NEWS- Wish you were {t}here: Jeff Tweedy, The Paramount Theater, January 31, 2007

Charlottesville must have made quite the impression on Jeff Tweedy when his band Wilco played the Pavilion on April 23, 2006. On January 31, just 10 months later, he was back on the Downtown Mall, this time playing an intimate, solo acoustic show at the Paramount Theater. And though this was the second time in a year Charlottesville and Tweedy have gotten to know each other, the mutual appreciation was about the only thing the two performances have in common.

For one thing, most of the songs were not from proper Wilco albums. Instead, Tweedy, freed from the expectations of playing a Wilco show, tipped the set toward lesser-known material from side projects like Loose Fur, Golden Smog, and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue albums with Billy Bragg.

And without his Wilco bandmates sharing the stage, Tweedy also took the opportunity to kick the dust off some old favorites like "Wait Up" and "New Madrid" from his days in seminal alt-country outfit Uncle Tupelo, much to the crowd's delight. 

But whether they were singing along to Wilco standards like "Jesus, Etc." and "Theologians," or listening in pin-drop silence to under-appreciated Tweedy gems like Loose Fur's "Chinese Apple" or the as-yet-unreleased "Be Patient with Me" (rumored to be on Wilco's forthcoming album, Sky Blue Sky), the audience hung on Tweedy's every sung and spoken word.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy put on a solo acoustic show that occasionally interpreted the term "unplugged" literally.
Rob Garland Photo

Guitars await the master's touch.
Photo by Mitchell Jarrett