Wilco Performs Surprise Set At Open Mic Night In Dallas

Watch video from the impromptu performance.

By Nate Todd Sep 29, 2023 3:32 pm PDT

Wilco, whose new album Cousin arrived today, had a scheduled concert in Dallas on Thursday at the South Side Ballroom. It wasn’t their only performance in the Big D, however, as the band delivered a surprise show at an open mic on Wednesday.

Here’s what Allen Larson wrote in the Dallas Area Open Mics Facebook group:

“It’s not every day that you go to an open mic and a Grammy award-winning, 2 million record selling band comes in and signs up to play. But that’s what happened last night when Wilco walked into Poor David’s Pub, and treated a very small crowd to a wonderful hour long set!”

Larson also noted that Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy told him that the band was driving by and saw a sign for the open mic and stopped.

The impromptu performance — which was sans the band’s Pat Sansone but included different configurations of Tweedy, guitarist Nels Cline, bassist John Stirratt, drummer Glenn Kotche and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen — got underway with “Far, Far Away” from the band’s second studio album, 1996’s Being There. A cover of Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” which the band had not played this year according to SetlistFM stats, came next.

The Sky Blue Sky deep cut favorite “Hate It Here,” which was a request from the audience, fell in the third song slot. A trio of tunes, “Too Far Apart, “Passenger Side” and “It’s Just That Simple,” from Wilco’s 1995 debut album A.M. followed. Next, the band offered “A Lifetime To Find” — the video for which saw the band performing at an Elks Club in a similar format as the open mic — off 2022’s Cruel Country.

Tweedy then took it back to the Uncle Tupelo days with “New Madrid” ahead of a cover from country great Stoney Edwards, “She’s My Rock.” The band returned to Being There with “Forget The Flowers” ahead of a cover of Texas singer-songwriter Doug Sahm’s “Give Back the Key to My Heart.” Then, as if the surprise set wasn’t enough, Wilco backed up one of the performers at the open mic, Rob Case, on his song “Bayou City” to conclude their appearance at Poor David’s Pub.

Watch video from Wilco’s surprise open mic set in Dallas below:

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You

Hate It Here

Far, Far Away

Bayou City

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Setlist

Wilco at Poor David's Pub

  • Far, Far Away
  • Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You  
  • Hate It Here
  • Too Far Apart
  • Passenger Side
  • It's Just That Simple
  • A Lifetime to Find
  • New Madrid  
  • She's My Rock  
  • Forget the Flowers
  • Give Back the Key to My Heart  
  • Unknown Song  
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