Pin It
Memorial Hall, Sunday, March 5, 2006


Memorial Hall, Sunday, March 5, 2006

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LISSA GOTWALS
Before the lights dimmed in Memorial Hall on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus Sunday night, the excitement was palpable among Wilco fans. The band was about to play the first of two immediate sellouts in the recently refurbished venue. The stately interior added a touch of timeless grace to the proceedings: soft mocha and off-white walls accented with regal moldings, stone tablets bearing the names of Confederate dead, the stage's peaks erupting into a sky-blue ceiling jeweled with chandeliers. In fact, Memorial's pristine surroundings suggested an imminent opera, not America's pre-eminent roots rock band.

Once under way on the first night of the tour, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy had some laughs with the crowd. When someone yelled, "Duke sucks," Tweedy shrugged, and said, sheepishly, "Yeah, except if we're playing at Duke, right?" Then he acknowledged the rivalry, "I know that's blasphemy here, but hey, we're on your side ... Think that's all I'm gonna say tonight."

It wasn't all, though, as Wilco moved through crowd-pleasers exemplifying their accessibility, both as people and in their songs' directness. In an age of new music, electronic or otherwise, Wilco is grounded in traditional music, the absence of many technological gee gaws apparent on stage. The band's immense success with rough pop and shot-to-the-heartbreak lyrics comes accented by the swells and noisy explosions of guitarist Nels Cline, whose short hair rises in shocks that make him look more like Ivan Lendl than an avant-rock musician.

The connection between the band and its fans was reflected best in the eyes of a toddler from the audience who Tweedy held above his head on stage. while she sang all the words to a song. "I remember you from Asheville. Well, I'm glad you still like us," he said.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LISSA GOTWALS

As artificial mist rose past the balcony along with the band's notes, to the blue ceiling, Tweedy joked about rock volume's effects on her tender ears (accentuated in the hall's astounding acoustics) by praising the young fan's ear plugs, "That's good, because you've only got a few years of hearing left."

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LISSA GOTWALS
  • Memorial Hall, Sunday, March 5, 2006


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Live Review

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity


Miranda Lambert is a pop artist and just a poser with respect to country outlaws. She is a mainstream Taylor …

by jamesbh999 on Miranda Lambert's song selections confirm her status as modern country's best outlaw (Live Review)

First of all the word SCAB isn't associated with someone that has been fired from their job. It is used …

by Dave Jet Black Smith on What do you do when one of your favorite bands becomes an utter embarrassment? (Live Review)

Most Read

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation