Wilco, "The World’s Most Exciting Live Rock Band"?
Oct. 7, 2007
As Wilco's Tuesday night Milwaukee concert at The Rave approaches, the city has been flooded in hype about the group's live show. A print advertisement deems the group, via the London Sunday Telegraph, "the world's most exciting live rock band," and a radio commercial repeats the claim. I mean this question in no way to be contentious, but does anybody believe that assertion is true? I haven't seen Wilco for a few years now, although I used to catch them at least once or twice a year back in the day (they've always toured the Milwaukee/Chicago/Madison area hard, and they used to make annual stops at Summerfest). Like most of the crowd, I thought the band was pretty great, but I'd still have a hard time considering them among the world's most exciting live bands. If anything, their sets followed a fairly predictable format, as the group started with material from their newest release then roughly worked their way backward through their discography, typically closing with a couple of rockers from Being There. Their sets were long, the performances tight, the guitars killer—in general, their concerts were always worth the 20 bucks, but they never left a major impression. Again, I'm not trying to knock a band I have tremendous respect for—I'm just generally curious, since I could just be out of the loop here—but I also have a hard time imagining how the band's assured but ultra-laidback new Sky Blue Sky translates on stage. Has anyone seen them since Sky Blue Sky came out? Does Wilco deserve to be considered the live band to beat?