Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wilco at Ancienne Belgique!

This week I discovered Ancienne Belgique!

Ok, so I knew about it before this week, but I kept forgetting about it, and thinking it was farther away than it was, and I didn't check the website. This week, however, I got a copy of The Bulletin, a weekly magazine for English speakers in Belgium, that lists all the goings on. I happened to see a picture of the Flaming Lips who are playing at the AB next week, and so I immediately went to their website to see if there were any still available. (Of course not.) I also saw that Wilco was playing the very next day (Friday the 6th), and that show was also sold out. Bummer... right? WRONG!

Under each concerts there were comments listed, and after checking a few, (I had to translate many of them from Flemmish to English) I discovered that there were still tickets to be had! I used google translate to compose an email in Flemmish to one guy, Christof, who had one ticket to the Wilco show. At this point I doubted I would get it, but hey, worth a shot! A few hours later he notified me that indeed, I had the ticket! And for the original selling price! HURRAH!!

A few clumsy emails in Flemmish later, we switched to English and had decided upon a meeting place and time. I must note here, what did we ever do without cell phones??? Anyway, we met up without a hitch! He was a youngun (well, 21 yo) from Ghent (about a half hour from Brussels by train) who was a huge Wilco fan and who reminded me a bit of Mike Zeifang. His brother was supposed to go with him, but canceled at the last minute. Lucky me!

We put our coats into a locker (I'm telling you, this venue was amazing!), checked out the opening act (who we agreed was a bit too "experimental"), got BIG glasses of Stella (for a remarkably low price) and proceeded to get standing places about 5 people-layers from the stage.

I'm not even sure how to describe the concert. It was totally awesome. It was a sold out crowd (approx. 2,000 people) that obviously LOVED the band. They played a fantastic set, with an encore of roughly 8-10 songs! Jeff Tweedy had some fun talking to the crowd. He asked us why in the world would the Belgians vote themselves the most boring people? (Did they really??) He complimented the excellent health care system, as 2 band members had to use it! He teased a guy about double-fisting (holding 2 drinks) the entire concert, and got us all to sing along to "Jesus, etc." (He said we did the best of any "second language" crowd, YAY!!! hahaha, I say yay, even though I don't count in that group...)

I left Christof with 3 cheek kisses (I don't think I'll ever know the right number, it's different with everyone I meet! And it's hard to play it off if you go for an extra, or don't go for it, oy! The stress!) and "Handshake Drugs" stuck in my head. A short 15 minute bus ride and I was back home! I think I will be going to the Ancienne Belgique a lot more in the near future!


  1. Hi, congratulations, I love your blog. My Husband and I are living in Dublin but moving to Brussels next month with our cat. We are a bit confused and insecure about living there, so I started to look for Blogs, then I found Yours... Thank you for sharing the informations!! Carol.

  2. Hi Carol! I know it can be difficult moving to a new country, but I'm sure you'll be fine! If you ever need any advice or help I'd be happy to offer it! Brody