Monday, July 13, 2009


Wilco's performance on 9/27/01 at NYC’s Town Hall wasn't the first show I attended after the 9/11 tragedy. The Black Crowes had played 6 days earlier. That was the first. No one was really sure what to do or feel on either night. I’m pretty sure the majority of NYC, while still in shock from the events, also had this feeling, superficial though it was, to get back to normal at any cost, even if it meant pretending to actually want to go to a concert. Some didn't pretend. My friend with tickets to both shows said simply, "I can't go out yet. I'm not going." I went out.

The Black Crowes show was loud, fast and hard, with Chris Robinson exclaiming, “It finally feels like a Friday night!” Yeah...not really. I remember drinking a lot and feeling like it was the greatest concert I had ever seen. (Drink a lot of beer or the terrorists win.) But considering what had happened 9 days earlier, Michael Bolton Singing The Rob Thomas Songbook Live At Carnegie Hall may have also been the greatest concert I had ever seen, if it was that same Friday night. When you are hungry, you'll take anything.

My memories of Town Hall have Jeff Tweedy saying very little and the set feeling a bit tentative. Listening back to a wonderful recording of the show I got hold of a few days later, it's not quite that moody, although the band does seem careful. Even standard crowd pleasers like “A Shot In The Arm” and “Passenger Side” weren't as urgent. The band's arms seemed as heavy as our hearts. As the show progressed, the energy picked up. I mean, we WANTED to have a good time, right? Well, we did. I think.

Now I am pretty certain “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” still hadn’t been officially released, so it was this evening where I first heard “Reservations.”

How can I convince you it's me I don't like
And not be so indifferent to the look in your eyes
When I've always been distant
And I've always told lies for love

I'm bound by these choices so hard to make
I'm bound by the feeling so easy to fake
None of this is real enough to take me from you

Oh I've got reservations
About so many things
But not about you

I know this isn't what you were wanting me to say
How can I get closer and be further away
From the truth that proves it's beautiful to lie

I've got reservations
About so many things
But not about you
I've got reservations
About so many things
But not about you

I was left then, how I am left now, 8 years and 1000 plays later... frozen. Nothing I could say will do this song justice.

Here are both the studio version and the version from Town Hall.

Check back Friday for the "Weekend Mix." I may post the entire Town Hall show with enough encouragement.



Chris Swartout said...

I encourage you to post the whole show!!

But then I would, wouldn't I?

Getting very excited about Saturday. Wish I was at Keyspan Park tonight.

Anonymous said...

Wow !!! , you must go to lots of shows !

Sal Nunziato said...

Well...those two.

Ken D said...

Add me to the encouragers list. That makes...uh, two.
I expect some more encouragement from those of you returning from the Coney Island show.