Monday, May 12, 2008

Sky Blue Sky.

Here’s the synopsis: two bros, one MINI Cooper S, some serious rock and roll, and nothing but blue skies in all directions. For those of you who haven’t heard, Upto12 and I decided to hit up Grand Junction, CO for some bro time and a concert by a little band simply known as Wilco. First things first, can I just say that 4 hours in a car with no kids feels like 1 hour in the car with kids. And that's not an exaggeration.

Grand Junction is a tiny, super clean town with its share of new and old. We caught Iron Man (two thumbs up) in a brand new megaplex—seriously the floors weren’t even sticky yet. And then later that evening we met up with Dainon and date at the historic Avalon Theater to see the Wilcos in was what was apparently a landmark concert for the GJ.

The house was packed; thankfully there wasn’t a bad seat in the place. In fact there wasn’t a single seat further than 70 feet from center stage in that place, which ain’t very far at all. Folks had settled in their seats by the time Jeff Tweedy and company sauntered onto stage. They kicked the night off with a couple of oldies but goodies, then with their third number they launched into several tracks from their latest album, Sky Blue Sky. Instantaneously the audience leapt to their feet and thus began the 2-hour, mass air-guitar-fest that apparently accompanies every Wilco show.

Wilco is currently, without a doubt, the great American rock and roll band. This is not an opinion, this is a statement of fact. Anyone who has witnessed a down and dirty performance of California Stars transform directly into a sizzlin’, deep-fried rendition of Impossible Germany knows exactly what I’m talking about. Official guitar god, Nels Cline lays down such ridiculously rich and chaotic riffs that constantly teeter on the brink of full-on self-destruction only to return to perfectly synchronized jam sessions within a moments notice.

As much as I love a rock band like, oh say... My Morning Jacket, I fully realized after seeing Wilco live, that a vast majority of the bands I love are amateur hour by comparison. The next day—after nine holes of 3-club golf—we snagged some Chipotle burritos and Upto12 piloted the MINI while I snapped pics of the sky blue sky all the way home.



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