WILCO ROCKS TROUTDALE
Sorry about the dates on these photos... I need to fix that on my camera.
Along the way from La Grande to Troutdale, I took some interesting detours. These first two pictures are of wind turbines in the area near Bickleton, Washington. Nice clouds, eh!
This is a slightly fuzzy photo of Rock Creek Canyon on the road between Bickleton and Goldendale, WA. The road goes through some beautiful country:
Above is a view from high above The Dalles, OR. I'm on the Washington side of the Columbia River, on the fairly precipitous Dalles Mountain Road.
Below is a shot of the concert venue at the Edgefield about three hours prior to the show:
Wilco opened their show with "Either Way" from their new album "Sky Blue Sky" and played all of the songs from that album during the course of the show. The only thing they played from the "Being There" was "Outtamind Outtasite". Tracks from "Summerteeth" (my favorite album of theirs) were "Via Chicago", "I'm Always In Love" and "Shot In The Arm". From "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" they played "Hummingbird", "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", "War On War" and "Heavy Metal Drummer". They played three songs from "A Ghost Is Born": "Spiders (Kidsmoke)", "The Late Greats" and "Handshake Drugs". There might be a few I don't recall, but they played for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. My highlights were "Handshake Drugs", "Either Way", "War On War" and "Spiders". Singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy played guitar on just about all the songs, and did all the lead vocals. He is a very dynamic performer. Lead guitarist Nels Cline played some very nice licks, including some jazz-based motifs and some Neil-Young-ish chicken chokin'. The whole band was VERY skilled, and they are a MUST-SEE band if you have not seen them yet. In my opinion, their live performances are much better than their studio recordings. I have their CDs, and I find I listen to those for the songs themselves more than for the way the songs are performed. Seeing the band live, I understand more about their energy and for my money Wilco is one of the best bands currently recording and performing.
Late in the show, REM guitarist Peter Buck joined the band for a couple of songs. I have never seen Peter Buck play live with REM, but I have seen him onstage two times, once with the Patti Smith band at The Gorge in 1997, and now with Wilco. In this regrettably fuzzy photo, he is behind Jeff Tweedy and Bassist John Stirratt. For some MUCH better photos of Wilco, go to:
On the way back to La Grande? More wind turbines... This time, I drove past some near the north central Oregon town of Condon. All in all, a great trip, lots of cool scenery, and one of the better, more professional live bands I have seen in quite a while!