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ACL Fest Review: Wilco

Nancy Flores

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 6, 2013

Right before sunset, longtime ACL fest darlings Wilco drew a massive crowd of devotees, excited to see the band after a five year absence from the festival. And it’ll be a few months before the band performs again: frontman Jeff Tweedy announced last month a short solo tour this winter.

Towards the beginning of the tight, one-hour set, Tweedy called attention to the sign language interpreter who was electrifying the crowd with her energetic musical interpretations. “Are we being upstaged by the signer again?” he said.

Not on this early evening at the Samsung Galaxy stage. The band played a steady dose of fan favorites for an adoring crowd that sang along to nearly every word, and swayed enthusiastically.

The condensed set included about half of the classic 2002 “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” album with songs like “I’m the Man Who Loves You,” “Heavy Metal Drummer” and “War on War.”

Wilco kept the crowd cheering with songs that spanned their career including “Handshake Drugs” from the 2004 Grammy award-winning album “A Ghost is Born;” “Shouldn’t Be Ashamed” from their 1995 debut album and “Forget the Flowers” from their 1996 “Being There” album.

At one point Tweedy noticed the band was playing in harmony with a band performing across the park. “I love it when we play in key,” he joked. “But this is going to destroy that.” At which point they tore into “Impossible Germany,” which featured Nels Cline’s blistering guitar solo.

With the performance, Wilco came full circle, having played at the inaugural ACL festival in 2002 with acts like Los Lobos, Gillian Welch and Nickel Creek.