Cross Country Songbook: Wilco Live at Red Butte Garden 8/18/15

WIlco at Red Butte Garden

After hiking our way through Canyonlands and Arches National Parks last week (see our accompanying playlist here), myself and fellow M&T contributors Jeff and Kyle were able to catch a Wilco show in Salt Lake City. Isn’t it a beautiful thing when timing works out like that? And if you’ve never been before we can tell you about another beautiful thing— Red Butte Garden. The 3,000 capacity amphitheater and arboretum on the campus of the University of Utah was an absolutely picturesque setting to enjoy an intimate show with one of our favorite bands. The picture above (and any other pictures you can find on the internet for that matter) don’t do the venue any justice, but you can take our word for it, if you’re ever in Salt Lake City you need to catch a show there. Not only is the venue general admission (save for a small section reserved for sponsors and other VIPs) it’s also BYOB. Now if you don’t think that’s a win-win then you must be out of your mind.

When you have a gorgeous venue like Red Butte Garden, artists always tend to bring their A game and on this night Wilco did just that. On recent tour dates they have been starting their shows by ripping through their new album, Star Wars, front to back and this performance was no different. Though the whole album took them only a mere 40 minutes to perform they certainly didn’t hold back from incorporating some jam sections into songs like “Where Do I Begin” which featured three part guitarmonies by Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone. After playing through Star Wars the band went straight into “Handshake Drugs” and it was on from there. The band played through 20+ additional tunes after finishing off their new record and their setlist selection was magical to say the least. They covered their whole 20 year discography and then some, mixing in tunes from their collaborative Woody Guthrie project with Billy Bragg as well as Tweedy’s Uncle Tupelo days. Highlights included a face melting solo from Cline on “Impossible Germany” (after which Tweedy called out a fan in the front row for being on their phone through the duration of the shredding), the selection of songs from A Ghost Is Born (“Handshake Drugs”, “Hummingbird:, “The Late Greats”, and “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”), and the all-acoustic second encore which even gave John Stirratt a turn at lead vocals on “It’s Just That Simple.” Between the gorgeous venue and the perfect setlist we couldn’t have asked for much more from a Tuesday night in Salt Lake City, and if we’re ever back in Utah you can bet we’ll be making a return trip to Red Butte Garden for whatever show is on.

Check out the full setlist for Wilco’s show below and make sure to follow along with our Cross Country Songbook coverage as we weave our way out to LA and back to Brooklyn, stopping along the way to see shows and investigate local music scenes.

1. EKG (band entered to recorded version)

2. More…

3. Random Name Generator

4. The Joke Explained

5. You Satellite

6. Taste The Ceiling

7. Pickled Ginger

8. Where Do I Begin

9. Cold Slope

10. King Of You

11. Magnetized

12. Handshake Drugs

13. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

14. Art of Almost

15. Hummingbird

16. Box Full Of Letters

17. Secrets of the Sea

18. Heavy Metal Drummer

19. I’m The Man Who Loves You

20. Dawned On Me

21. Via Chicago

22. Jesus Etc.

23. Born Alone

24. Impossible Germany

25. The Late Greats


26. Spiders (Kidsmoke)


27. Misunderstood

28. War On War

29. It’s Just That Simple

30. Give Back The Key To My Heart (Uncle Tupelo cover)

31. California Stars

32. A Shot In The Arm

Posted on by Eric in Cross Country Songbook

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