On Friday, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy took to San Francisco to perform a solo show at The Fillmore. However, outside the music world, Friday was a big day for citizens closely following the contentious Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, as the Senate voted to move to a final (narrow but successful) vote on Saturday to confirm the judge.

During Tweedy’s Friday night performance, an audience member shouted out support for Kavanaugh toward the end of the one-set show, leading to an embroiled arguing match between the Kavanaugh-supporting fan and the Wilco frontman. As noted by JamBase, the combative verbal sparring lasted for over five minutes and allegedly resulted in the attendee being removed from the show by The Fillmore’s security.

As explained by a well-known, high-profile show reviewer on a Wilco fansite, bböp, the incident began following a take on “Impossible Germany” after “Jeff made a joke about how each person in the audience should yell out some sort of ‘affirmation’ between songs.” After the audience member in question yelled out “Kavanaugh” in response to this prompt, the singer began engaging with the fan, asking him what his favorite ruling from the judge is, prompting laughter from the crowd. After the crowd member responded that Kavanaugh ratified Roe v. Wade, Tweedy dismissed the comment, stating that “Kavanaugh did not ratify Roe v. Wade” while the audience laughed, later adding “You don’t know what the word ‘ratify’ means. You don’t.”

After a pause, Jeff Tweedy took a moment to offer his own thoughts on the Supreme Court nominee,

I will tell you what I think. I think he’s a lying sack of shit with ugly, chicklet teeth. I think there’s about a thousand people that could have been picked, but the point was for them to be cruel. The point was to show women that they are not going to be fucking paid attention to. That’s the whole point. They are not going to be listened to. That’s the whole point. If they had any decency at all, they would have chosen somebody else. They had the votes … anybody else. Don’t you think that would have brought the country together?

The San Francisco crowd erupted into cheers following Tweedy’s monologue. However, the original heckler then continued their argument, asking why it took so long for the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh to come out, adding that the accusations weren’t brought up until the last minute. In response, Tweedy asked, “When is the best time to bring up sexual assault, sir?”

Eventually, the combative crowd member tried to de-escalate the encounter, noting that this wasn’t what either of them was there for, he didn’t want to argue with Tweedy, and he loved the Wilco frontman. However, Jeff didn’t take the invitation to move on. Rather, Tweedy doubled down, noting that the audience member was “taunting me by yelling ‘Kavanaugh.’ You love me? Then, why would you taunt me like that?”, later noting that “as far as I’m concerned, that’s hate speech.”

Following an explosion of cheers from the audience, Jeff Tweedy continued, “You don’t have to worry now, do you? ‘Cause you’re a white guy.” After the audience member noted that Jeff was also a white guy, the performer explained, “I don’t have to worry, but I still care because I fuckin’ care. We can all make sacrifices we don’t need to make because it’s the way the world should work.”

After realizing that the man in the audience was with a child, Jeff’s tone immediately changed, exchanging his once-confrontational attitude with what seemed to be sincere compassion for the son. Directly addressing the heckler’s child, the singer asked, “Is that your dad? I’m sorry, buddy. I’m really sorry. I’m sure he’s a good dad. I’m happy to play my music for you guys; I honestly am.” From there, Jeff Tweedy launched into a new song “Let’s Go Rain”, moving out of the heated encounter.

However, as reported by bböp, later in the show, Jeff Tweedy continued to reference the prior political argument in a lighthearted manner. After “California Stars”, the singer joked, “I was just trying to think of a scenario when I would go to a show and taunt somebody,” with Tweedy angrily shaking his fist and yelling out “Ginsberg” as the crowd laughed.

You can watch most of Jeff Tweedy’s interaction with the Kavanaugh-supporting fan below, courtesy of Nick Jong. JamBase also posted a number of tweets from someone who claims to be the audience member in question, which can also be read below.



[H/T JamBase]