Wilco’s brand of neo-Americana is well suited for both a fleshed-out instrumental set-up and a more intimate atmosphere. The latter is what the group went with for its recent Tiny Desk concert, which, like all Tiny Desk concerts, is played in the cramped NPR offices while surrounded by public radio employees and jam-packed book shelves.
The band dug deep for its setlist (unlike during the beginning of recent shows, when the group has played its 2015 album Star Wars in its entirety), starting with Star Wars track “The Joke Explained” before playing “Misunderstood” from 1996’s Being There, then closing with “I’m Always In Love” and “Shot In The Arm,” both from 1999’s Summerteeth. Wilco also performed a Tiny Desk show in 2011, which is a rarity considering that the concert series tends to stay away from repeat performers. But as NPR’s Bob Boilen put it, “Let’s just say that breaking my rule of never bringing a band back to the Tiny Desk—Wilco performed here back in 2011—was easy once I heard Star Wars.”
The band just finished a string of U.S. tour dates, but between Wilco, Tweedy (which consists of Jeff Tweedy and son Spencer), and solo Jeff Tweedy shows, some incarnation of a Tweedy project will be on the road for the remainder of 2016, and tour dates can be found at Wilco’s website.