Feist, Ed Droste, Yo La Tengo join Wilco at Coney Island

14 07 2009

By Jill Menze (@jillmenze)

Wilco at Bonnaroo 2009

Wilco at Bonnaroo 2009

Boy oh boy! While we’re gearing up for Siren Fest in Coney Island this weekend, last night the site hosted one helluva set from Wilco at the minor league baseball field Keyspan Park. The breezy, gorgeous night saw the Chicago boys tear through a double-encore, 2.5-hour set with surprise guest appearances from Leslie Feist, Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste and the night’s opening act, Yo La Tengo. Let it be known, Coney Island is a bitch to get down to (hi there, nine-hour subway ride!), but to see a show like this again I’d make the trip 20 times over.

Heading into the stadium at the beginning of the night proved more difficult than it should have been, causing us to circle around the venue and miss a good chunk of Yo La Tengo, but the Hoboken, NJ three-piece closed out its set in utterly disorienting fashion with “The Story of Yo La Tengo.”

Wilco took the stage around 8:30 p.m., kicking off with the feel-good “Wilco (The Song),” off its June-released “Wilco (The Album),” followed by the dizzying electronic buzz of “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Summerteeth” stand out “A Shot in the Arm.”

The face-melting power of guitarist Nels Cline on songs like the pounding “Bull Black Nova” and “Handshake Drugs” were balanced by the sentimental touch of “One Wing” and “Jesus, Etc” (which was preceded by a crowd sing-a-long to “Take me Out the the Ballgame”), the six-piece band never letting up for a second, delivering a tight, powerful set from start to finish (other main-set standouts: “Impossible Germany,” “Can’t Stand it,” “I’m Always in Love”).

A pink gorilla and the Brooklyn Cyclones mascot doning a Wilco jersey ushered in the first encore, shooting a T-shirt gun into the sea of people (I was this close to getting one) before Wilco returned for crowd favorite “Heavy Metal Drummer.” Feist was then brought out for “You and I” (which she duets with Tweedy on the band’s latest effort), and Droste followed, the two of them lending harmonies to the stunningly gorgeous “California Stars” and “You Never Know.” Yo La Tengo capped off the first encore with the band for “Spiders (Kidsmoke).” One word: Wow.

“The Late Greats” and “Hoodoo Voodoo” rounded out the second encore, the latter featuring Feist and Droste lending a hand on percussion, and soon, smiles turned to frowns at the thought of such a phenomenal show ending and the long trek back home. Hands down the best performance I’ve seen all year. A warning to every other show I see this summer — you have a LOT to live up to.

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20 07 2009
Built to Spill, APTBS rock Siren Fest 2009 « 2009 Festival Season

[…] had a great time, tucked away backstage, eating candy in the artist lounge. Sure, this was my second trek on the Q train this week, but it was worth the agony for some fun in the sun at the Village Voice-sponsored event […]

17 09 2009
Of Montreal get (shock) weird at Santos in New York « Palestra Music Blog

[…] I’ve been seeing Grizzly Bear and Solange Knowles quite a bit lately, huh? Can’t say I expected to see either of them last night at Of Montreal’s […]

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