Photograph by Andrew Gregory
After hosting and performing at a pair of back-to-back spectacular Solid Sound music and art festivals at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Chicago rockers Wilco took 2012 off from festival building to promote their 2012 album, The Whole Love. Fortunately, Jeff Tweedy & Co. were back again this year with the third edition of their acclaimed three-day Solid Sound festival, and they kicked it all off with an adventurous opening night all-request concert that found them tearing into a rather unlikely setlist that dug into the songbags of Blue Oyster Cult, the Replacements, Television and more. But the big surprise of the night was a deliciously frothy rendition of Abba’s pop gem “Waterloo” with help from the fest’s new breakout artists Lucius.
Then just two months later Wilco was back in Nippertown, rolling into SPAC as part of the Americanarama Festival of Music and with a special guest appearance by the Band’s keyboardist Garth Hudson, also handily stealing the show from headliner Bob Dylan.
All of the magic wasn’t on stage in the spotlight, however. Tweedy also made musical magic in the recording studio, serving as producer for a batch of acclaimed albums released this year by Mavis Staples (One True Vine), Low (The Invisible Way) and Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion (Wassaic Way).
LIVE: Wilco’s All-Request Show @ Solid Sound Festival, MASS MoCA, 6/21/13
LIVE: Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, 6/21&22/13 (Take Two)
LIVE: Americanarama Festival of Music @ SPAC, 7/21/13