Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wilco brings The Whole Love

Wilco returned to Santa Barbara with a show that sold out painfully quick at the historic Arlington Theater downtown.  Their last appearance here was at the much roomier Santa Barbara County Bowl, but given the Bowl season not opening until April, this was the next logical venue.  Turned out, for those lucky enough to score tickets, a perfect choice, for I have never heard the theater sound that beautifully balanced.

"Reservations", the final cut from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot served as the evening's opening song, and Nels Cline immediately served notice, garnishing the song tonally, but not overwhelming it, then stepping up his game with the band's segue into "Art of Almost" from their most recent effort, The Whole Love.

They proceeded to romp through their catalog at will, and it was the combinations of songs, ("I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" into "One Wing"), that struck.

Personal highlight of the night would have to be the soaring, transcendant take on "Impossible Germany" from Sky Blue Sky, a showpiece on the LP, but live, it churned into the coiled intensity reminiscent of Television's "Marquee Moon".

Austin based White Denim opened up the festivities with spiky jams that were tightly focused and in no danger of meandering.  The set was perfectly paced, culminating in an intense closer, the journey being the destination...

The band is capitalizing on a busy 2011, having released D, a full length LP, a live session cut at Third Man Records, and last fall's Takes Place In Your Work Space EP

Wilco setlist

Poster & Setlist courtesy of Wilco

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