I late August of 1998, I moved to Columbus. And how did the city welcome me? By pairing two of my favorite all-time bands in a free concert, that how.
I don’t know who decided, but at the 1998 Taste of Columbus Festival, The Tragically Hip opened and Wilco headlined, which is like pairing peanut butter and jelly, or chocolate and peanut butter, or anything with peanut butter, because peanut butter is pretty freakin’ awesome.
Both bands had new albums out that Summer. The Hip had just released the Phantom Power in July, and Wilco’s collaboration with Billy Bragg, Mermaid Avenue, was also just a few months old as well. The Hip’s set was the usual mixture of new tunes and old favorites, and Wilco drew equally from their first two records, mixing in some of the Mermaid Avenue tunes.
For some reason too bizarre for me to understand, their was hardly a crowd for either band, and I was, along with my friends, able to get relatively close to the stage. Hence the pictures, which were shot with a relatively crappy disposable camera, are way closer than pretty much any show I’ve ever been to.
It wasn’t the last time I’d see The Hip in Columbus, and there were plenty of shows to come, but it was a helluva way to kick off a move to the city.
THE TRAGICALLY HIP SETLIST
Save The Planet
Twist My Arm
Ahead By A Century
Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)
Springtime In Vienna
At The Hundredth Meridian
Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin’ Man