The first band to play Duluth’s Bayfront Festival Park since last week’s devastating flooding, Wilco is joining the steady stream of musical support for the city’s relief efforts — which started with Trampled by Turtles announcement of a July 8 fundraiser concert at the scenic outdoor venue. Red Cross reps are being called in to take donations at the Wilco concert, and the Chicago band will also donate whatever money is made off posters sold at their Duluth show Sunday and their Rochester gig Monday.
These aren't generic tour posters that you might see at a Beyoncé concert (Jeff Tweedy's not quite sexy enough for that). Every Wilco concert poster is uniquely designed and screen-printed by reputable poster-artists for each city, and they sell for $30. In this case, Minneapolis print designer Florafauna got the call for both shows. “Wilco is so great about their poster art,” raved Florafauna’s Paul Gardner, who said his Duluth poster was inspired by the Aerial Lift Bridge, while the Rochester print was “more of an abstract influence.” Which was Gardner’s polite way of saying there’s really nothing inspirational about Rochester (it’s still a great poster, though). That's a preview of the Duluth poster to the right.
Regular enough visitors to Duluth to have earned a mayoral proclamation their list time at the DECC, Wilco's members were treated to the city's unpredictable weather once before. They played Bayfront park just after Labor Day in 2007 and were treated to a windy, wintery sleet fest (and gave an unforgettable performance). Things should be sunnier literally and figuratively this time at Bayfront park, what with the family-friendly aspect of the show allowing kids 12 & under in free and the 6 p.m. start time for opener Blitzen Trapper. Click here for details. A reminder to concertgoers headed to Duluth and especially to the Rochester show -- where Tweedy's solo gig last year was marred by fans yelling out songs -- the band takes song requests online at each of its concerts (and does usually play a couple of the unusual ones).
Speaking of unpredictable weather, the band is already crusading for another cause at all its tour dates this summer, Vote the Environment, for which it is teaming with Patagonia. They issued an alternate version of the song "Whole Love" at iTunes and a limited-edition T-shirt to raise money for the agenda-pushing organization.