The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Tweedy performs solo at Granada

Saturday night the Granada felt like what could have been your best friend’s basement: one with a makeshift stage and with old band posters that peel from the corners lining the walls.

Opening act Minus 5 could have been your old friends who always have stories to tell about crazy nights and wear shades regardless of the sunshine or time of day. And Jeff Tweedy could have been that guy who knows music inside and out and sometimes stops by to play the songs he loves when he’s not busy thinking about things you wish you thought of.

Saturday night Jeff Tweedy finally made Dallas a stop on one of his rare solo tours.

Since forming Wilco in 1994, Tweedy has played only about 100 solo shows, most of them in or near his hometown of Chicago. This tour is the first time he has scheduled solo shows in Texas and the Southeast.

Even though the show was barely advertised with only a mention on Wilco’s official site, it sold out in 72 hours.

The venue was standing room only, and the audience of more than 1,000 crowded the Granada’s lower and upper balconies before the opening act even took the stage.

The Granada did its job, offering an ideal setting for the evening. The banner over the stage read: “Love Yourself.” Murals colored the walls and ceiling, and the stage was lined with six acoustic guitars.

The show opened with an acoustic performance by Minus 5. Frontman Scott McCaughey referred to the accomplished rockers and striving talents that are featured on the band’s albums (Tweedy among them) but still pleased the audience without them.

Tweedy took the stage dressed in black with a quiet confidence. He shot a quick glance at his anxious audience and opened with “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”

He performed the more popular songs and the lesser-known classics from his albums with Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, Woody Guthrie songs featured on “Mermaid Avenue” and songs from albums with his side projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog.

The doors opened late because of Tweedy’s 45-minute sound check. He played seven songs to get the perfect sound for the show – a sound much appreciated by his audience. His performance featured a conviction and sincerity that characterize his songs and hypnotic melodies that captivated his audience.

And although Tweedy seemed almost uncomfortable with his talent and the admiration of his fans, it was easy to catch him crack a smile while he did one of the things he does best – play the guitar ridiculously well.

Through the night Tweedy put just as much energy into his songs as he put into the conversation with the crowd, which was triggered by an audience member yelling, “Punch me, Jeff.” Tweedy replied with a karate demonstration and a warning, “Be frightened. I will fight all of you.”

But the audience’s excitement sometimes turned to annoying banter, especially after Tweedy introduced a game involving absurd band names. He even asked the audience if they saw the Dallas Observer article “Tips’n’Tricks for taking in Tweedy,” which was doubtful since tip No. 4 was “Don’t talk through the whole damn show.” And when the audience began to shout song requests, Tweedy informed the crowd, “I don’t need any help to think of a song. I wrote them all. I know my songs.”

But although he threatened to play only four songs, Tweedy regained his train of thought and obliged the audience with an hour and a half set featuring two encores. He even invited them to sing along to a favorite song “Jesus, Etc.”

And in true acoustic style, Tweedy played his final song, “Acuff Rose,” by abandoning the standing microphone and stepping to the very front of the stage. The theatre got its closest to quiet and fans bit their tongues to avoid singing along and drowning out Tweedy’s soft and haunting voice.

And with a final wave and grin, Tweedy left his audience satisfied.

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