A new concert DVD from Wilco is out, called Ashes of American Flags. The film includes concert footage from 2008 at historic venues in Tulsa, Mobile, Nashville, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. The film was shot by Brendan Canty (of Fugazi) and Christoph Green.
I loved the film, which is mostly a concert film with a change of pace now and again to give you context and insight into the personalities that make up Wilco. Interestingly, though, when the tour blew through the 9:30 Club last year, I wasn't completely thrilled. Sky Blue Sky never got its hooks in me, and I was a bit of a grump by the end of the night.
Here's what I missed in my sullen mood: Wilco is the best live band in America. Watch the DVD to see an airtight case in defense of this argument.
I will say, I don't like the way the film takes a line from Jeff Tweedy in one venue and makes you think it happened in another. It's a bad journalistic decision, but it makes for a killer moment in the film. (I won't spoil it for you.)
Here's a clip from Ashes of American Flags, featuring my favorite song from Sky Blue Sky: "Side With the Leaves."
So, is Wilco America's best live rock 'n' roll band?