Wilco Performs New Album ‘Cruel Country’ At Solid Sound Festival

Neko Case and Nora O'Connor also joined the band during their encore.

By Andy Kahn May 28, 2022 9:45 am PDT

Wilco celebrated Friday’s release of their new double album, Cruel Country, by playing it in its entirety at the first night of their Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. The encore that followed the Cruel Country main set featured Neko Case and Nora O’Connor accompanying the band for a song.

Said to be the band’s purest attempt at country music without a modifier like “alt,” Cruel Country features 21 new songs, each of which were played on Friday evening. The headlining performance came after a rain-soaked day of music that included appearances by Sylvan Esso, Iceage, Claire Rousay and Neko Case.

Case and her bandmate O’Connor emerged in the middle of the encore to help sing a cover of “Once a Day” that was popularized by Connie Smith. Prior to the guests’ arrival, Wilco initiated the encore with “It’s Just That Simple” from their first album A.M.. They followed with “New Madrid,” which dates back to frontman Jeff Tweedy’s pre-Wilco band Uncle Tupelo. Wilco then covered “Climbing” by alt-country stalwarts Meat Puppets.

The encore continued with the traditional “Wild Mountain Thyme” in the arrangement done by The Byrds, followed by “Once A Day.” The show ended with the band covering “She’s My Rock” by Stoney Edwards and Roger Miller’s “Reincarnation,” the latter being the song that regularly concludes The Tweedy Show livestreams.

Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival continues through Sunday. Watch an audience-shot video of the band performing the Cruel Country track “Many Worlds” below:

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Setlist

Wilco at MASS MoCA

Cruel Country
  • I Am My Mother
  • Cruel Country
  • Hints
  • Ambulance
  • The Empty Condor
  • Tonight’s the Day
  • All Across the World
  • Darkness Is Cheap
  • Bird Without a Tail / Base of My Skull
  • Tired of Taking It Out on You
  • The Universe
  • Many Worlds
  • Hearts Hard to Find
  • Falling Apart (Right Now)
  • Please Be Wrong
  • Story to Tell
  • A Lifetime to Find
  • Country Song Upside-Down
  • Mystery Binds
  • Sad Kind of Way
  • The Plains
Encore
  • It's Just That Simple
  • New Madrid  
  • Climbing  
  • Wild Mountain Thyme  
  • Once a Day  
  • She's My Rock  
  • Reincarnation  
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