concert coverage

Jeff Tweedy, Davis, California 12/11/2013

DSC_0120Jeff Tweedy’s performance at UC Davis’s Mondavi Center was so delicate that I was afraid I was going to break it  — like fresh snow, so clean and perfect. Every step I took promised to break the magic spell. For one night the big music hall was as intimate and quiet as Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe.

Almost. There’s always one rubadub in the crowd who wants to play Mr. Helper, a sort of Tourrettes figure who feels the need to interject his way into the show with random shouts of “Chicago!” during set opener “Via Chicago,” for example.  And then there was me.

The room was so quiet that every shutter click sounded like a gunshot. I took a cue from Godfather editor Walter Murch, who claimed to cut only when he blinked, and timed my shots as close to the rhythm in order to hide the clicks.

Opener Scott McCaughey played an entertaining set that cut across his work with Wilco, The Minus 5, The Young Fresh Fellows, and The Baseball Project. His bright songs and charming presence had me wishing for a dream bill with L.A.’s brilliant The Clutter Family.

Tweedy’s tour continues through December 19. It’s a must-see show, but please be quiet: People are listening.

4 replies »

  1. PS: Now you just have to see a full-on Wilco show to get the full effect. As for “rubadubs,” they are a constant at Tweedy/Wilco shows. If he hasn’t lost his great sense of humor, he usually handles them with good-natured, but ball-busting, aplomb.

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