[Review + Photos] Wilco @ The Ryman | October 21, 2014

Fight the Power
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
October 21, 2014

Photos by Brad Hochstetler

Months of anticipation came to fruition last night as we journeyed to the Mother Church for an evening with Wilco in celebration of 20 years of their music, and they did not dissappoint the sold out crowd.  We have a full review of a non-traditional show below along with some incredible photos from Brad Hochstetler.  Read on, fellow lovers of the Wilco, read on.

Band Photo
Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Renovations to the lobby area of The Ryman had a good number of the crowd confused, but apparently everyone figured out how to get in, and immediately got into line for some hot off the presses Hatch Prints of night one of Wilco’s triumphant return to the Mother Church.  We gathered our beers, found our seats, accidentally sat in the wrong section, relocated, and settled in for the show.  While waiting for the band to take the stage, we noticed a much older crowd than we typically see at most of the shows that we attend.  Whether it is Wilco’s reigning title of the “King Of Dad Rock” or it was the elevated ticket prices, we don’t know, but it didn’t stop this from being one of the more participatory crowds that we’ve been a part of at the legendary venue.

Nels Cline 3
Nels Cline of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler

Tweedy and co. took the stage to an enourmous appalause and immediately showed us that this was not going to be a typical Wilco tour.  They started the night off with “Forget The Flowers” from their 1996 sophomore effort Being There and followed up with “Solitaire” from the underappreciated self-titled 2009 album, which left little doubt that this was NOT going to be a showcase of Wilco standards.  Tweedy himself even told the crowd that he was going to keep the chit chat to a minimum because we had a lot of songs to get to, and that we should expect to hear some stuff that most of their show-goers don’t hear on a regular basis.  Needless to say, they were celebrating the 20th anniversary tour by digging deep into the catalogue.  Hey, no complaints here.  We’ve seen Wilco quite a few times now, and it’s always good to get a fresh show!

John Stirratt
John Stirratt of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

The set, of course, did feature some crowd favorites like, “Muzzle Of Bees”, “Hummingbird”, “Art Of Almost”, “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”, “Via Chicago” (which featured some stellar drum work by Glenn Kotche), “Ashes Of American Flags”, “Jesus, Etc”, “The Late Greats”, “Heavy Metal Drummer”, and “A Shot In The Arm”.  These sing-alongs were a joy for Wilco fans new and old, but we did share a smoke with one fan who flew in from Annapolis, MD for this, her hundreth, Wilco show, who stated “that was the strangest Wilco set I’ve ever heard”.  Maybe it wasn’t for everyone, but again, we weren’t complaining.

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Keeping with the trend of digging deep in the catalogue, the band returned for an encore that started off with “Impossible Germany” from 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, but then they took it back 20 years for “Red Eyed And Blue”, “I Got You (At the End of the Century)”, and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” from 1996’s Being There.  They left the stage again to a roaring applause, and pew-pounding pleas for another encore at the early hour of 9:45, and returned for an acoustic, unplugged version of “Misunderstood” (again from Being There).  To our surprise, the show ended there, right around 10pm.  I guess that could further cement the fact that the older crowd may need to get home for their bed times, and that, while Wilco may be Dad Rock champs, they have a loyal fan base that provided an exciting atmosphere for the show last night.

If you are going for round two tonight, make sure you get there on time, spend the rest of your afternoon refreshing with Wilco’s impressive back catalogue, and enjoy the rest of the photos from Brad Hochstetler… You are in for a hell of a good time!

Nels Cline 4
Nels Cline of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Nels Cline
Nels Cline of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Tweedy 2
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Tweedy 3
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Tweedy 5
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Tweedy Solo 2
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

Tweedy Solo
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Photo by Brad Hochstetler.

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