By Joe Shearer, Photo Editor
Area Wilco fans who have been longing for the band to return to the Big O since their 2007 romp at the Orpheum Theater can rest a bit more easily.
On Sept. 2, the Chicago-based rock combo announced a nine-date mini tour of the Midwest and Texas area at the end of the year. Although Omaha wasn’t included – again – the band will be performing two shows that are both within three hours of the metro area.
On Dec. 3, the band will play at the legendary Uptown Theater in the Westport area of Kansas City. The next day, Dec. 4, they will follow up in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Val Air Ballroom. Fortunately, for students and general music fans alike, the two dates fall on a Saturday and Sunday. Coincidentally, the shows also take place on the weekend before dead week, making the short trek even more justifiable.
The tour will be in support of Wilco’s forthcoming LP, “The Whole Love,” which debuts on Sept. 27.
Wilco has seen many members and has produced a diverse collection of songs since the band’s inception in 1994. Front man Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt are the only original members. The band has retained the same six-piece lineup since 2004, which includes acclaimed guitar virtuoso Nels Cline. Together they’ve won two Grammy Awards and have been nominated for two more.
Labeled alternative country in their early days, Wilco’s sound has matured and evolved over the years. Blatant puppy-love songs have progressed into poetic compositions, with Tweedy’s gritty commentary dancing throughout.
With eight official studio albums and miscellaneous EP’s and collaborations under their belt, the band’s live show is rarely duplicated, making each concert experience a unique one. Any song from any era has a chance to be played and the band can rock them all. Cline’s guitar work and the sounds of multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone add new, audible layers and texture that complement the songs quite well.