"We're going to get as much in as we can," Wilco's Jeff Tweedy announced as the skies darkened behind him to signal the oncoming storm that, Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis told the audience at the other end of the Fair Grounds, would be "a bad 15 to 20 minutes."
Perhaps because the band knew the set might be shortened, it didn't take on the personality that Wilco sets often do during its show on The Gentilly Stage. It wasn't as thorny as the night at Tipitina's when each song was slightly faster than the one before it, nor was it as euphoric as the band's set when it first played Jazz Fest in 2005. During the epic "Kidsmoke," the entire Gentilly Stage audience spontaneously started bouncing.
This afternoon, Wilco played some songs, including such crowd-pleasers as "Heavy Metal Drummer'" "I Got You (at the End of the Century)," and "Impossible Germany, the latter stretching out with a lyrical guitar solo by Nels Cline that mirrored--then defiantly confronted--the dark sky overhead.
At 6 p.m., the song ended and the set, along with the day at Jazz Fest, came to an early end. Wilco's set was fun, but a sense of "what if ..." lingered.