Mavis Staples, Kurt Vile & Soccer Mommy Join Wilco At Sky Blue Sky

Watch Mavis Staples lead Wilco and friends through "You Are Not Alone" and "Freedom Highway."

By Scott Bernstein Jan 19, 2022 8:03 am PST

Wilco welcomed a number of guests on Tuesday for their second of three Sky Blue Sky performances at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Mavis Staples, Kurt Vile, Soccer Mommy (Sophie Allison), James Elkington, Chris Funk, Liam Kazar and Ohmme‘s Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham each sat-in at various points of the 22-song concert.

Kazar, Stewart and Cunningham once again took turns covering for Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, who is out for the destination event after testing positive for COVID-19. Wilco and Liam Kazar opened with the frequently paired “Red-Eyed And Blue” and “I Got You (At The End Of The Century)” pairing. Stewart then emerged on violin to accompany Kazar and the band on “Wishful Thinking” before vacating the stage for “Say You Miss Me.” Then, Wilco went guest-less for “At Least That’s What You Said.”

Wilco continued to deliver career-spanning material throughout the night as they didn’t repeat any songs played on Monday. Both “Cold Slope” and “Too Far Apart” were played for the first time since Sky Blue Sky 2020. The latter was followed by a version of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot gem “Pot Kettle Black” sung by Sophie Allison. Kurt Vile came out later in the set to front Wilco and Liam Kazar on the classic “Passenger Side.”

Last night’s main set concluded with a “California Stars” featuring Chris Funk on banjitar, James Elkington on electric guitar, Liam Kazar on keyboards and Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart and vocals. The legendary Mavis Staples fronted Wilco and friends on the evening’s two-song encore. First up was “You Are Not Alone,” the title track from her Jeff Tweedy-produced 2010 studio album. Wilco last performed the song with Mavis Staples way back on December 12, 2011 as per Setlist.FM. Mavis then helped Wilco, Cunningham, Kazar and Stewart end the memorable concert with the Wilco debut of “Freedom Highway,” the title track from The Staple Singers’ 1965 album.

Sky Blue Sky continues today with sets from Jeff Tweedy, Spoon and more. Wilco returns to the stage at the event for their final performance on Thursday.

Watch video footage featuring Mavis Staples’ guest spots below:

You Are Not Alone

Freedom Highway

Setlist (via bböp of Via Chicago)

Set: Red-Eyed and Blue (L) > I Got You (At The End Of The Century) (L), Wishful Thinking (L, MV), Say You Miss Me (L), At Least That’s What You Said, If I Ever Was A Child (S), I Must Be High (S), Cold Slope (L) > King Of You (L), Country Disappeared (M), Too Far Apart (L), Pot Kettle Black (S) (with Sophie Allison of Soccer Mommy on lead vocals), Hummingbird (M), How To Fight Loneliness (M), Impossible Germany (M), Kingpin (M), Passenger Side (L) (with Kurt Vile on lead vocals), Dawned On Me (S), Airline To Heaven (L), California Stars (with James Elkington on electric guitar, Chris Funk on banjitar, Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart on vocals and Liam Kazar on keyboard and vocals)

Encore: You Are Not Alone (with Mavis Staples on lead vocals and Sima Cunningham, Macie Stewart and Liam Kazar on backing vocals), Freedom Highway [The Staples Singers] (with Mavis Staples on lead vocals, Sima Cunningham on backing vocals and tambourine and Macie Stewart and Liam Kazar on backing vocals)

  • S = w/ Sima Cunningham on keyboards
  • SV = w/ Sima Cunningham on backing vocals
  • L = w/ denotes Liam Kazar on keyboards
  • M = w/ Macie Stewart on keyboards
  • MV = w/ Macie Stewart on violin

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