Friday night, buffaBLOG took a short trip to our WNY neighbor, Rochester to see Wilco, a group which, we can safely say, has been one of the most industrious and influential indie-rock bands of the last decade. Having played hundreds of shows across the span of their stunning career, the Chicago sextet has yet again caught the tour bug, and have booked a slew of North America and Europe dates, including two upstate gigs in Rochester and Cooperstown. It was an absolute privilege to be able to catch these guys live for my first time ever, and a little over-due, taking into account that I missed their two previous Buffalo visits back in 2005 at the Albright-Knox, and 2007 at Artpark. It seems that the group has made it a note to maintain a presence in WNY during each tour whether that be Buffalo or Rochester, which is awesome.
Having never been to Highland Bowl before Friday, I must say, I was not only impressed by the accessibility and aesthetic of the venue, but also the remarkable sonic experience I had there. It had to be the best single outdoor show I've been to in recent years. The stage at Highland Park sits at the bottom of a basin, giving the audience plenty of room to sprawl out with a blanket or chair on the gentle hills, and enough room for a few hundred people to stand at the very front.
While they played a lot from their new LP and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, they also managed to fit a few in from their much-loved 1999 album, Summerteeth, with “Shot In The Arm” and “I’m Always In Love”, both certified crowd-pleasers. Another highlight of the night was the awe-inspiring “Misunderstood” during their 8 or 9 song encore, which was essentially just part deux to the show, which teetered past the 2 hour mark. The stadium lights burned for each time Tweedy yelled "Nothing!" at the end of the song, and of course everyone was chanting along. The band insisted on playing all the way up to the noise curfew which was at 10 pm when we all reluctantly filed out.
All Photos by Tom Dennis