We left Portland early in the morning, but not before running into a familiar bearded face at the train station. Next thing I knew, we were in Seattle and loading up on porcine pleasure at Salumi--as, I'm confident, any sane person with taste buds would do. It was only after a few more orders of business (hotel, coffee, record shopping) that we set about fulfilling the purported reason for our visit: Wilco's show at the Paramount Theatre.
Wilco, Paramount Theatre, February 10, 2010: As I indicated in the last post, I could've been at home enjoying a highly anticipated gig on Tuesday night, but the Wilco masterplan prevailed. Furthermore, an incredibly enticing last-minute offer came up for Wednesday night back in my home state, but I stuck to my guns--as if there was any doubt that I would.
Though I had a great time at the Portland show, Seattle was the gig I'd been waiting for and the experience that's more familiar to me. There was no question of sitting vs. standing, for starters, and even Jeff commented that the Paramount was the perfect theater, allowing each camp to choose their preferred manner of enjoying a concert. Then again, if we had heard the same first three songs--"Wilco (The Song)," "A Shot in the Arm," and "Bull Black Nova"--in Oregon, we might've been on our feet a bit sooner.
Throw in some of the less frequented tracks ("Radio Cure," "Pot Kettle Black," "Theologians," "Box Full of Letters"), perhaps the most complete Wilco (The Album) representation I'd yet heard in a show, and a very able sing-along, and I'd say the musical portion was all sewn up.
But it wasn't all about the music. The band debuted (I think) some electronic intros, inspiring both confusion and laughter. Additionally, Glenn went for both the gong and the Todd Trainer tribute on "I'm the Man Who Loves You," and we wished Wilco's tour manager Jason Tobias a happy birthday with a weak serenade and a gluten-free cake, for which Jeff thanked the city of Seattle (gotta love West Coast living).
Scott McCaughey returned for a second night on "California Stars," and in case we had any doubt, Jeff dubbed him the "seventh member of Wilco." Also strapping on a guitar was Bill Frisell, looking a lot more assured than he did at the Marymoor show in 2007. It wasn't that easy to hear him from our side of the stage, but I detected a less reticent take on this simple song, and Nels generously gave up his solo so that his good friend could take another run at the tune.
The only small aside to this concert might've been the venue's curfew. It didn't take long for the encore to kick into high gear, and to accommodate the time restraints, the band played one extended segment instead of the customary two shorter blocks. By the time they hit "Hoodoo Voodoo," they managed all they could with the clock ticking, but I couldn't help but think that the Seattlites missed out, with only an abbreviated Nels-Pat vamp-off to wet their appetites.
Speaking of appetites, I can't offer too much on the foodie front since Salumi's porchetta sandwich was hard to photograph, thanks to the dour gray lighting perpetually hanging over Seattle. Also, I don't want to provide irrefutable proof of our gluttony. Hell, you try choosing--or, in our case, not choosing--between the soup, the pasta, and the hot and cold sandwiches when you know you're going to be in town for only 24 hours! Instead, you can view the lovely storefront and imagine the unctuous, meaty goodness and the lovely, knowledgeable staff waiting inside for yourself. Salumi, I'll be back! Don't change a thing!
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