The New Champion….Wilco

For those worrying about who will carry the torch, which may or may not be hoisted any longer by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, meet Wilco.       The Jeff Tweedy led band delivered an extraordinary three-hour plus show Saturday night at the Electric Factory.          It was ‘An Evening With’ concert and the justifiably lionized band certainly has the goods to play all night long. Wilco has been the most consistent band in rock, with apologies to Radiohead, since its debut ‘AM’ dropped in 1995.        Wilco has crafted four exceptional albums and a couple of strong, solid releases. It had been over two-years since Wilco played Philadelphia and the group rendered a stellar performance.       The highlight of the epic set was a 50-minute acoustic section, which was kicked off in surprising fashion with the a stripped down, economic version of the normally sprawling  ‘Spiders (Kidsmoke).’      ‘Forget the Flowers’ and ‘Outtasite (Outta Mind)’ bolstered the acoustic set, which featured the band surrounded by a couple of table lamps.       One of Tweedy’s best traits, aside from being one of the top singer-songwriters in the business, is that he doesn’t pull punches.       During much of the acoustic set, a number of fans chatted loudly. The din finally irked Tweedy, who called the yappers ‘Chatty Cathys.’      “I will not back down,” Tweedy said. “We will not play louder. We will not like you because you are bad people. Miserable people. I don’t care if I come across as a pissy artist because you guys are awful.”        It’s rare to find candor from the stage these days, particularly when an audience is rude.      But towards the end of the show, Tweedy made up with the soldout crowd by calling the fans ‘awesome.’       Wilco impressed during the rare acoustic set but it also flexed its sonic muscles with ‘Impossible Germany,’ ‘Hate It Here’ and ‘Heavy Metal Drummer.’       Those looking for arguably the best band, live and in studio, should have caught Wilco’s incendiary set since the brilliant band is infallible and in their prime.


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