October is arguably Albuquerque's biggest month of the year, thanks to Balloon Fiesta. There was no better way to kick it off than to see a rock ‘n’ roll show.
On the night of October 1, Wilco – an alternative rock band – performed at the Kiva Auditorium to a sold out crowd of enthusiastic fans.
The Kiva Auditorium is located in the Albuquerque Convention Center. It offers a calm and relaxing venue with comfortable seating and a wide stage for all to see, but fans found no time to sit during their performance; everyone couldn’t help but stand and dance. The audience was full of a wide range of ages from folks who have known Wilco their whole life to parents bringing their kids to see the show for the first time.
It was certainly rock ‘n’ roll, including an epic performance from drummer Glenne Kotche on their hit song “Via Chicago.” However Wilco feels they should be put into a category of their own because the sound they produce also provides a calming feeling.
Wilco was formed in 1994 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt. Wilco has gone on to release 13 studio albums, including “Cousin,” which was released this past Sept.
Albuquerque was the fourth stop on the “Tour To Infinity” – their newest album – and it seems like the band is only picking up speed.
The band consists of Tweedy on vocals and rhythm guitar, Cline on lead guitar, Stirratt on bass, Kotche on drums, Jorgenson on keyboard and Sansone who is a multi-instrumentalist – changing from keyboard to guitar or other percussion instruments. There was not a single unengaging member on stage; all of them performed on such a level that made the show brilliant to those who hadn’t seen Wilco before.
There wasn’t a moment when you could take your eyes off of the stage. Staring at the expertise of lead guitarist, Cline, performing exceptional twenty minute long solos on songs such as “Impossible Germany,” the crowd was captivated. The dually dynamic and artistic lighting and backdrop that displayed huge kaleidoscopic displays behind the six musicians held the audience just the same.
On top of the expert-level musicality of each song, Tweedy’s soft vocals and poetic lyrics set the tone for the night. While Tweedy is the front man of Wilco, he released over twenty studio albums in total throughout his career and published three of his own original books. Tweedy’s most recent book, “How To Write One Song,” was available in the merchandise section of the venue.
The band members were happy to perform to the crowd of jovial fans.
The show ended like a sustained note of an electric guitar in such a way that left an afterglow effect on the audience, making everyone go home with huge smiles on their faces.
BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BillyJackDL
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Editors Note 10/15/23: A prior version of this article stated that Wilco performed for the first time in Albuquerque on Oct. 1, but this was not true and has been edited to reflect that.
BillyJack Davidson is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached on Twitter @BillyJackDL