Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy returns with signature brand of melancholy joy

Jeff Tweedy is middle-aged, and a lot of his fans are middle-aged. And while Jeff Tweedy might be like your dad (as he is one) and your dad might like Jeff Tweedy, his music — full of cigarettes, bottles of beer, indecision, pain, joy and constantly in flux — is for college kids. And there will be no shortage of those when Tweedy takes the stage at the Foellinger Auditorium Saturday, Jan. 31.
Dads aside, the Wilco frontman is known for his ability to make even the largest venue feel like the dive bar around the corner. His sarcastic stage banter fills up the lonely barstool beside you — though there likely won’t be any empty seats, as the show sold out weeks ago.
Tweedy’s solo shows, much like Wilco, are beautifully varied, featuring his lesser-known solo work with Uncle Tupelo and Wilco fan favorites. The show will bounce from the alt-country of Wilco’s early years to the jazzy prog-rock of Wilco’s latest, Sky Blue Sky. Summerteeth, A Ghost Is Born, Being There, A.M. and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are all likely to share space on Tweedy’s set list. Not only will you find Wilco songs but Wilco members will frequently abound. In 2006, The Autumn Defense, which features Wilco bassist John Stirratt and keyboardist Pat Sansone, joined Tweedy at Foellinger.
Opening for Tweedy this go-round will be Toronto, Ontario’s finest: Great Lake Swimmers. If Jeff Tweedy and (hopefully) steel guitar virtuoso Nels Cline (please God, you owe us one for eight years of George Bush) weren’t worth the Craigslist-inflated price of admission, then the Canadian folk quintet will make it so. Their music is a seemingly incompatible mix of ambient, eerie, wavering vocals coupled with beautifully stark mandolin and banjo riffs. It’s the sort of music that can get you lost in your own head, and it will be a great prelude to the sometimes joyful, sometimes melancholy styling of Tweedy and Wilco.
So if you’re looking to scope a ticket to the sold-out show this Saturday but a scalped ticket will leave you a little strapped for cash … give your dad a call.

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