Preview: Wilco at Red Butte

Hey, Salt Lake, Wilco loves you, baby. The band is returning to Red Butte Garden Tuesday night for a sold-out show.

Born from the ashes of alt-country heroes Uncle Tupelo in 1994, Wilco has developed a faithful fan base of loyal listeners hooked on Tweedy’s thoughtful—and when at their best, poetic—lyrics and the band’s masterful playing.

Probably best known for the 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, widely acclaimed and quickly rejected by Reprise Records, Wilco eventually released it for free online. It later became their best-selling album, and the entire process can be seen in the documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. Yet in recent years, the band’s music has felt less inspired and more rote in both design and sound. In fact, some have begun to dismiss the band as dad-rock. It’s a fair assessment of their newer stuff, but a an unfair dismissal of their pioneering early material.


Last year Wilco played Red Butte and playing their new album from the first track to the last before as much as introducing themselves to the crowd or playing a single fan favorite. This year they have a new album, the not-yet-released Wilco Schmilco, and set lists available online seem to indicate that they’ll be playing a few tunes from it, mixed with songs from last year’s Star Wars album and some old favorites. And, as has been the case with the last few Wilco shows in SLC, hard-core long-time fans will need to wait until the encore for their red meat.

Wilco is at Red Butte Tuesday night. Doors open at 6, the music starts at 7. The show is sold-out.


Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy is a former managing editor at Salt Lake magazine. Though she writes about everything, she has a particular interest in arts and culture in Utah. In the summer months, you will find her at any given outdoor concert on any given night. In the winter, you will find her wishing for summer. Follow her on social media at @whynotboth.

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