Wilco – Chicago – Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park, IL – 2007-09-12

Where: Chicago – Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park, IL.

When: 2007-09-12

It was a cool, breezy night on September 12th at the Pritzker Pavilion, the backdrop was Chicago’s stunning skyline, and Wilco was headlining. All in all, it was the formula for an ideal night, and that’s exactly what it turned into. Since the Millennium Park folks now allow rock shows to play there, Wilco became one of the first of its kind to play the venue. Although the band shell looks like a giant satellite fell from space and crashed-landed into the middle of the city during the day, the wreckage of industrial steel looks like a work of art once night falls. The dramatic lighting and excellent sound served as the perfect stage for one of the best bands of our time.

Wilco opened with a cut from Sky Blue Sky that received a lukewarm reception from fans, but the pace picked up immediately with hits from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”. Drummer and Chicagoan Glenn Kotche played outstandingly, especially with “Misunderstood”. Interestingly, Wilco chose its set through submissions from fans so it was no surprise, but welcome nonetheless, when they played the great “Via Chicago”. The most memorable tune of the night may have been “Shot in the Arm”, one of my favorite songs of all time. Jeff Tweedy gave a spectacular performance, the best of his that I have seen. His vocals sounded better than ever, especially on “Heavy Metal Drummer” and “California Stars”.

Wilco even broke out some of the older tunes with “Red-Eyed and Blue”, “Box Full of Letters” and the classic “Casino Queen”. “Hummingbird” was another standout in this long, phenomenal, near-flawless show. “Impossible Germany” was a surprise hit with fans, and “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” was absolutely crazy. Tweedy was having a great time on stage, talking to the audience frequently and at one point running laps around the entire stage. This band just keeps getting better and better and will remain an important fixture in music for years to come. From what might be the best lineup ever, Wilco put on a show Chicago will remember for a long time.