The transformation of Chicago six-piece Wilco from their humble mid-‘90s alt-country origins to one of the planet’s most powerful and intuitive rock’n’roll bands has been something to behold as it’s slowly unveiled over the last decade.
Not many bands manage to manifestly get better with age, but that’s what’s happened in the case of Wilco. At the outset this change was mainly due to personnel issues – the current line-up coalesced around founding member and ringleader Jeff Tweedy back in 2004 with the addition of legendary guitar virtuoso Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, joining bassist John Stirratt, percussionist Glenn Kotche and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen in what has become the band’s definitive roster – and as this incarnation of the band has played together over time they’ve just gone from strength to strength as a unit.
This version of the band fittingly kickstarted their tenure with a double live album (2005’s Kicking Television: Live In Chicago) and have since then added four acclaimed studio albums to Wilco’s tally – bringing the overall total to eight full-lengths – but more importantly they’ve become a behemoth in the live realm, taking these songs that shine on record and transforming them into something else entirely, far beyond the scope of what’s possible in the studio. Each member of the band is an accomplished player in their own right, but when you bring them together they become something greater than the sum of their combined parts, seeming to communicate by telepathy and shared instinct as they bring this amazing music to life.
And they’re no strangers to these shores, having been increasingly regular visitors to Australia since their inaugural visit in 2003 for the Big Day Out tour. Still on the road pushing their stellar 2011 album The Whole Love, Wilco have been invited back to perform at the 2013 installment of Byron Bay’s historic Bluesfest – where they last tore up the stage in 2008 – and while they’re in the country they’re going to play a headline show of their own to placate (well.. at least some of..) their ever-expanding Aussie fanbase.
So if you want to experience the full gamut of the musical experience in one very special night – ranging from quiet introspection and gentle nuance right through to massive sound tsunamis, often within the framework of the same song – then don’t miss the one and only Wilco when they hit Australia next March and April, proudly brought to you by Love Police Touring.
You can catch Wilco:
Wednesday March 27th, 2013 – Hamer Hall, Melbourne
Tickets on sale WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 24TH
available @ artscentremelbourne.com.au/
ALSO PLAYING BLUESFEST – tickets available @ www.bluesfest.com.au/