Wilco Graces Orlando With Comprehensive Performance at Hard Rock Cafe

    The band’s performance recently at Hard Rock Live was a positive showcase of their extensive discography.


    By Greggory Schwartz


    It was after an end of a century that Wilco released their widely popular album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The 2002 release garnered positive critical consensus for its eclectic use of country twang, pop syncopation, rhythmic alternative rock rifts, and experimental amorphous sounds.


    This synergy of genres is an illustration of the band’s deep musical exploration and history. Wilco’s musical career spans over twenty years and it should be no surprise to feel under-prepared at one of their concerts with the many tracks and out-takes that could be performed.


    Wilco has impressed fans and critics with their ability to seamlessly mix stylistic qualities from country, rock, and pop music. From left to right: Nels Cline (lead guitar), Jeff Tweedy (vocals), Mikael Jorgensen (keyboards), John Stirrat (bass), Glenn Kotche (drums), and Patrick Sansone (keys/rhythm guitar)


    Jeff Tweedy, lead singer, at Hard Rock Live on 4/28 playfully told the audience “you have some studying to do” after mentioning that the set will contain a lot of unfamiliar tracks. Fortunately, a compilation album appropriately titled “What’s Your 20?” pin-points and maps a lot of the essential tracks from 1994 – 2014.


    The band’s performance recently at Hard Rock Live was a positive showcase of their extensive discography. Wilco’s seamless musical conversations and transitions from minimalistic patterns to expansive crescendos are a few of the characteristics that make the band so engaging and emotionally stimulating.


    Glenn Kotche (drums) is known for his creative customization of his drum kit. Multiple percussion instruments ranging from chimes, orchestral, and even found objects such as scrap metal.


    Although not familiar with the entire set, I joined the audience in embracing and swaying to the interesting soundscape of lap-steel guitars, sudden sweeping organ keys, and infectious pop arrangements. Mentioning the brief gap in visiting Orlando, Jeff Tweedy complimented our growing city by saying, “you guys are holding up well. I like what you did with the place.”


    I believe that statement can be equally applicable to both of us. A full album from Wilco’s concert can be seen here. 


    Greggory Schwartz is freelance photographer and graduate of the Univeristy of Central Florida. In April of 2015, he began working witht the East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post as a photographer & writer.