Review + Photos + Set List | 20 Years With Wilco: An Evening at the Riviera in Chicago

Jeff Tweedy blows a kiss to his wife, Susie | All photos by Jason Gonulsen

(***NOTE: To download this show via torrent, go here.)

When we came here today
All I wanted to say was how much I miss you

Jeff Tweedy isn’t a sentimental guy. He told us that during the latter stages of Friday night’s 20th Anniversary Wilco show, which was the sixth (and last) evening of the Wilco Winterlude at the Riviera Theater in Chicago.

But Friday was different for Tweedy. Near the end of “I Got You (The End of the Century),” the second song of the night, Tweedy blew a kiss to his wife, Susie, who was “facetiming” in from the photo pit. She couldn’t be at the show as her recovery from cancer is still ongoing, but you could tell from Jeff Tweedy’s face that the brief moment they shared carried immense weight and importance.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know this was going to happen,” Tweedy said from the stage. “Let’s all say, ‘Get well soon, Susie.'”

The crowd obliged.

Throughout the evening, Tweedy had no problem showing his emotions. He hugged bassist John Stirratt, whom he called his “brother.” “He’s been with me for longer than 20 years,” Tweedy said, referencing their time together in Uncle Tupelo. “But 20 years with Wilco.”

Tweedy and Stirratt are the only two original Wilco members left in the band, but that’s not to stay this version of Wilco is unstable. Tweedy talked about each member before “The Good Part,” noting length of service for Drummer Glenn Kotche, guitarist/keyboardist Pat Sansone, guitairist Nels Cline, and multi-instrumentalit Mikael Jorgensen. This version of Wilco — a sextet — has now been intact for 10 years.

But these were billed as 20th Anniversary shows, so Tweedy wasn’t done talking.

“I’d also like to say thanks to Max, Bob, Jay, Ken, Leroy…they all helped us get here. We miss ’em and we love ’em,” he said before an acoustic hootenany-style rendition of “Hoodoo Voodoo,” which closed the 30-song performance. “We wouldn’t be here without them.”

The Jay he referred to is the late Jay Bennett who died in his sleep in 2009. Bennett helped shape the sounds of Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, two albums that were represented on Friday’s set list via songs like “Pot Kettle Black,” “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,” “ELT,” “I’m Always In Love,” “How To Fight Loneliness,” and “Via Chicago.”

So many songs in 20 years. So many shows. So many moments on Friday that defined why Wilco is still relevant: Nels Cline’s guitar clinic on “Impossible Germany,” Glenn Kotche’s solo on “Let’s Not Get Carried Away,” the punk energy of “Kicking Television,” Stirratt’s vocals on “It’s Just That Simple,” Tweedy leading the band on an acoustic “I’m Always In Love.”

On the latter, he sang:

I’m worried
I’m worried
I’m worried
I’m always in love

But there’s no need to worry. Not on a night when Jeff Tweedy let his guard down, showing his love for his wife, his band, his fans.

In 20 years, we’ll still remember.

Set list

(***NOTE: To download this show via torrent, go here.)

01 – Red Eyed and Blue
02 – I Got You (At the End of the Century)
03 – Secrets of the Sea
04 – Too Far Apart
05 – Via Chicago
06 – Bull Black Nova
07 – Blood of the Lamb
08 – Deeper Down
09 – I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
10 – Art of Almost
11 – I Might
12 – Message From Mid-Bar
13 – Dark Neon
14 – Another Man’s Done Gone
15 – How to Fight Loneliness
16 – Misunderstood
17 – Far, Far Away
18 – What Light
19 – Pot Kettle Black
20 – Dawned On Me
21 – Impossible Germany
22 – The Good Part
23 – Spiders (Kidsmoke)
24 – Let’s Not Get Carried Away
25 – Just a Kid
26 – Kicking Television
27 – ELT
28 – It’s Just That Simple
29 – I’m Always In Love
30 – Hoodoo Voodoo

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