Photo Credit: Lee Butterworth
On Friday night, Wilco joined Yo La Tengo during their concert at the Metro in Chicago. The coveted sit-in occurred after Ira Kaplan and company ran through two full frames of music, which pulled heavily from their 2023 release, This Stupid World. During the collaborative part of the night, the two bands teamed up for a series of four covers, which included cuts written by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and more.
Prior to Wilco’s arrival, Yo La Tengo hinted at their guest’s impending appearance by covering the Jeff Tweedy-penned “If I Ever Was a Child.” The song which was initially released on Wilco’s 2016, Shmilco record, served as Yo La Tengo’s lone cover during the first set. Previously, during Yo La Tengo’s annual Hanukkah run at The Bowery Ballroom in New York, Tweedy had joined in on the cover, making the song selection all the more telling of what was to come.
After two main frames of music, the members of Wilco descended to the front of the room and joined their hosts for a fiery take on The Beatles’ “She’s a Woman.” The initial number saw Tweedy and Kaplan share the lyrics, embodying the essence and energy of the 1964 tune. In continuation of the sit-in, Tweedy picked up an electric guitar and the group of players moved into Dylan’s “Love Minus Zero/No Limit,” with James McNew leading the iconic lyrics from the 1965 song, which was delivered via the Bring It All Back Home album.
The group of seasoned vets picked up a cover of The Heartbreakers’ “One Track Mind,” which began with a pulsating drum solo. As the two groups moved through the number, their frontmen traded the 1977-written lyrics. For the final song of Yo La Tengo and Wilco’s shared stage time, they ran through a take on Fairport Convention’s “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” The final song of the sit-in saw Georgia Hubley take on the tender lyrics, which were fixed with supreme instrumentation.
After an eruption of cheer from the crowd and an exchange between the two bands, Yo La Tengo played their second encore, a single-song delivery of “Yellow Sarong,” a number first performed by The Scene Is Now. Watch a fan-shot video of the collaborative performance below.
Scroll down to view the setlist from Yo La Tengo’s March 24 concert at the Metro in Chicago.
Yo La Tengo
Metro – Chicago
March 24, 2023
Set I: Sinatra Drive Breakdown, Tonight’s Episode, Ashes, If I Ever Was a Child+, Aselestine, I’m on My Way, Nowhere Near, Apology Letter, Miles Away
Set II: This Stupid World, Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House, From a Motel 6, Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad, Beanbag Chair, Fallout, Evanescent Psychic Pez Drop, Drug Test, Nothing to Hide, Tom Courtenay, Blue Line Swinger
Enc. I: She’s a Woman^&, Love Minus Zero/No Limit^%, One Track Mind^#, Who Knows Where the Time Goes?^@
Enc. II: Yellow Sarong$
+ Wilco cover
&The Beatles cover
^ With Wilco,
% Bob Dylan cover
# The Heartbreakers cover
@ Fairport Convention cover
$ The Scene Is Now cover
Setlist via setlist.FM.