Photo Credit: Lee Butterworth
On Friday night, Wilco was joined by Yo La Tengo during their concert in the Chicago Subway. The coveted sit-in occurred after Ira Kaplan and company played two full frames of music, which were heavily based on their 2023 release, this stupid world. During the collaborative portion of the night, the two bands teamed up for a series of four covers, including cuts penned by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and more.
Prior to Wilco’s arrival, Yo La Tengo hinted at their guest’s imminent appearance by covering “If I Ever Was a Child,” written by Jeff Tweedy. The song that was initially released at Wilco’s 2016, shmilco disco, served as the only version of Yo La Tengo during the first set. Previously, during Yo La Tengo’s annual Hanukkah run at The Bowery Ballroom in New York, Tweedy joined the cover, making the song selection even more revealing of what was to come.
After two main frames of music, the Wilco members descended on the front of the room and joined their hosts for a passionate rendition of The Beatles’ “She’s a Woman.” The opening number saw Tweedy and Kaplan share lyrics, embodying the essence and energy of the 1964 tune. In the follow-up to the sit-in, Tweedy picked up an electric guitar and the group of musicians moved into “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” by Dylan, with James McNew conducting the iconic lyrics of the 1965 song, which was delivered via the bring it all back home album.
The veteran group picked up a cover of The Heartbreakers’ “One Track Mind,” which began with a throbbing drum solo. As the two groups progressed in number, their leaders exchanged lyrics written in 1977. For the final song of Yo La Tengo and Wilco’s stage timeshare, they performed a cover of “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” from Fairport Convention. The final song of the sit-in saw Georgia Hubley take on the tender lyrics, which she arranged with supreme instrumentation.
After an eruption of cheers from the crowd and an exchange between the two bands, Yo La Tengo played their second encore, a one-song rendition of “Yellow Sarong,” a number first performed by The Scene Is Now. Check out a fan-taken video of the collaborative acting below.
Scroll down for the set list for Yo La Tengo’s March 24 concert at the Chicago Subway.
I have it
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, Letter of Apology, Miles Away
Set II: This Stupid World, 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. YO: She’s a Woman^&, Love Minus Zero/No Limit^%, One Track Mind^#, Who Knows Where Time Goes?^@
enc. II: yellow pareo$
+ Wilco cover
&The Beatles cover
^ With Wilco,
% Bob Dylan cover
# Cover of The Heartbreakers
@ Fairport Convention Cover
$ The Scene Is Now cover
Setlist via setlist.FM.