• 8.24.8 Outside Lands Festival with Wilco – San Francisco

    JeffJeff

     

    No ways I would miss a chance to roam another music festival this summer….

    I took a quickie flight up north to hit the last day of this SF Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival for Wilco on the last show (this leg) of their tour. The arrived at the airport 8 hours too early to meet up with Nels who’s traveling on the Wilco bus. I staked out a corner at SFO to sleep and wait for the sun to rise. By dawn, I hauled my butt over toward the festival ground. This proved to be an unexpected adventure. By 10am, I did quite a few miles of walking back and forth around the outside of the festival gate looking for the right entrance to get in. The festival set up was ridiculously long in distance from one end to the other. Luckily I didn’t mind the mellow morning walk in the amazing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, even with my 75 lbs on my back full of camera gear. But soon after that, my feet were done. I didn’t explore the festival itself too much due to my inappropriate shoes. I didn’t allow myself enough time to THINK ahead as I barely made it to my flight out.

    Once there, and once all the fussy access issues were dealt with, I pretty much tailgated Nels Cline the entire day. The weather was warm’ish overcast. This festival was.. huge. The sea of happy people walking, dancing, laying around everywhere like ants. Good times were evidenced everywhere. I watched only a few bands; Toots & Maytals, Broken Social Science, and the one that impressed me – Bon Iver.

    Then it was time for Wilco to go on. Their stage was on the opposing side of the festival where all the tour buses parked. Everyone had to get shuttled over to stage and later back. Once I hopped on the side of the stage, seeing the sea of crowd was mind blowing. This actually prompted me to soon give up on looking for my local SF resident friend Dave – who’s amongst the crowd of 60 thousands somewhere to the … west …

    After Wilco finished playing, we were in a mad hurry to get out of the festival. I supposed being that it was their last show of the tour, and the day before Jeff Tweedy’s birthday, it was about wrapping it up and go chill in the City. I missed my chance to see Jack Johnson. I only heard him beginning his set from the distance as the bus leaves. I was a little bit bummed since I was looking forward to see him perform. Maybe next time, somewhere.

    Off to the hotel in San Francisco, a few of us had some drinks to cap off the night.  Again, due to the fixed work schedule, I had to catch a 6am flight back to be at work by 9am. Another exhilarating event, checked.
     

    schedule

    schedule

    policemen on patrol

    policemen on patrol

    Police Horse

    Police Horse

    Festival attendees watching band Wilco

    Festival attendees watching band Wilco

    Glenn as a rock drummer

    Glenn as a rock drummer

    Nels

    Nels

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Jeff and Nels guitar interaction

    Jeff and Nels guitar interaction

    Nels

    Nels

    John

    John

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Pat

    Pat

    Jeff - few hours before his 41st birthday

    Jeff - few hours before his 41st birthday


  • 2.20.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 5 Riviera Theatre

    Audience gathered in line waiting for the venue door to open     Audience gathered in line waiting for the venue door to open

    Finally the last night of a this residency at their home town Chicago . This day is as good as any day for me to say something about this band Wilco.

    This is the 2nd run I got to photograph them in an extended period of time. The first time being the West Coast tour in August of 2007. Then, I flew up to get on board with them in Redmond, Washington and rode-along southward covering all the shows in Troutdale, Oregon, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Jay Leno show taping in Burbank. All this was possible because of  their lead guitarist Nels Cline, my top friend. He vouched for me. 

    When I met this band for the first time, I only had vaguely heard of them. The most preparation I got before the trip was to look up wikipedia for the band members’ names. I jumped in and pretty much fell in love with this band before the end of the first show. 

    What makes this band outstanding in my view is first and foremost, the great catalog of music. The more I hear, the more I feel, the more it was right. The quality of the work is the core. Then the personalities around it, the work ethics and structures, the drives, the coordination, were all functioning. The most impressive thing of all was the amazing crew of people who were outrageously nice. All the managers Jason, Abby, Ben, Tony, Nate the drum tech, Steve the monitor guy, Matrix & John the guitar techs, Andy the merchandise manager, .. everyone all the way to the truck drivers were so very friendly and kind. It’s definitely a family.

    Maneuvering around this was then easy. Everyone was so inspiring.

    So here I was – day 5 of a very special event. By this time I was already used to with the cold lifestyle. For no other reasons than watching my cousin pulled together her daily routine without and issues. I was very comfortable in this city. Even the Wilco fans were a lot of the same sweet people I saw over the 5 shows. Dedication, love, and community – What an amazing entity in itself.

    Picture round up :

    Lovely people!

    Lovely and brave people!

