I was the second-youngest person at a Wilco show last night

When you go to a university that is essentially a bubble full of 40,000 other wayward youths, it’s easy to forget just how many adults live in your city. I was sorely reminded of the sheer volume of old people- from late-twenties tech bros and bro-ettes to trying-to-be-hip, well-over-40 parents- when I realized that I was the second-youngest person at a Wilco show last night.

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Wilco @ ACL Live way back when

First, I must HIGHLY recommend that you see Wilco live next time they roll through your town. They’re constantly lauded as one of the most musically talented bands active today, and their performance most certainly lived up to that reputation. Wilco first played through their newest album, Star Wars, which is solid when streamed but near-perfect when performed. But longtime fans certainly weren’t disappointed, as the majority of the show consisted of old-school Wilco, including a couple of tracks from their first album, A.M. (which came out the year I was born, for your reference). Jeff Tweedy & company graced us with two encores, one of which was acoustic and just lovely- I swear, last night’s rendition of “California Stars” was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. Other highlights include a perfectly spacey, drawn-out “You Satellite,” a white girl dance-worthy “Heavy Metal Drummer,” and some killer soloing courtesy of drummer Glenn Kotche.

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2002: I was really hyped on reading my first chapter books;

Wilco was releasing this masterpiece 

Wilco is one of those bands I started listening to several years too late (which is kinda fair, seeing as their best album debuted when I was 7). But their work is also pretty timeless, especially if you’re a fan (as I am) of any of the more recently-spawned indie rock-ish bands who’ve been influenced by Wilco. For that reason, I expected a much wider age range to be there, singing along to “I am trying to break your heart” last night.

But nah. My gentleman friend (the youngest person at the Wilco show) and I hypothesized that the third-youngest person was at least 26.

I guess I’ve felt like this at shows before, seeing as I got into live music before many other people my age. And the divide wasn’t nearly as drastic as, say, the time I saw Tom Petty with my dad around the age of 16 (I’d put money on the assertion that no one else there was under 30). But the experience of being the second-youngest person at a Wilco show last night came at an interesting time. Yesterday afternoon, at the insistence of the same sentimental father who brought his teenager along to a Tom Petty concert, I ordered my UT class ring. Now, this isn’t really something I’d normally place a lot of weight on- what’s an overpriced piece of jewelry, anyway?- but lately I’ve been feeling myself hurtling towards oblivion (or, y’know, graduation) at a stunning speed. Seeing that hunka gold on my finger added a concrete dimension to this unsettling feeling and had me suitably freaked out for the majority of the day.

I was talking to a friend recently about our general feelings towards life right now. Although my initial responses were something along the lines of “positive” and “in need of a fucking nap,” after thinking for a sec, I realized that at this moment, everything feels temporary. I’m not exactly bothered by this, as I’m currently suffering through an evil courseload, more work hours than I’d like to be taking on, and the struggle of still not being able to order a goddamn beer at dinner, and am therefore looking forward to this semester coming to an end. But I can’t deny that the feeling of my days being numbered is nagging at me a little bit( I’ll be peacin’ out of UT and Austin in just over a year now). It’s neither a good or a bad thing, just a weird thing. I’m stuck in this mindset of needing to check a number of items off a list of sorts while also avoiding any sort of attachments that might keep me from all the crazy shit I’d like to do after I walk the stage next December.

But being the second-youngest person at a Wilco show last night reminded me that there is, in fact, plenty of time. And for that reason, I can chill the fuck out a little bit and just enjoy the music.

–Lauren

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