I feel supremely confident that I saw the best show in KC on Saturday night, and I was not at Elton John. Wilco and Andrew Bird put on the best concert I've seen in some time. It was the first time I had seen Bird, and he blew me away. He played several instruments and looped them together in nice arrangements, and he displayed whistling ability that bordered on supernatural.
After an opening like that, I was concerned that Wilco might actually seem a little flat. No worries. I've seen Wilco before, but this show was the best by a wide margin. They played a nice mix of songs from their now 6 albums, and they also put in two encores. Dan thought the encores (complete with fireworks) were a cheap gimmick. He may be right, but I could care less (and would add that I haven't been to a show without such a pre-planned encore in a long time). The band was on all night, and they seemed to step it up another notch in each encore.
Sure the band was probably pandering to the crowd when they said it was the best crowd they had on the tour, but as someone who has been a part of several crowds at music shows I would argue it was a pretty damn good crowd. When the crowd is totally into the show, it makes a difference. The energy was good.
The only gripe I have is that Stretch (proprietor of Grinders and Crossroads KC) took to the stage both before and after the show determined to make me believe I was at a Ted Nugent show. He screamed like he was MCing a monster truck rally and he killed a good vibe at the end of the show by yelling "F*#% You Elton John!" Everyone in the crowd was just looking around wondering what the hell was going on. Stretch has a couple of really cool businesses, and I even like his art. But man, stay off the stage.