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I Am Trying To See This Show

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 12, 2007 5:50PM

2007_09_wilco.jpgButton up your sweaters and pack a picnic, because Wilco is set to give the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park a proper inauguration tonight. The skies don’t appear to hold the same nasty storms that plagued the Decemberists’ show there in July, so the full beauty and potential of the space should be on display this evening. Not to mention, it’s freakin’ Wilco.

A beautiful Lollapalooza 2006 performance aside, it’s been a while since perhaps the most critically important rock band ever to call Chicago home has played a truly accessible set for its fellow Chicagoans. The show sold out of its 11,000 available tickets within a few days of announcement, no doubt in part due to the palpable love affair the band seemingly has with this city. From the cover of the iconic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album to the classic “Kiss and ride on the CTA” line in Being There’s “Far, Far Away,” Jeff Tweedy and company have consistently and incomparably worn their hometown pride on their musical sleeve.

In addition to its Chicago smooch fest, Wilco’s also honed a healthy and collaborative relationship with its ever-growing fan-base. This tour marked the launch of a setlist recommendation option for visitors to their website, in which the band solicited song requests and is taking them under advisement when writing each show’s setlist. For a band with a sizable back catalog and a high percentage of concert attendees who might qualify as “Wilcophiles,” it’s a pretty cool move. There are plenty of hidden gems in the folds of the band’s six studio albums and two collaborations with England’s resident hobo punk Billy Bragg, and the website suggestion option gives us hope that some deep cuts may get their live performance due.

What Wilco song would really yank your crank to hear in Millennium Park tonight?

Wilco plays the Pritzker Pavillion at Millennium Park tonight, Dr. Dog opens | 6:30pm | SOLD OUT