Wilco at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati

IMG_4764Wilco stopped by Cincinnati on May 5th as part of their 20th anniversary tour. The show featured a 30 song career-spanning set, including songs from almost every album the band has released.

Taking the stage at around 9:15, Wilco played their final song two and half hours later, leaving the stage only briefly for two encore breaks. Between songs audience members yelled out requests and other random comments, including a question about an instrument guitarist Nels Cline was playing.  “Is that a lap steel?” To which Jeff Tweedy, lead singer, replied, “Yes, it is a lap steel.”

This was the first of many audience interactions with Tweedy, the most memorable of which was when he responded to fans yelling out song titles.  “You’re not going to hear your favorite song tonight,” Tweedy said. Referring to the setlist he had prepared for the evening, he then told the audience, “We’ve been doing this a long time…we put together a program of songs we thought would be fun to play…trust us.”

Opening the evening with “Less Than You Think,” a song from A Ghost is Born, the band played both obscure tunes, like “Panthers” from the A Ghost is Born Bonus EP, and fan-favorites like “Heavy Metal Drummer.”  Wilco closed the evening with an all-acoustic encore set where the band stood around only a few microphones and played stripped-down versions of some well-known tunes. The set also included (in addition to guitars) Pat Sansone on banjo and Mikael Jorgensen on Melodica.

The band closed the night out with an acoustic rendition of the anthemic “A Shot in the Arm.”

Wilco continues their tour in Indianapolis tomorrow (May 7).  Click here for a full list of tour dates. Below, check out photos from the show, as well as a video from YouTube user mgmcountry of the band playing “Airline to Heaven” from the show which includes the banter about playing people’s favorite songs.