A packed sold out crowd at The Fillmore Detroit waits in anticipation of Wilco’s arrival. The venue is a gilded and ornate well crafted old theatre with tall marble pillars and a lot of ambience.

First up is Nick Lowe, playing songs both old and new including the classics, ‘Alison’ by Elvis Costello and his own composition ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?’ Lowe, playing the role of elegant elder statesman of rock is bright and appealing. He is in good spirits and fine voice as he plays his own blend of mostly folk tunes solo on acoustic guitar.

The energy is buzzing as the crowd awaits Wilco, after Nick Lowe’s well-received set. House lights go out; stage lights on as Wilco hits the stage.

The band starts off with the beautiful ‘One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)’, perhaps the finest tune from Wilco’s new album, ‘The Whole Love’. Jeff Tweedy’s vocals are immediate and the band is in rhythm. Nels Cline’s electric guitar playing is exquisite as Wilco plays with the synchronicity of a jazz band.

‘Art of Almost’ features powerhouse instrumentals and builds a collage out of electric walls of sound. Over the top drumming and adventuresome keyboards meet surging guitar.

‘I am Trying to Break Your Heart’ from ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ is gorgeous - a finely tuned pastiche of sound. ‘I Might’ is rock candy sweet - Wilco is on tonight in a big way. ‘Misunderstood’ from ‘Being There’ is poignant: “The cigarettes taste so good… You still love rock and roll.”

‘Bull Black Nova”’ is a chilling ominous dark rocker, and ‘Black Moon’ is shimmering and lovely. Wilco has arrived at an apex moment of their craft and their career. On ‘Impossible Germany’ Nels Cline plays absolute epiphanies on guitar with solos that swoop and dive like a bird.

The mix of great songs and sonic instrumental textures is brilliant.‘I Must Be High’ from their debut album ‘A.M.’ is welcome as the band plays a career retrospective.

Bathed in purple and red lights, the six man band performs ‘Dawned On Me’ about a new awakening of love. Also included are concert highlights ‘Humming Bird’ and ‘Heavy Metal Drummer’.

Then finally Nick Lowe returns to the stage with Wilco for a surprising final encore of Lowe’s hit song, ‘Cruel to Be Kind’- all in all, a truly stellar show.

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Commenting On: Fillmore, Detroit, 10/12/2011 - Wilco

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