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Wilco don’t really need an introduction. Built from the ashes of Jeff Tweedy’s alt-country trailblazers Uncle Tupelo, they’ve been churning out beloved albums for over two decades— including 1995 debut A.M., 1999’s Summerteeth, 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and last year’s Schmilco, to name a few. If you ask fans, though, the greatest Wilco album may be their 1996 sophomore effort Being There, a genre-warping double album that revealed Tweedy to be one of the finest songwriters of his generation.
In fact, when Wilco asked their fans earlier this year to vote for which album they’d like to hear played front to back at the band’s Solid Sound festival in Massachusetts, Being There won in a landslide. The 19-track album came at a cost—Wilco sacrificed their right to royalties to keep the commercial cost low—but contains many of their greatest hits. Thanks to the Paste Vault, we can travel back 21 years and watch Wilco play many of those songs (plus a few from A.M.) on the Being There tour. On Nov. 27, 1996, about a month after the album came out, the band played a hometown show at the Vic Theatre.
Tweedy started this set wearing a cowboy hat, but it’s evident from the get-go that Wilco, at their core, was an update on the classic-rock sound that was enjoying a resurgence in the mid-’90s. They opened with “Sunken Treasure”, which ends with Tweedy proclaiming, “I was maimed by rock ‘n’ roll / I was tamed by rock ‘n’ roll / I got my name from rock ‘n’ roll.” Watch Wilco play “Sunken Treasure” below, followed by Being There favorites “Outtasite (Outta Mind),” “Kingpin,” “Don’t Forget the Flowers” and “Someday Soon.”
With just two albums under their belt at this point, Wilco still made time to play early classics from A.M. and a fun cover or two. Watch a slowed-down, acoustic “Box Full of Letters” and an emotional version of The Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”