Wilco Kicks Off Sky Blue Sky With Rarities-Loaded Concert In Mexico

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Ever since Wilco returned to the stage last June after a hiatus that spanned a year-and-a-half, the band has kept their setlist rotation tight with a heavy focus on songs from their 2019 studio album, Ode To Joy. Wilco’s first-ever Sky Blue Sky destination event in Riviera Maya, Mexico began on Saturday night and the sextet finally changed up the game plan by digging deep into their repertoire for their first of three concerts at the Hard Rock Hotel.

While nearly all 2019 Wilco concerts featured at least seven tunes from Ode To Joy, last night’s show included just three. The first, “Bright Leaves,” served as opener and led into Sky Blue Sky’s “Either Way.” Then, the band brought out fellow event performer Courtney Barnett for a reprise of their “Handshake Drugs” collaboration debuted at last year’s Solid Sound Festival. One of the first big surprises setlist-wise was the return of “I Must Be High,” as the song from 1995’s A.M. saw action for the first time since June. Next up was another A.M. classic, “Too Far Apart,” which was played for just the fourth time in the past five years.

After “Someone To Lose” from Schmilco came the pairing of rarities “Secret Of The Sea” and “Hotel Arizona.” The former, off Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue, Volume II collaboration with Billy Bragg, hadn’t been performed since September 16, 2015 and the latter, from 1996’s Being There, returned to action for the first time since November 16, 2017. Wilco still had plenty of treats left as a run of “Ashes Of American Flags,” “Hummingbird” and “Passenger Side” led into the return of “Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway(again).” Though the six-piece did perform the tune led by a guest during their karaoke set at last year’s Solid Sound, Saturday’s version marked the first sung by Jeff Tweedy on a Wilco stage since September 3, 2016. More Being There love came in the form of “Someday Soon,” a tune last played on June 30, 2017.

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The final portion of Wilco’s main set included many classics including “I’m Always In Love,” “Red-Eyed & Blue,” “I Got You (At The End Of The Century),” “Heavy Metal Drummer” and “I’m The Man Who Loves You.” Additionally, “Hate It Here” was played for just the second time since June and “Hold Me Anyway” gave fans one more song from Ode To Joy. Wilco triumphantly concluded the evening with a “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” encore, performed in all its electric glory for just the second time since 2017.

Fan-Shot Videos (Captured by Phil Brown)

Handshake Drugs

I’m The Man Who Loves You

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Setlist

Wilco at Hard Rock Hotel

  • Bright Leaves
  • Either Way
  • Handshake Drugs
  • Side With the Seeds
  • One and a Half Stars
  • I Must Be High  
  • The Joke Explained
  • I'll Fight  
  • Too Far Apart
  • Someone to Lose
  • Secret of the Sea  
  • Hotel Arizona  
  • Ashes of American Flags
  • Hummingbird
  • Passenger Side
  • Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again)  
  • Someday Soon  
  • I'm Always in Love
  • Hold Me Anyway
  • Red-Eyed and Blue
  • I Got You (At the End of the Century)
  • Hate It Here
  • Heavy Metal Drummer
  • I'm the Man Who Loves You
Encore
  • Spiders (Kidsmoke)
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