"We're from here now. We've got the documentation to prove it."
Jeff Tweedy wasn't kidding when he made that declaration six songs into another ridiculously fun Duluth concert by Wilco. Before the DECC show, the city's young mayor Don Ness (who's 36 but he looks like he's 19) gave the Chicago kingpins a proclamation backstage officially declaring them Duluth citizens. Holding up the pleather-bound document, Tweedy explained: "This teenager came up to us and said he was mayor. We think it's legit." He then proceeded to hold up the fancy document about 50 times during the show whenever he wanted to get some cheap applause.
Friday's show wasn't much different from Wilco's Roy Wilkins gig in October. In fact, the first six songs were exactly the same. But the 2.25-hour set had a bit more of a loose, jovial, less feisty spirit to it. The band was coming off a Western Canadian swing centered around an Olympics gig (they took the DECC stage to the Olympic anthem) and seemed to be enjoying the less-familiar environs. While trying to prompt the 2,000-strong Duluth crowd to sing "Jesus, Etc." (it did so perfectly), Tweedy complained about those Canucks inability to do so, but added, "They sure are polite."
The band slipped in a few surprises in the set list: The rarely played (of late) "Kamera" and "Wishful Thinking," plus the almost never played "Bob Dylan's 49th Beard." Tweedy said of the latter, "We remembered this song while on our way from Saskatoon -- about as close as anybody ever gets to Hibbing." Another surprise was the omission of "Spiders (Kidsmoke)," which they've played at every show I've seen since 2004 (so honestly, I didn't miss it). I still long to hear more songs off last year's "Wilco (the Album)," especially after "One Wing" and "Bull Black Nova" sounded better than ever Friday. But since Tweedy & Co. are taking up residency in Duluth now maybe I'll hear them play the album in its entirety at Pizza Luce one of these weekends. Here's the whole set list:
Wilco (the Song) / A Shot in the Arm / I Am Trying to Break Your Heart / Bull Black Nova / You Are My Face / One Wing / Kamera / Ashes of American Flags / Wishful Thinking / Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway (again) / Sonny Feeling / Impossible Germany / California Stars / Bob Dylan's 49th Beard / Handshake Drugs / You Never Know / Jesus, Etc. / Walken / I'm the Man Who Loves You / Hummingbird ENCORE: Via Chicago / Airline to Heaven / Hate It Here / Heavy Metal Drummer / Kingpin / Casino Queen / Hoodoo Voodoo