Too Drunk To Dream

…ain’t no drinking when the bottle’s dry…

Wilco, nudie suits, and what effin good is a meet-and-greet pass?

So I got to see Wilco last night. While it was against my better judgement and against my bank account to do so, it will be a night that I won’t soon forget.

Matt and I had talked about this show for a long time. All spring and summer, in fact. With all of the shows and all of the vacations that were to be squeezed in this summer, a little Wilco show in the Berkshires was probably not gonna make it onto the itinerary. You see, Matt and I have been alums of Wilco’s for a couple of years. He met his wife at that Agganis Arena show in ’05, days after I had broken up with my (now) fiance. He had found love and I had lost love with Wilco that summer. We were both at the Pines last summer, the day after my engagement to Jess, and at New Haven this February. I want Matt to know that it was a complete accident how I got to meet Jeff Tweedy after the free show I saw at Tanglewood.

A week and a half ago I was reading a blog post about the Newport Folk Festival on a great blog site, Ryan’s Smashing Life. He had written a post on the previous day announcing a Wilco ticket giveaway, courtesy of his site, and Wilco’s band management. I thought it would be worth a go, so I emailed him, as instructed. And then I forgot about it. Well, Monday morning I got an email from Ryan.

Hey Jameson,

Can you make this show tomorrow?


I replied. I knew that if Jess and I couldn’t swing it, then maybe Matt and Jules could. Ryan emailed me back and told me that a set of lawn tickets would be waiting for me at Will Call.

We left Providence an hour late. 5:30. That sucked but traffic was a bitch. When we got into the car and set the gps, our estimated arrival time to western Mass was 7:47. OUCH. Showtime was 6:30. I put some pedals to metals and didn’t look back. We were sacrificing Andrew Bird, but we might catch the start of Tweedy and Co. Might.

After stopping on the turnpike for a five minute break, we limped into Lenox, Mass at 10 minutes till eight. I walked up to the ticket window and the ticketing guy said he recognized my name, pulled a thin white envelope and handed it to me.

“Enjoy the show”, he said earnestly.

“You know I will”, I replied, with even greater earnest.

As I hurriedly handed our tickets to the woman manning the entrance gate, she said, “I think they must be waiting for you…they’ve been ringing the bells for a few minutes, now. So get to your seats, they’re about to start.”

“Thanks”, I said, not knowing where I was going. “These are lawn seats, right?”

She looked at my ticket again, and said, “No. B15 is a box seat. They’re pretty nice tickets.”

Our seats were not lawn seats. They were right behind the soundboard in the absolute perfect location for sound, and visually WAY better than the lawn….

When we got to our seats, the lights went out and the show began. Wilco came out, dressed in the Nudie suits that they wore at this years’ landmark Lollapalooza show in Chcago. Not a soul sat down the entire night.

A few songs in, they brought out their horn section, the “Total Pro Horns”, which would allow them to play a bunch of songs off of Summerteeth that they reall can’t play normally.

The complete setlist was as follows:

Either Way
Remember The Mountain Bed
Muzzle of Bees
You Are My Face
Impossible Germany
A Shot in the Arm
What Light (w/Total Pros horns)
California Stars (w/TPs)
Pieholden Suite (w/TPs)
Handshake Drugs
Pot Kettle Black
Summer Teeth
Jesus, etc.
Poor Places>
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
Can’t Stand It (w/TPs)
Hate It Here (w/TPs)
Walken (w/TPs)
I’m The Man Who Loves You (w/TPs)
The Late Greats (w/TPs)
Heavy Metal Drummer
Monday (w/TPs)>
Outtasite (Outta Mind) (w/TPs)
I’m A Wheel

The encores were the sickest Wilco I’ve ever seen. A complete rock show. Nudie suits, horns, Pat Sansone’s Townshend-impressions. Hands down 100 percent energy. Nobody wanted the show to end, but when the lights went out it was time to go.

While people filed out, we sat. Talked Wilco. Caught our breath. The very nice security woman who was standing next to us, turned and asked inquisitively, “Do you guys have a meet-and-greet pass, too?” We said, “Um, no? Can we get one?” But alas, she just chuckled and we knew that we weren’t THAT cool. No meet and greets for us tonight.

So Jess always accuses me of ambling. I’m always walking very slowly wherever I go. Well, as we were walking towards the exits, I decided to amble off the beaten path and wound up at the tour buses about 10 minutes after the show ended. A few minutes after getting there, Jeff Tweedy left the venue and entered his bus, then he came out and started talking with the 20 or so people milling around the area. He signed some stuff, some girl’s Converse All-stars, somebody gave him a sock monkey, yeah a sock monkey. A pregnant woman wanted her unborn to meet Jeff. One guy was having a reaction to mushrooms or something (at Wilco, dude?) and Jeff had to tell him to chill the fuck out….

…..I got a signature and a picture. I got to throw my arm around Tweedy. How cool. Cue Marsha Brady :”I’m never washing this cheek again”. Well, things were getting pretty hectic pretty quick and Jeff was about to make an exit so we were Audi. Great show capped off with a nice personal meet-and-greet with Jeff Tweedy. Who needs a meet-and-greet pass? Jeff just skipped out on that anyway.

Thanks to Ryan’s Smashing Life and Wilco’s Management for gifting me such a great night. I’ll never forget it.

August 13, 2008 Posted by | horns, jeff tweedy, live music, ryan's smashing life, tanglewood, wilco | 1 Comment