Last Friday, my sister Laura flew into town for the weekend. My brother Jude had bought three tickets to see Wilco in Pittsburgh, and he’d asked Laura to come. I got the third ticket.
The show was excellent. Jeff Tweedy and his band clicked nicely and seemed to feed off each others’ energy. Tweedy sounded concerned about the severe sobriety of the crowd and the potential impact on our enthusiasm– the show was at the AJ Palumbo Center on the Duquesne University campus, so there was nary a drink to be found. But then he said the band would have to “intoxicate you with our music,” and they went ahead and did exactly that.
Tweedy has a reputation of being moody and unpredictable in concert. On this occasion, he was energized and in good voice, said extremely nice things about the city of Pittsburgh, and worked hard to get everyone in the crowd up and dancing and clapping along. They played pretty much every song I hoped they would, including about half of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. There were fun, flashing lights and rocking guitar solos. Let me also announce here that I am in love with multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone and his retro guitar stylings.
Find a couple more blurry photos from the show here.
If you have the chance to see Wilco on their current tour, I encourage you to go.
Beyond the music, this was the single best AJ Palumbo Center concert experience I’ve ever had. We had nice seats in the right-side bleachers, close enough to see well and far enough back not to be blocked too badly by the amps. The people around us were enthusiastic and pleasant, and they didn’t seem to mind me dancing in my tiny bit of space. We found ample parking in the garage next to the center, and after the show we were out of the garage and cruising up I-279 within minutes. Honestly, this experience has restored my interest in seeing shows at this venue.