Friday, June 20, 2014

Father-Son Treatment with Jeff Tweedy in Baltimore

Getting to see Wilco's Jeff Tweedy is always a treat. Add his 18-year-old son, Spencer, on drums and it sweetens the deal even more.

The set the family played at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore recently was a mellow affair. It's always strange to hear songs you've never heard before. And the band (with mostly guys who seemed about the same teen age as Spencer, and probably just said, "sure, our band can go on tour with your rock star dad") played the Sukierae album, slated for September release, presumably straight through. I've since listened to the bootleg-live versions of the songs online several times and love their vibe.

Dad Jeff took the stage for a while to play solo acoustic versions of Wilco songs and, probably my highlight, Uncle Tupelo's "New Madrid," before the band came back out to join in for the encore.

I think the Baltimore City Paper's reviewer summed up the father/son dynamic well:
Spencer Tweedy’s lanky adolescent arms may have given doubt to his drum playing abilities, but the kid was pretty impressive with his sticks. Maybe not Glenn Kotche of Wilco impressive, but then he’s got years to practice. Certainly the audience didn’t seem to mind the slight quality sacrifice from the generational pairing, as evidenced by their enthusiastic reaction when Tweedy introduced Spencer. His voice full of paternal pride, he announced halfway through the show,“That’s my boy on the drums,” and the audience erupted into applause and cheers. Still, Jeff and Spencer Tweedy proved last night that they are more than just a family-oriented, Hallmark-y, gimmick: they’re also two talented artists who make great music together.
**** out of ***** stars (saw the show with Rachel, Mandy, and Jason)

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