There was some question on whether to attend this show or another engagement on the other side of town, but not so much for me. It'd been too long for my tastes since I'd seen this band (er, the previous two shows notwithstanding), so off to the Los Angeles Theatre it was for Wilco's last night in the Southland.
Wilco, Los Angeles Theatre, January 27, 2012: Finding information on the Los Angeles Theatre was far more difficult than you could imagine. Try Googling "LA theatre" and you'll find a bunch of links to the general theater scene in Los Angeles, but almost nothing on the classic movie house downtown. In fact, the guy at the Garlin/Tweedy conversation at Largo on Monday night who claimed that his great-grandfather designed the theater probably offered more information on the locale than anything you could find in a Web search. It's kind of a shame because the Los Angeles Theatre is worth knowing, with an incredible history and a breathtaking design. We heard from several people that we should check out the bathrooms, and I can assure you they deserve a look.
As for the show itself, well, you might know my bias toward seated versus general admission gigs, but they have their time and place. Truth be told, I didn't particularly feel like standing up for much of the first half of the show, despite the urging of various audience members. Maybe it was the choice of more mellow album tracks such as "Black Moon," "Open Mind," and even the magnificent acoustic full-band version of "Spiders," but I was perfectly happy to warm my seat for a while. It took "Can't Stand It" -- and a small admonition from Jeff -- before the room united in the decision to stay on our feet for the rest of the gig.
On the other hand, it was the first time I was able to take in the band's more multimedia presentation, including the full context of projections and other aspects of their light show. And it sounded great from my vantage.
Jeff referred to the Grammys and the band's upcoming appearance at the show, but if anyone's votes are still out, the band may have a lost a few points on a couple of details: (1) Jeff's flubbing of the lyrics on "Radio Cure," and (2) his admission that the version of "Red-Eyed and Blue" on Monday night was a fiasco. If any song can take on a little roughness around the edges, "Red-Eyed" is it. Besides, it's not like I'm about to refuse the chance to hear a welcome rocker on any day.
Next up: Back home!
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