It’s only been three years since beloved Chicago alt rock outfit Wilco released their tenth LP, Schmilco, and only two since the group last toured, but given all of their individual activity since (and their prolific schedule in the years prior), it feels like much longer. Frontman Jeff Tweedy, particularly, has been incredibly active, releasing a memoir and pair of solo albums, and hitting the road in support, even passing through town earlier this year to play TPAC. As Tweedy’s activity winds down, Wilco’s is gearing to wind back up, and after a previously-announced European tour this summer, the band recently confirmed a fall trek of dates stateside as well, including an Oct. 20 headliner at the Grand Ole Opry House. The show marks Wilco’s first Nashville area appearance since the inaugural Pilgrimage Festival in 2015, and first headliner since a pair of Ryman dates the year prior. No news on whether we can definitively expect new music this year as well, but with the group back in action, it feels like a forgone conclusion that an album will soon follow. Tickets are on sale here right now, but we’re also giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky fan! Read on for more about the show, and enter for a chance to win below.
Initially formed 25 years ago in Chicago, Wilco‘s roots trace back to seminal alt-country group Uncle Tupelo, whose brief run from 1987-1994 made them a beloved and influential cult favorite, and spawned several more prominent subsequent acts. After mounting tensions between Tupelo singer Jay Farrar and bandmate Jeff Tweedy, Farrar split to form something of a spiritual successor, Son Volt, while Tweedy, who’d long been enamored just as much with rock and punk as the group’s more country leaning influences, regrouped with the remainder of Uncle Tupleo’s final lineup, and stepped into the role of frontman with Wilco. Though their 1995 debut, A.M., felt like a logical extension of their prior band, earning them a major label deal and positive critical reception, ’96 followup Being There was more of a formal introduction to what would become Wilco’s genre and era-defining, artsy, boundary-pushing, more alt rock rooted sound. The first decade of their career saw a rotating lineup of band members (only bassist John Stirratt has been with Tweedy from the start), and modest commercial success despite overwhelmingly positive critical praise. After a couple of collaborative works with Billy Bragg, and tepid sales for their third LP Summerteeth, Wilco, after presenting their label with fourth effort Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, were notoriously dropped, subsequently able to retain their recordings, build hype with fans, and ink a new deal for a 2001 release, with the album ultimately becoming their most commercially successful, best-known, and critically beloved, kicking off a newfound wave of widespread fame, and catapulting their prestige and acclaim in the ’00s. By 2004’s multiple Grammy winning A Ghost Is Born, the group had settled on a new lineup which has remained intact ever since, giving way to a string of five more recent full-lengths over the last 15 years, navigating everything from their folk and country roots, to alternative and experimental rock, indie, art rock, and beyond, along the way becoming a festival staple, and one of the most esteemed Chicago bands of all time. Especially over the last decade or so, Wilco have seen their members branch off to partake in various solo and side projects, all to much acclaim, and though their main output is a bit less prolific than it once was, the band continue to tour relentlessly, and to return with fresh, inventive, and essential works each time they regroup. Any chance to see Wilco is sure to be an unforgettable experience, and their debut at the Opry House will no doubt be just as magical- don’t miss out!
ENTER TO WIN TICKETS
Enter to win tickets by filling out the form below. If you experience any trouble with the contest widget, or have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected].
Winner will be announced Tuesday, July 9 at 12 p.m. CDT, and will receive one pair of tickets. Good luck!
Wilco will perform Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Grand Ole Opry House. The show is all ages, begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available to purchase for $35-55.