It wasn’t surprising to see Jeff Tweedy play a set at NPR Music’s 10th anniversary concert. After all, he’s been a frequent performer, playing Tiny Desk three times over the years.
Tweedy started his set by reaching deep into his catalogue with “We’ve Been Had,” a song that his former alt-country band Uncle Tupelo, released in 1993.
But listening to Solo Tweedy is an entirely different experience than hearing the layered sounds of his longtime group Wilco behind him. With just an acoustic guitar and his voice, the songwriting and lyrics took center stage. In “We’ve Been Had,” a protest song against big music labels, Tweedy sang:
“Watching the label spinning on my turntable / There's no call waiting in my headphones / And every star that shines in the back of my mind / Is just waiting for its cover to be blown.”
Well aware of the sentiment each song he performed gave off, Tweedy recognized the irony of playing Mavis Staples’ song, “Jesus Wept,” (which Tweedy produced) at the celebratory event. “Thought I’d pull that song out because it’s such a big celebration,” he said with a smile, drawing a laugh from the crowd.
For his penultimate tune, Tweedy took a request from the audience. “Passenger Side” someone shouted out, a song from Wilco’s debut studio album in 1995. “That’s okay, you don’t know any of my songs,” Tweedy joked.
Rounding out his set, Tweedy played one of Wilco’s most popular songs, “I'm The Man Who Loves You," from 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
No matter what decade of Tweedy you liked most, there was something for you.