The Autumn Defense, one-third of the Grammy-winning rock group Wilco, will perform at Anthology next Thursday.
The band is made up of Wilco's longtime bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. Stirratt and Sansone's excellent musicianship -- combined with their boyish good looks -- have made the Autumn Defense one of the most popular of the many Wilco side-projects.
The Autumn Defense has four LPs and one EP to date, including their 2010 release, the critically acclaimed Once Around. Stirratt and Sansone formed the band after discovering a mutual admiration of classic rock, citing AM gold, soul, and radio rock as major influences. The duo does more than merely imitate a bygone genre, however; Stirratt and Sansone have also re-worked their influences into something that is at once accessible, groundbreaking and -- most important -- rewarding to both listeners and the players alike.
Asked how Once Around came around, Sansone refers to time Wilco recently spent in New Zealand to work on a charity compilation: "The experience in New Zealand was instrumental in this.... We were spontaneously writing new songs, having other musicians that we really respect recording with us and reacting so positively to the Autumn Defense material."
Since the constantly touring Wilco haven't played in San Diego in more than three years, the Stirratt and Sansone Anthology gig should be more than a welcome stop for local fans. And while the Feb. 3 show will be Autumn Defense-centric, their performance will undoubtedly retain the jovial atmosphere and tight musicianship for which Wilco is known.
Ask any Wilco/Autumn Defense fan, and they'll tell you this show is a don't-miss. Get your tickets here.