Wilco: Incomparable Live Experience

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September 24, 2012 by chriszumtobel

I had the unforgettable experience of seeing Wilco live in concert tonight! Sorry I don’t have any exciting photos or videos to present as proof to you guys on my site, but I took the advice of Jeff Tweedy during his rant in Memphis and I didn’t “sacrifice my memories for an imperfect medium.” It was tough, but I resisted the urge to take even a single photo or video of the band at the show tonight and it paid off when Jeff Tweedy looked at my brother and I (front and center in the crowd) and asked, “Are you two brothers?” We each nodded a yes in unison, then looked at each other and exclaimed, “We just talked to Jeff Tweedy!”

To be honest, I actually think I agree with Jeff about the videotaping and picture taking during shows (although I would have loved to have had at least one picture). I can’t even tell you how many times I have spent my favorite song behind the screen of a camera just to re-watch the video one time when I get home from the concert and then never look at it again. It would have been so much better to have enjoyed the song, and the show, and kept my phone in my pocket. But tonight, I learned from Jeff’s wise words, resisting the urge to record, and I loved every minute of the show! I only wish I had a better memory, but hopefully this blog will help with that…

I would go into a real review of the show here, but music has always been something I loved and appreciated mainly for the fact that I really don’t understand it and have absolutely no skill or ear for it. That being said, it shows the kind of band Wilco is and the caliber of live show they put on, that the first song they played (One Sunday Morning) was the first song I have ever heard that I have been able to pick out every sound I was hearing and match it to the instrumentalist on stage. I can’t even express to you how important of a moment this was to me.

It is moments like the ones above that make me realize, at this point in my life, I don’t think there is anything that makes me as happy as a really good concert. This realization has made me decide to include –10 concerts before the end of the year- into my syllabus, and I suggest to anyone else making their own that you include something in it that is purely for your own enjoyment. Force yourself to go and do whatever it is that really makes you the happiest in life, because anything that makes you happy is progress. And still push yourself a little: 10 concerts is at least twice as many as I would see in the rest of the year without making a conscious effort towards them. I am going to have to spend a little bit more money than I would normally like, but I will have to make up for it in another department (or just go broke, but that’s not always a terrible thing either… sometimes having your back against the wall leaves you no other option but progress!).

What do you think of Jeff’s opinion on recording concerts? What activity is it that brings you the most joy in life and can you start to make more time for it? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

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