NORTH ADAMS -- Barbara Morrison, of Belleville, N.J., was right up front Friday at Mass MoCA's Joe's Field, ready for Wilco to take the stage for the opening night of the Solid Sound Festival.
Unfortunately, she'd have to wait another four hours.
"It's not a grueling wait," said Morrison, who is no stranger to Wilco concerts and is known for rushing to the front of the stage for prime viewing for the Chicago-based band.
"I almost forget why I'm here," she said.
But Morrison planned it perfectly. By 5 p.m., the stage at Joe's Field was already lined with about 30 of Wilco's dedicated fans. By the time Wilco appeared at a little after 9 p.m., the sea of fans surrounding the stage was impenetrable, all eager and cheering for Wilco to take the stage at the band's music and arts festival.
Wilco kicked off their all-request show with the ever-popular "The Boys are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy, a nod to the fact that the band was returning for the third Solid Sound.
"I've never heard a cover by them," Laura Connell, of Niskayuna, N.Y., said during the cover. "I'd like for them to cover ‘Into the Mystic' by Van Morrison. It's one of my favorite songs."
After the cover was over, lead singer Jeff Tweedy called out to the crowd, "How we all doin'?" and was greeted by cheers in return.
Wilco then played a cover of "Cut Your Hair" by Pavement, followed by Big Star's "In the Street," famously known as the opening theme for "That ‘70s Show."
Wilco will resume their usual set tonight at 9 p.m.
"We're going to play as many of your requests as we can," Tweedy told the audience Friday.
Long before Wilco took the stage, art, music, chatter, food and spirits filled the campus at Mass MoCA, providing camaraderie among the packed grounds.
With an ideal vantage point up a small hill, Washington, D.C., residents Steve Kolowich, Ben Terris, Rachel Pfeffer, Julia Hurst and Brannon Walsh were enjoying beers just as The Relatives started to warm up the crowd at around 7:45 p.m.
"We decided we wanted to have a good perch rather than elbow our way toward the front of the stage," Kolowich said.
The D.C. natives were also joined by Kevin Chan, of Berkeley, Calif. Chan said he is currently soul-searching across the country, and that Wilco music is "very soulful."
Wilco was scheduled to play until 11:15 p.m., followed by Yo La Tengo playing a live soundtrack to a screening of "The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller" at 11:30.
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