September 2022 - TURN IT UP: Wilco at The Santa Fe Opera House


Seven miles north of Santa Fe, The Santa Fe Opera House sits at about 7,500 feet with beautiful sunset views and open air. Fitting for Wilco’s upcoming concert on September 15, 2022 – a New Mexico stops along their 2022 Cruel Country tour. Wilco last played at the Santa Fe Opera House in 2012 – a decade ago. This concert is something to look forward to, a chance to bring people together in a beautiful space and listen to some new songs from the band, such as “Tired of Taking It Out on You” and “Falling Apart (Right Now).”


Wilco, formed in Chicago in 1994, has had dual influences on Alternative Rock and Country music genres. The Cruel Country album, a 21-song, two-disc album, explores the word “country” within the band’s core identity, noting the ongoing conflict and troubling times in the United States. This twelfth album stands apart. It was recorded in a live studio with band members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Pat Sansone, and Nels Cline, who worked together, in an imperfectly perfect way, to bring authenticity and connection through their music.


Released in a letter from the band that accompanied the album, lead singer, Jeff Tweedy shared the inspiration behind the album. “More than any other genre, country music, to me, a white kid from middle-class middle America, has always been the ideal place to comment on what most troubles my mind - which for more than a little while now has been the country where I was born, these United States. And because it is the country I love, and because it’s country music that I love, I feel a responsibility to investigate their mirrored problematic natures.” Released on May 27, 2022, Cruel Country has already gained many positive reviews. Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone magazine said this album “is less polished, like the most beautifully ornamented home recording imaginable.”


There is something that feels at home, comfortable, and relaxing about going to this show. Beforehand, enjoy the pre-concert tailgate that the Santa Fe Opera House is well known for, drink wine, and take in a New Mexico sunset just before the autumn season starts. The songs from the new album will most likely strike a chord with most listeners as they focus on the deep feeling of what it means to live in this country and try to keep going despite the hardships that face us all.


Kamikaze Palm Tree, formed by Dylan Hadley and Cole Berliner in 2015, is the opening band, highlighting their new album, Mint Chip, which debuted on August 12 by Drag City Records. Doors open at 6:30 PM, and the concert starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets, if still available, can be purchased online at ampconcerts.org.


Author: Cheryl Lowe