Before we could make our way to Portland, there was the pressing matter of a pit stop at Salumi in downtown Seattle, a diversion that was worth every minute on the clock and mile on the odometer. Bless the Batalis and their way with pork products!
Wilco, McMenamin's Edgefield, August 22, 2007: There was a lot to look forward to at this show, and top of the list was meeting Judy's burgeoning family, who dropped in while we were waiting in line. Unfortunately, we were holding down the fort at the front of the stage when the baby summit took place, but we hear the children shared toys in the most adorable manner possible.
They weren't the only little ones present, as plenty of other parents seemed to think it was a good idea to bring along the whole family. The couple next to us, for example, took turns hoisting their tweens to the barrier. This, combined with the massive amounts of pot smoke trapped in the warm air, led Jeff to comment on the consequences of the combination. I don't think it stopped either the parents or the pot smokers, though.
At least one beloved mommy, as well as one daddy, was able to sneak away and join us at the front of the stage for a selection of songs. I think it was during "Handshake Drugs" that Judy spontaneously proclaimed, "I love this band!" She pretty much summed up my feelings exactly, and it was wonderful to have her resume her usual position with us, as if no time had gone by at all. Alas, their newborn had other plans, so she had to duck away for the rest of the show (though not before noticing the cool, new things Nels did to "Pot Kettle Black"). Her absence was especially notable during during "Outtamind (Outtasite)," which got the rest of us pogoing like idiots. Doug, however, stayed for the whole set, and I was glad to see that he was enjoying it as much as we did.
Tonight's song selection favored the "alterna" Sky Blue Sky tracks, such as "Either Way" and "Shake It Off," that aren't aired as often. I have no idea why they don't do "Either Way" every night, especially when you can hear the crowd singing along as they did in Portland.
Setlist surprises included "Bob Dylan's Beard," but not so surprising was the appearance of Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck, a.k.a. the Minus 5, for "California Stars." It brought me back nearly five years, to the joint Wilco/Minus 5 tour through the West Coast. Despite his previous experience, Peter Buck didn't seem any more assured than Bill Frisell in the guest guitarist position.
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