WILCO with Dr. Dog – June 23, 2012 / Red Rocks Amphitheatre / Morrison, CO

Jackson Hole, Wyo. – I last saw Wilco at Emerson Center in Bozeman in 2008, a very small room for them and one of my favorite rock shows in that era. I had the opportunity to open for them that same year, a solo¬† “tweener” set, but missed their show for one of my own later that night. A brief mention of my set was posted in a Grateful Web review.

Though Red Rocks is 8 1/2 hours from Jackson and there are closer stops on the Wilco tour, the opportunity to be at this venue again (and a virgin experience for my better half) trumped it all. We are also big fans of Dr. Dog, so the bill was magnetized. Holy #$%@, what a show!

Conversation on the long drive allowed for plenty of time for personal song requests (“Casino Queen,” “Kingpin,” “War on War,” and others). All of which, by the way, made it into the setlist except “Handshake Drugs” which they had played the previous night…that just never happens! From what I gathered, the songs that they played on this particular night were widespread, uncommon, and deemed special by frequent Wilco show-goers. Not only did we get the best of the new, but deep cuts from older albums continued to pile up through the second 6-song encore, which felt like a whole set.

Besides the songs I had hyped-up, other moments were just as surprising–“One by One” from the Guthrie tribute album, Mermaid Avenue, as well as “Forget the Flowers,” “Art of Almost,” “Box Full of Letters,” “I Got You,” and “I’m the Man Who Loves You” were all memorable. The show felt so long, so jammed with their best material, and we knew that we had caught them on the perfect date of tour. They are so tight right now.

As for Dr. Dog, it was the first time I had seen them live, but have been jamming them for a few years. I was first inspired by 2008’s Fate, and now think that the new release, Be the Void, could be their strongest work. The six-piece is little on the nerdy side of hipster-ism, with a live sound that matches the studio sound quite impressively. Great material, great singing, great tones…Dr. Dog has the goods and put forth a 45-minute set that surely earned a batch of new fans from the Wilco entourage.

My only complaint…$7.50 for a PBR?! Here’s the Wilco setlist…

Misunderstood
Art of Almost
I Might
At Least That’s What You Said
You Are My Face
One By One
Impossible Germany
Born Alone
Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)
Radio Cure
Passenger Side
Whole Love
Box Full of Letters
Summer Teeth
Capitol City
War On War
Dawned On Me
Hummingbird

Encore 1:
Forget the Flowers
Jesus, Etc.
Hate It Here
The Late Greats

Encore 2:
Kingpin
I’m the Man Who Loves You
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At the End of the Century)
Casino Queen
Dreamer in My Dreams

Songs by album:
Being There (6)
The Whole Love (5)
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (4)
Other (4)
A.M. (3)
Sky Blue Sky (3)
A Ghost is Born (3)
I Might 7″ (1)
Mermaid Avenue (Billy Bragg & Wilco) (1)