Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wilco. July 13th. KeySpan Park. Coney Island. BK

At the Wilco/Yo La Tengo show last night at KeySpan Park in Coney Island (home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, Single A Mets affiliate) I was shocked when two different guys seemed to have either seizures or straight overdosed. I guess that at any given show people can go down but at a Monday night performance by a crew of late 30's/early 40's practitioners of a feedback drenched type of Americana I thought the crowd would be a little restrained.

The first kid fell victim to what seemed to be "a case of too much weed and nerd" and collapsed during a spirited rendition of the 1999 song "Shot in the Arm." As happens at many rock n' roll shows, the moment that the first chord was struck there appeared a spontaneous cloud of thick skunky smoke. Most of it found its origin from a huge joint held by the bespectacled kid in right front of us. Nope, he didn't pass it to anybody or even pause to enjoy the tunes. Just keep inhaling like an extra on the set of "Dazed and Confused."

Then he did a funny dance, stopped to look confused and down he went like a bag of green bricks.

The second kid, well, he was carried out from the front of the stage and looked like he might have had a date with Samael and Arturo Gatti. Pretty bad.

Regardless, the show was a good one. During the Yo La Tengo set, who I have seen countless times, we sat outside the minor league stadium on the boardwalk eating falafel from Zaytoons taking in the sweet scent off the sea. From our place behind centerfield, we could clearly hear Ira and company crushing "Tom Courtenay" and We're "An American Band" with some real sonic panache.

Once Wilco took the stage they opened with "Wilco (the song)" off of their new album before setting into a YLT inspired "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" where the absence of Jay Bennett from this spiritual plane infused a bit of poignancy into the night. I can't say that there was one song that I didn't enjoy but "Jesus Etc," "I'm Always in Love," "Handshake Drugs" and "At Least That's What You Said" really stood out. Oh, and they led the crowd on a sing-a-long of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" which was awesome.

The fact that we left before the encores (yeah, waking up at 6:30am makes going to bed at 1am seem late) and missed what I am told were epic second and third sets where Feist, a member of Grizzly Bear and the aforementioned Yo La Tengo came on stage, makes it difficult to write much more . . .

Besides the fact that I am sure I'll find a way to check out Wilco live again.

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