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MUSIC REVIEW (Live)
Wilco & Neko Case
Live @ Metropolis, Montreal QC

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Label: Nonesuch Date: Sunday June 29, 2003


As part of the Montreal Jazz Festival's "Rhythmes" series, Montreal's sprawling Metropolis club hosted an evening featuring country crooner Neko Case and alt-roots rockers Wilco.

Nestled on Montreal's bustling Ste. Catherine across from sex clubs and pizza vendors, Metropolis is a two-story monster of a club half-way between a theatre and a bar. With a wide open stair-stepped main floor and a theatre-style balcony all the way around the top, the club features good sight lines from almost everywhere and decent acoustics for its size, and a complete lack of posts or other obstructions.

Fresh from her recent election as Playboy.com's Sexiest Babe of Indie Rock, opener Case put together a solid set of twangy tunes ranging from "Down From The Mountain"-esque bluegrass to more traditional folk songs. Backed simply by an upright bass and banjo, Case mesmerized the room with her solid vocals and guitar strumming.

After an all-too-long break, Wilco came out with little fanfare and began what was a long set covering a wide range of territory. Starting off slowly with some of the more noisy numbers from their current release "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and gradually building, the turning point to more straight-ahead numbers such as "Outtasite" and "Monday" from their 1996's Being There being the point where Tweedy donned a flying V guitar stating "now you're in for it".

Backed by a full array of keyboards, computers and a seemingly endless supply of guitars, Tweedy and company were able to successfully interpret songs from staight-ahead rock to noisy collages, pulling it all off with the required fidelity, or lack thereof as the case may be.

Steve Donnelly Email WWW

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