Wilco closes out the US leg of its fall tour tonight in the second of two consecutive shows in its hometown, at the University of Illinois Chicago Pavilion, with fellow locals Tortoise opening. The Chicago Sun-Times review of Sunday's set calls them "visionaries"; the Chicago Tribune says Wilco has "evolved into something of a mini-orchestra." The National Post says Wilco's shows in Toronto last week "solidified its position as one of the greatest that ever DID get signed."
Wilco closes out the US leg of its fall tour tonight in the second of two consecutive shows in its hometown, at the University of Illinois Chicago Pavilion, with fellow locals Tortoise opening.
"When a band plays two nights in a basketball arena, and features cowbell and gong, then it must be dubbed an arena rock act," suggests writer Bobby Reed in the Chicago Sun-Times review. "But when it also plays 'Just a Kid,' a song from the soundtrack to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, then the musicians must be called something else: visionaries."
"It’s been a long, steady, 15-year climb for the Chicago sextet," says the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot, and, with contributions from all the band members, Wilco has "evolved into something of a mini-orchestra." Kot lauds guitarist Nels Cline, who "provided the show’s most striking moments," and finds that, as the band transfored over the years, so too did the vibe over the course of the night: "As the show progressed, the band allowed more chaos and spontaneity to creep in, and a shaggy and highly appealing looseness prevailed during the show’s last half-hour." Read more at chicagotribune.com.
Late last week, Wilco performed another back-to-back set of gigs, at Toronto's Massey Hall. The National Post's Scott Deveau reviews the second show and echoes the coverage of the previous night's show by his colleague Ian McKellar, who called the band's current line-up "a thing to behold ... the best yet." Says Deveau, "There’s no doubt that the band’s latest incarnation, including guitarist Nels Cline, is by far its greatest." He too credits Cline with offering "easily some of the best moments of the show" and recognizes that "he’s beginning to make a name for himself—deservedly—as one of the best guitarists in contemporary rock."
In the end, Wilco, in its Toronto shows, Deveau concludes, referencing a lyric of the band's album A Ghost Is Born, "solidified its position as one of the greatest that ever DID get signed."
Read the review at network.nationalpost.com.
Chart Attack filed its review from the first Toronto show. "There's something about middle-aged men playing inspired music and jumping around the stage that should bring a smile to your face, and this certainly did," reports Chart Attack's Travis Persaud. "Wilco could have done no wrong no matter what happened, but they backed up the hype with a radiant show that displayed them at their best."
The band's recent show at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Minneapolis made the list of the Star-Tribune's "half-dozen cool things in music." Says writer Clay Duval: "Their two encores, which were as long as the show itself, clinched my vote as one of the best performances I've seen in a long time."
Following tonight's performance at the UIC Pavilion, the band has a few weeks off before picking up the tour again in the UK in early November with three weeks through Europe to follow. For more information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.