Two years after it was due to finally play again for First Avenue's 50th anniversary weekend, the all-star band Golden Smog has been re-booked to play the club in early-April 2022 — this time with a second show added and probably its best-known member back in the fold.
Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is named alongside Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and the Minnesotan members of the '90s supergroup in Tuesday's announcement for the April 2 and 3 concerts in First Ave's main room.
Tweedy was absent for the last go-around in 2011 by the Smog, which also features the Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, ex-Soul Asylum guitarist Danny Murphy and Run Westy Run's Kraig Johnson.
"Heard you missed us… ," promo for the show reads.
Tickets for the long-postponed 2020 date will be honored at the April 2 show, which will feature Tina & the B-Sides and Kiss the Tiger for openers. A few leftover tickets to that night are on sale now for $50. Tickets for the April 3 date go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via AXS.com. That one has Miloe as the warm-up act and is the official 52nd anniversary of the night Joe Cocker opened the club that would become First Avenue.
In a November interview about his new group, the Scarlet Goodbye, Murphy quipped about the extra two years of waiting for the Smog show, "A little more time to try to get our [stuff] together again."
A private Golden Smog gig in 2019 for Murphy's birthday (sans Tweedy and Stephens) marked his first live performance since he quit Soul Asylum and the music industry altogether in 2012.
Before that, the Smog came to life with unpredictable regularity — or: predictable irregularity? — as a covers-fueled side project to the band members' full-time groups going back to the late-'80s. Tweedy joined before the release of Golden Smog's cult-loved 1995 album "Down by the Old Mainstream," when he was still mostly only known from his prior band, Uncle Tupelo. Stephens came more fully aboard in time for the subsequent record, 1998's "Weird Tales."
With Wilco due to hit the road again in the spring of 2020, Tweedy was not expected to join the Smog gig that April. Moot point, anyway. This year, his Chicago crew only has a few assorted dates on the books so far, including their Solid Sound Festival in May in North Adams, Mass. — attendees of which would no doubt love their own Golden Smog reunion. But let's not push it.