Months after the announcement that Wilco would return to Tulsa to round up their current tour for the year, the night had finally arrived. Upon arriving on Main Street, you could tell right away that it was definitely a sold out show because parking anywhere near the Cain’s was next to impossible. The crowd that Wilco typically draws ranges from young teens all the way to the Wilco veteran with some even sporting band t-shirts from previous concert tours and this show was no exception. Yes, Tulsans appreciate these Grammy winning artists.
The Smith Westerns opened the show. Not widely known through typical
mainstream media, these guys are hailed as “up and coming” in the indie
rock scene. The band played a few songs from their new album “Dye It
Blonde” and left us with 35 minutes of indie rock melodies that made
everyone who showed up early glad they did. If you missed these guys,
you will have another chance to see them in their hometown of Chicago,
IL during the Lollapalooza Music Festival in August.
As the stage was being setup for Wilco, the crowd was quick to fill up and the empty spaces in the crowd begin to become non-existent as everyone in attendance began to prepare for the band’s arrival. Then just around 9 o’clock the lights went down and the crowd welcomed the band for what would be an unforgettable show.
Jeff Tweedy and the guys opened strong playing one of their more memorable songs “Ashes of American Flags” to a completely sold out, ecstatic crowd. After playing through “Bull Black Nova” and “Company In My Back” lead singer Jeff Tweedy took a moment to greet the crowd. He stated “We always feel like this is our home away from home (Cain’s) and we are happy to be back” The current lineup for Wilco consists of Jeff Tweedy on lead vocals and lead guitar, John Stirratt on Bass, Nels Cline on backup guitar, Glenn Kotche on drums, Pat Sansone on multiple instruments depending on the song, and Mikael Jorgensen on keyboards.
After playing through other known hits such as “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” and after engaging the entire audience in a sing-a-long during “Jesus, etc.” Wilco closed with “I’m The Man Who Loves You” and the lights went dim. Whether you had never seen Wilco in concert or you had been to many, everyone in the room knew the guys weren’t done yet.
Most bands perform an encore and Wilco is no exception but very few bands are talented and engaging enough to perform a set that outlasted most Super Bowl Halftime shows. After a brief absence, the band came back out and started their six song encore with “Passenger Side” followed immediately by “Misunderstood”. The song that was played next was a surely a personal favorite of many in the crowd because when “Heavy Metal Drummer” started everyone sang along in fevered glee.
After blazing through “Red-Eyed and Blue” and “I Got You (At The End Of The Century)” Wilco ended the night with “Hoodoo Voodoo”. As the house lights came up, everyone present filed out talking quitely amongst themselves citing their favorite song and knew they had just been part of what was probably the best show of the year to appear at Cain’s. If you looked very closely, you could even see Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne rocking out (taking notes on how to play music) proving that even OKC rockers know at Cain’s you can always have a good time.