    Will Call stationeer

    Will Call stationeer

    Securities in place, about to open the door

    Securities in place, about to open the door

    Mad rush for the best spot

    dashing for the best spot

    Audience anticipation

    Audience anticipation

    Pat and Mikael figuring out the samplers or .. the modules... or the plugins..

    Pat and Mikael figuring out the samplers or .. the modules... or the plugins..

     

    Sheet Music for the "Total Pros"

    Sheet Music for the "Total Pros"

     

     

    mic'd amp

    mic'd amp

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Nels Cline's petals and effects

    Nels Cline's petals and effects

    Pat

    Pat

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Ken streaming live music and stills

    Ken streaming live music and stills

    John

    John

    Zoran Orlic, the Wilco photographer

    Zoran Orlic, the Wilco photographer

    Nels

    Nels

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Jeff

    Jeff signing some posters

    Ben Levin and the Total Pros

    Ben Levin and some people

    Glenn and Ben

    Glenn and Ben

    Jeff

    Jeff

    John

    John

    Wilco last night , last song ending the 5 show residency

    Wilco last night , last song ending the 5 show residency


  • 2.19.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 4 Riviera Theatre

    Yes. I was there. But … I can’t find the negatives from this whole night. 
    They – will – turn – up —-


  • 2.18.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 3 Riviera Theatre

    Day 3 of the show : I was so excited to bring with me my 12 year old second cousin, (or niece in Thai term), with me to the show. This was crazy amazing mainly because it will be her first concert ever. Her best friend also coming along with her. Manager Jason was super cool that he gave them “working passes” so they can run around with me freely.

     

    John with acoustic bass guitar and Glenn

    John with acoustic bass guitar and Glenn

    Mikael and Pat keys moment

    Mikael and Pat keys moment

    Andrew Bird and Glenn Kotche

    Andrew Bird and Glenn Kotche

    Pat, Jeff, and Glenn before show

    Pat, Jeff, and Glenn before show

    Nels during the show

    Nels during the show

    Pat during the show

    Pat during the show

    John and Glenn during the show

    John and Glenn during the show

    Glenn

    Glenn

    Guest - Andrew Bird

    Guest - Andrew Bird

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Wilco on stage day 3

    Wilco on stage day 3


  • 2.16.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 2 Riviera Theatre

    Day 2 of so many things :
    Day 2 of Chicago winter.
    Day 2 of reconnection with family
    Day 2 of  Wilco-centric photography

    Wilco the snacks

    snacks

    Nels and Glenn discussed yet another music related item

    Nels and Glenn discussed yet another music related item

    Mikael Jorgensen and Manager Extraordinaire Jason Tobias

    Mikael Jorgensen and Manager Extraordinaire Jason Tobias

    Jeff T going through some songs

    Jeff going through some songs

    Mikael going through songs

    Mikael

    Glenn.. also going through songs

    Glenn

    Andrew Bird sits in with Wilco

    Andrew Bird sits in with Wilco

    Pat does his thing

    Pat does his thing

    Jeff during the show

    Jeff during the show

    Nels during the show

    Nels during the show

    Glenn during the show

    Glenn during the show

    Wilco on stage

    Wilco on stage


  • 2.15.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 1 Riviera Theatre

    A short flight from New York over to Chicago was simple. I arrived early in the morning to situate myself for the next five days of my stay in the city. The first concert was happening later the same day. The midwestern dead winter cold had been a challenge to me. It was the first time I experienced the temperature under … 30º! It snowed a tiny bit. It was the first snowing action I’d seen, ever. It was like powder…., yes, a profound observation here. I think it was 8º or some silliness. I don’t get how humans can live in such dramatic weather conditions? Looking at the buried drive ways and vehicles, it made me want to rebuild everyone’s houses to be underground with a heat pad roof top. But I speak purely out of humor at the expense of my own ignorance. Here I was looking forward to Wilco’s 5 day residency at the Riviera Theatre in Uptown Chicago. By the time the plane landed, I was  more queasy about meeting up with my family who I hadn’t seen in over a decade. I’ll be staying with them.

    I’ll skip the family part for a different blog.

    Later in that afternoon, I took the train from 10 miles northwest of the venue to arrive around 4pm to catch the soundcheck. The theater was a good size holding about 2500 people. All of the the 5 nights were sold out. What was most impressive to me was to see a line of people in freezing cold outside waiting to get in so they can get the best spots. The door opens at 6, but people arrive as early as 9 or 10 am! (I photographed some of that in later days. It took me more than a day to get used to being out in the element, and finally I got the guts to go take pictures of people huddling outside.) This band is so loved, and rightfully so, I think.

    tampered

    tampered

    Rehearsal/SoundcheckJohn – Soundcheck
    Jeff Tweedy

    Jeff Tweedy

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Jeff - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Pat's side of stage - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Nels - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Glenn - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Glenn

    Glenn