LIVE REVIEW: Wilco (with Liam Finn) – May 5th, Forum Theatre
Wilco don’t like people taking photos at their gigs. They don’t mind amateur recordings, though, as we were informed by the automated message at the beginning of the show. As I sat in one of the front booths at the Forum Theatre, some men in front of me set up some microphones on poles, linked up to an iPod.
Support for the night was provided by the immensely talented Liam Finn, although without his trusty sidekick EJ Barnes. For part of the set, he was joined on stage by Connan Hosford a musician he claimed to have met on the side of the road in New Zealand. They did a fantastic version of “I’ll Be Lightening”, but my favourite Liam Finn track, “Second Chance”, was lacking without EJ’s harmonies.
Wilco (the band) kicked off their performance with “Wilco (the song)”, and a computerised voice introduced each band member. Jeff Tweedy didn’t speak much between songs, but when he did, he won the crowd over with his irreverent banter. “We’ve played better,” he apologised, “but we’ll do our best from now on.” Playing for almost two and a half hours, Wilco ensured that they covered material off each of their albums, not just the most recent. There was a beautiful moment towards the end, with the crowd singing almost the entirety of “Jesus, Etc” without Tweedy’s assistance.
The encore began with an obscure cover, but closed the night off perfectly with a delightful rendition of “I’m a Wheel”.
It was a great show, so keep an eye out for bootlegs – I’m sure the guys in front of me with the mics and the iPod would have a pretty decent copy.