Wilco Gammage Auditorium Saturday, January 21, 2012
Plenty of derisive things get said about Wilco being "dad rock."
You can't get around the fact that songwriter Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, drummer Glenn Kotche, guitarist Nels Cline, and multi-instrumentalists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen, are indeed pushing or well into "dad age," but there's an intended sting to the tag, implying that the band has lost its edge, that the band makes music solely for graying NPR listeners and flannel-clad white kids. (A sage friend, before the show: "Sonic Youth is a $20 ticket, Wilco is $50, all because they've tapped into that Eagles demographic.")
And, sure, that's exactly who filled a sold-out Gammage Auditorium last night, but anyone expecting Wilco to "take it easy" would have been shaken by the first two songs: The 12-minute-plus "One Sunday Morning," the downcast number that closes 2011's The Whole Love, and the seven-minute art rocker "The Art of Almost," which opens the album. Say what you will about the pastoral, easy-going vibes of Wilco, but don't say that the band panders to anyone.