio and live. In a nutshell, the band played so tightly and in synch with one another that I kept marveling how, over the years six people seemed to have morphed into a singular musical organism. The stage was filled with its dripping, draping lighted cloth hanging from above and their maze of instruments—guitars, pedals, cords, keyboards everywhere. Glenn Kotche’s percussion set was so elaborate and visually bombastic that it alone looked like a scene straight from a Terry Gilliam movie set.
Jeff Tweedy was as comedic as ever, though kept it short as they zoomed through 27 songs in a dream set that lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. As Tweedy pointed out, the audience, which also felt as if it were a single, unified entity in it’s excited state, was the “perfect blend of intoxication and concentration—intoxitration.” He also told us his shirt, which seemed fresh and clean earlier when he’d put it on, after a few hours and now while on stage, had activated. He apologized to those in the front few rows for this. The Fillmore show was everything a Wilco fan could hope for, and the set list will speak a million words.
After the show, we had a pajama party with our Two Sisters cohort Cindy (who had taken us on a tour of Detroit earlier in the day: pastries, crepes and the incredible Diego Rivera mural . . .). We poured a drink, made a toast, looked through Ady’s photos, and in true Two Sista style, baked a spanakopita at 1:30am to celebrate. We’re excited to share our photo set of roughly 100 of the best of the best. Wilco, we love you.
Mikael Jorgensen (and owl)
View the full Wilco live at The Fillmore Detroit set via Flickr.
Review and photo set of opener Nick Lowe can be found here.
PS – We got 32 Nothin’s