Review: Wilco @ Orpheum Theatre (Boston) 01-30-16

Review: Wilco @ Orpheum Theatre (Boston) 01-30-16

Tuesday, 02 February 2016

I know I can always refer to Wilco when I want to make a point about what an idiot I actually am. Not that it isn’t obvious to most people. Wilco is one of those bands that I’ve avoided most of my life. First because they weren’t aggressive enough, second because I associated them with my ex, and third because I thought they were washed up at this point. Like I said, I’m an idiot.

Another reason for me to be embarrassed with myself is that I sort of lowered my expectations for my first live experience with this band, but it became painfully obvious that this is a different kind of live show because I’m mostly accustomed to punk/garage shows. But four songs into their set at the Orpheum in Boston (the Saturday show, not the Friday one which attracts losers, obviously), it dawned on me, “Oh right, these guys are goddamn professionals!”

Perhaps it’s the gorgeous Orpheum Theatre in Boston (truly a majestic venue if there ever was an appropriate description) and its stellar acoustics, but Wilco was a machine of nuclear precision that night and they weren’t exempt from making risky choices.  First, they flawlessly went through the entire tracklisting of their new album Star Wars (which we chose as one of the best albums of last year and we hopefully will get to review on this site soon), and did everyone a favor by making it sound loud. Don’t get me wrong, Star Wars is a great album, but my only problem with it is that it’s a bit on the softer side. The album basically woke up that night in Boston.

With that out of the way and the crowd warmed up, Wilco then proceeded to pick and choose selections from their massive back catalog like I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, Heavy Metal Drummer, and Outtasite (Outta Mind). All pleasers for sure. Then for an extensive encore, Wilco unplugged and went through a barebones version of six more songs making them somehow sound better than the originals. I say “somehow” but with a quieter more personal performance, it’s easy to see why the songs would connect so well with an audience.

So there you have it, an impressive night that finds Wilco at the top of their game. Lucky for you, their tour just started and I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend you go out and see them. Right now.

Photo by Dig Boston:


Wilco is still on tour. Check out the dates here:!/shows/



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