CONCERT REVIEW: Wilco – Barrowland Glasgow 26th September 2019

Photo Credit James Edmond 

Glasgow’s most famous venue plays host this evening to one of the hardest working frontmen in the music industry according to fans and music critics, Jeff Tweedy who has been touring around the world promoting his solo albums “Warm” and the latest album “Warmer”. Tonight, sees Wilco return to Scotland, and eager fans have arrived early in the venue to savour the occasion.

Opening to night is Chicago band “Ohmme”, a duel but on tour as a three piece with added drums to produce their unique sound. The band is Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart from the windy city, are creating quite a buzz on this tour with Wilco. The band play both beautiful music with outstanding harmonies between the pair, creating an atmosphere that draws you in,  and takes you on a journey to a peaceful and relaxing part of the planet. They are currently touring their album “Parts”, with well jointed harmonies and inter twined guitar and bass to a wide vocal range.  The mix of melody and effective guitar sounds, gives you, what we witnessed, Chicago’s newest export “Ohmme”. The band played a short but very effective set at the Barrowlands, featuring tracks from their album including “Fingerprints”, Peach” and “Icon”. The venue was around three quarters full and the girls had made an impact on the Glasgow audience before treating them to the title track from their album “Part”, you could see it in the girls faces that they were relishing their Barrowland experience as much as the Glasgow audience where enjoying listening to “Ohmme” play. Ohmme treat the audience to a creative and outstanding version of the David Bowie classic “Girl Love Me”. Sima and Macie thank the audience and ended their set with “Grandmother” & “Water”, they were a wonderful highlight before the main band Wilco take to the stage.

After a short break between the support, it was time for Wilco to grace the Barrowland stage, the band currently on tour promoting their latest album “Ode of Joy”. Wilco are John Stirratt – bass guitar, backing vocals, Jeff Tweedy – lead vocals, rhythm, acoustic and lead guitars, bass guitar, harmonica, Glenn Kotche – drums, percussion, Mikael Jorgensen – samples and sound manipulation, keyboards, synthesizers, effects, piano, organ, Nels Cline – lead guitar, loops, lap steel, & Pat Sansone – keyboards, rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals, synthesizers, maracas, tambourine. The stage is lit in cold blue as the band enter the venue and take up their places on stage, Jeff Tweedy with his trademark hat on acknowledges the Glasgow audience before the opening chords of “Bright Leaves” taken from the latest album “Ode of Joy”, is such a beautiful intro to the show featuring stunning guitar breaks from Nels Cline creating the perfect atmosphere from the opening chord. Swiftly followed by “Before Us”, from the same album, you could be mistaken for thinking this was going to be a best of show, this was not the case, Jeff and the band are out there from country to country promoting the latest album. Through the first quarter of the show was a mix between old and new, delighting the audience with “Handshake Drugs”, “White Wooden Cross”, “Hummingbird” & “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”. The band were on fine form, you could see with the look on Jeff and Nels faces, they were out there enjoying every moment, making new fans and creating an energy from their music that could be felt all around you.  The highlights of the first part of the show, it was hard to say what was the best as they were all great in their own way, but songs that gained over all reaction from the audience were “Via Chicago”, “Impossible Germany”, “Everyone Hides”, “I’m the Man Who Loves You” and “Misunderstood”. Wilco were on top form and with the reaction from the audience you just wonder what sort of encore was upon us. Jeff and the band left the stage to an amazing round of applause from the Barrowland crowd. After a short break, they came back on stage,  Jeff and Nels nodded to the crowd and played the opening chords to “Red-Eyed and Blue”, this had the audience singing along, this song from 1996 album “Being There” same album as “Misunderstood”, had the sweat dripping Glasgow audience in their element. They were treated to a surprise of “I Got You (At the End of the Century)” before it was that time of the evening for the closing song to what has been a remarkable set and return to Glasgow for Wilco. The band closed the show with “The Late Greats”, this was the perfect ending to an outstanding performance from the Chicago band.

This was a special night of music from two amazing live bands “Ohmme” and Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. A night that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Review and Photography by James Edmond