Nels Cline + Lucius Help Jeff Tweedy Celebrate Release of ‘Sukierae’ In Brooklyn
Over the course of three decades, Jeff Tweedy has been perfecting his musicianship and lyrical prowess, from his work with the legendary Uncle Tupelo to shaping Wilco into one of the most iconic bands of the last 20 years. Last night (Sept. 23), all of that dedication culminated in the record release show for his latest solo effort, 'Sukierae,' at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Planting roots onstage at the Gilman Opera House for two hours, Tweedy and company (including his 18-year-old son, Spencer, on drums and Lucius' Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig on backup vocals) focused all of their efforts on new music, performing 13 tracks from 'Sukierae.' During the first "set" of the evening, Tweedy didn't spend much time bantering with the audience -- other than the occasional "Happy Record Release Day" or leading the audience in a sing along that he equated to "a cult thing."
After the band wrapped up 'Low Key' -- a semi-autobiographical song, one that he referred to, jokingly, as his "theme song" -- Tweedy stayed put for 12 additional songs; purely solo, purely acoustic.
Covering his entire career, including Uncle Tupelo's 'New Madrid,' Wilco's 'Passenger Side,' and Golden Smog's 'Please Tell My Brother,' Tweedy's solo performance was just about as intimate as an artist can get. Opening up more with the audience -- including shutting down one fan who yelled, "Freebird!," by suggesting he should have all of his concert-going rights stripped, to much applause -- the singer-songwriter bore his soul for all to see and hear.
Once Tweedy drifted into the darkness of the stage, it didn't take long for him to return with his full band. He opened the encore with two covers: Diane Izzo's 'Love Like a Wife' and Mavis Staples' 'Only the Lord Knows.' As powerful as those two tunes were -- he dedicated 'Love Like a Wire' to the late Chicago songstress and he produced Staples' 2010 LP, 'You Are Not Alone' -- fans received quite a treat with the final two songs of the night.
Tweedy first led the band in his interpretation of the Jay Farrar-sung Uncle Tupelo song, 'Give Back the Key to My Heart,' followed by an enrapturing performance of 'California Stars,' featuring Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. While the entire night found the crowd sitting in the Opera House's comfortable chairs, 'California Stars' pushed fans to stand up and dance.
Opening the night were Brooklyn's own Hospitality, a pop-inspired indie rock trio who are celebrating the release of their fourth studio LP, 'Trouble.' Their cute-but-catchy music will be supporting Tweedy through the beginning of October.
Tweedy, though, will be on the road through mid-November -- both with his solo band and with Wilco -- and you can see his full tour itinerary here. As you wait for him to swing by your hometown, check out our exclusive photos from the 'Sukierae' record release show, get the night's setlist and even watch the performance in its entirety below:
Tweedy -- Brooklyn Academy of Music
Tweedy -- Setlist, Sept. 23, 2014
'Nobody Dies Anymore'
'Fake Fur Coat'
'Diamond Light Pt. 1'
'High as Hello'
'Wait for Love'
'I Am Trying to Break Your Heart'
'You and I'
'Please Tell My Brother'
'I'm the Man Who Loves You'
'Shot In the Arm'
'Love Like a Wire' (Diane Izzo cover)
'Only the Lord Knows' (Mavis Staples Cover)
'Give Back the Key to My Heart'
'California Stars' (with Nels Cline)
Watch Tweedy's Entire Performance Live at BAM