Home Live Review Live Review: Jeff Tweedy @ The Atlantis — 6/28/23

Live Review: Jeff Tweedy @ The Atlantis — 6/28/23

Live Review: Jeff Tweedy @ The Atlantis — 6/28/23
Jeff Tweedy charms the audience during a sold-out show at The Atlantis on June 28, 2023. (Photo by David LaMason)

After a handful of songs, Jeff Tweedy recently told the sold-out crowd at The Atlantis, “Something about the shape of this room makes me shyer than I’ve become. When I first played on this type of stage in this town I got to hide behind a pole a lot of the night opening up for the Dead Milkmen.”

Tweedy, principal songwriter for Wilco, and his former band, Uncle Tupelo had played the old 9:30 Club that The Atlantis was modeled after a number of times — a point that he joked about as he asked for a sheet of all the times he’d been to the old venue. 

With only himself and an acoustic guitar, Tweedy weaved stories that kept this crowd listening intently at The Atlantis on June 28. Even Jeff Tweedy seemed to be having fun at how the crowd hung on every word. “These are the kind of songs they wouldn’t tolerate last night,” he joked.  “The bigger the crowd the dumber it gets. I don’t make the rules. That’s just science.” 

The night had the makings of a more intimate performance than a regular rock club show. There was, of course, fans calling out for songs for Tweedy to play. Jeff Tweedy has been trying not to play songs more than once per stop, but that didn’t stop the crowd from shouting out favorites. “Hell Is Chrome!,” one person yelled as Tweedy simply responded, “That hurt my head.” He even joked at one point, “You’re yellin’ out the worst songs” as the audience burst out in laughs. 

Taking a rare request from the audience for “Hummingbird,” Jeff joked that since he “fucked it up” last night at the 9:30 Club “I owe you a Hummingbird,” before playing the song with many singing along. 

Songs like “Guaranteed” and “Evergreen” from his solo work feel like a conversation between Jeff and someone else. There’s an emotional genuineness there that doesn’t always translate from other singers. Maybe it’s the delivery or his voice with that approachable quality that’s hard to put a finger on. Whatever it is, there’s a magical quality that keeps you focused on the moment. Lines of poetic verse that in one second seem to conjure a disconnected image just to be brought back down to earth with lines like “I don’t believe you don’t care / You’ve got family out there” from Tweedy’s main gig, Wilco’s song “An Empty Corner.” 

Watch Jeff Tweedy perform “Country Song Upside Down” live for Sessions at Tree House on YouTube:

And some songs are just a masterclass in economy of words and emotion. “Sad Kind of Way,” from Wilco’s most recent album, Cruel Country is a perfect example which translates so well to just Jeff and his guitar. The refrain is cut by those verses like, “Best I’ll ever be / Is the beauty you see in me” that says so much with just that one phrase. 

There were plenty of songs, though, that kept fans smiling and singing along. From “Kamera” and “Jesus Don’t Cry” to an encore of “California Stars” and “I’m Always In Love,” after someone called out for the song “Summer Teeth.” “I’ll play something off the album, Summer Teeth,” Jeff told the fan before starting on the stand out number from the LP of the same name.

This was one of those nights where you just wished it could last all night. Just a purely fun night of great songs sung by a brilliant storyteller.

Jeff Tweedy continues his solo tour through the end of July before joining Wilco through the Fall.

The setlist included:

Remember the Mountain Bed
Story to Tell
I Am My Mother
Infinite Surprise
Impossible Germany
An Empty Corner
Don’t Forget
You and I
Sad Kind of Way
Whole Love
Hearts Hard to Find
Art of Almost
Jesus, Etc.

A Robin or a Wren
California Stars
You Are Not Alone (Mavis Staples)
Falling Apart (Right Now)
I’m Always in Love

Here are more photos of Jeff Tweedy performing at The Atlantis on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.

And here are more photos of Le Ren opening for Jeff Tweedy at The Atlantis.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here