Review and Photos by Matt SchwenkeIn support of their latest release entitled A Ghost Is Born, Wilco put on a show at the Orpheum in Madison that was both fun and sincere. Still somewhat of an underground band, Wilco's repertoire covers just about any kind of sound you could imagine and their light/media show in the background bombards you with interesting images. Whether the song was driving and intense or slow and relaxed, Jeff Tweedy commanded the attention of the crowd with his voice that is both raw and beautiful.
Bassist John Stirratt also sang and provided some nice vocal harmonies during the night. Even though they do not sing, drummer Glen Kotche, guitarist Nels Cline and Mikael Jorgensen were solid and provided some excellent off-meter effects and sounds throughout the show. The set pulled songs from many of their albums, but the biggest response from the crowd came when Wilco played "I'm the Man Who Loves You" and "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart." Other notables from the night included "I'm A Wheel" and "Via Chicago."
Since the election season is in full swing (and Senator Kerry planning to hold a massive rally a few blocks away the next afternoon), Tweedy could not resist adding his thoughts during the show (not once, but twice) on who should be president, which some responded to with cheers and others with groans. Even though the crowd seemed to embrace the notion of change in our government, Tweedy walked a fine line since many fans are just sick of hearing about politics. In the end, however, the crowd didn't seem to mind the political digression and cheered Wilco on until the end of their encore.
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