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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsJeff Tweedy and son, Spencer are promoting their recent double cd release, "Sukierae." This is the debut release for Jeff Tweedy's new project, "Tweedy." Around the time he began working on the album, his wife and Spencer's mother was diagnosed with cancer. They named the album after Susie's nickname. Tweedy revealed the purpose of the tour was to teach son, Spencer, the tricks of being on the road.
Whether Jeff Tweedy is fronting Wilco or performing solo, this was, by far, the most laid back and personable show to date. The reason for this complete about face performance must lie in the fact that the other performances were in large venues or stadiums. But also, many of the songs are emotionally charged due to the circumstances at the time they were written. The levity in the show seemed to be a way to neutralize Tweedy's vulnerability.
The set included eleven songs from the new album. Jeff stopped to converse with the crowd after the performance of the first five songs from the aforementioned album. The conversation commenced, "Good to be back. It's been a long time. Any of you graduates of Lawrence W. Cross High School? I went there. For about a year. Seriously I did. That makes me a native." He addressed a fan in the front row that had been raucously waving her arms in the air, "I really appreciate you waving. It's really awesome. She's got a new way of waving. " He demonstrates the waving motion. "I love you too. I don't know you, but you're awesome. Now that we've said hi, you don't need to wave any more. (Laughter from the crowd) You've got the moves, I've got it. Maybe you can move over to Jim. He's much more focused. I'm just kidding."
He addressed the crowd, "How are you? My first faux pas of the evening. You never ask how they are. You tell them how they are. ‘You guys are great!' I'm teaching my son the ropes. ‘You guys are having a great time aren't you?' I think I'll go back to the old way."
Jeff performed about 45 minutes solo accompanying himself on guitar. This was some of the most compelling music in the set. These were older songs that seemed to fit like glove. He played guitar with moving authority and he pulled the guitar strings like Willie Nelson pulls Trigger's strings. He covered Diane Izzo's "Love Like a Wire" and Mavis Staple's "You're Not Alone." Spencer joined him for the last two songs during the acoustic set. Spencer was not a flashy drummer and he worked to competently accompany and accent his father's guitar picking and voice.
The encore featured the rest of the band and the songs were from other writers including John Lennon, Neil Young, and Doug Sahm. The set was on the north side of two hours and everything a Jeff Tweedy fan could imagine and more. Don't miss Wilco playing at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
2. Fake Fur Coat
3. Diamond Light Pt. 1
5. World Away
6. Wait For Love
7. Summer Noon
8. New Moon
9. Nobody Dies Anymore
10. High As Hello
11. Love Like a Wire (Diane Izzo cover)
12. Low Key
13. You Are Not Alone
(Mavis Staples cover)
14. The Lion Queen
15. Please Don't Let Me Be So Misunderstood
16. Only the Lord Knows (Mavis Staples cover)
17. God (John Lennon cover)
18. The Losing End (Neil Young cover)
19. Give Back the Key to My Heart (Doug Sahm cover)
20. California Stars (Billy Bragg & Wilco cover)
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