My Morning Jacket made a triumphant return to their hometown of Louisville, KY. with an epic two-night run at the Iroquois Amphitheater. Dead Audio had the opportunity of attending night two of the band’s residency and they knew the they had a set to live up to. Night one’s setlist drew heavily from 2005’s Z and was undoubtedly one of best MMJ sets in recent history, including gems such as “It Beats 4 U” “A New Life” (Jim James solo), “Dondante” “Purple Rain” (Prince cover), “Bermuda Highway” and “Phone Went West” leaving the DAB team wondering what the band saved for night two. Luckily, MMJ has one of the deepest and best catalogs of any current rock band, able to turn night two into just as epic a set as night one.
Kicking things off on Friday evening were hometown favorites Twin Limb, a three-piece psychedelic folk outfit that creates dark, layered synth-infused jams. Even with a minimal stage set up of a drum kit (with electronic pads), an accordion, synthesizer and guitar, the band created a large, commanding sound in the 600-capacity venue. The opening set culminated with a special appearance by Jim James, who joined the band for a beautiful rendition of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.”
Proud. That was the theme of My Morning Jacket’s Friday set. Beginning with the opening track from Circuital, “Victory Dance” found James, arms crossed, looking out over the sold out crowd, surveying his “good work.” Indeed, the evening’s songs seemed to encourage the crowd to plant whatever “seed” is important to them, and let it take root.
Throughout the set, each member of Jacket had multiple solo opportunities, showcasing their individual talents, reinforcing once again that they are truly one of, if not the greatest current rock act in America. From Carl Broemel’s sultry sax to his incendiary guitar solos, each member took time to steal the show over and over again.
There were several surprises during the concert, including a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)” a Jim James song that get’s rarely played outside a solo set, a crowd-exploding version of “Run Thru” which found Patrick Hallihan jamming like Animal from The Muppets, a James solo acousitic performance of “I Will Be There When You Die” and the first set closer “Dancefloors” off of 2003’s It Still Moves.
The bend returned for an encore that served as a tribute to their hometown and their heroes. Shortly after wrapping up “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2” the members of Twin Limb returned James’ favor from earlier and joined My Morning Jacket for an ultra-dancy cover of the late Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” as well as a funky version of David Bowie’s “Young Americans.” Given the recent passings of these two great artists, MMJ’s was tribute to them was more of a fun celebration of life than a send off.
To end the evening, James & Company were joined on stage by Paulie’s Puppets, a staple of any MMJ hometown show, for the encore ending staple “One Big Holiday.” Throughout the set it was apparent that My Morning Jacket are far from done. The band continues to grow, inspire and melt faces with each performance as song after song, I found myself realizing that I was undoubtedly at the best rock concert in the world on that given Friday evening.
Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 1
Outta My System
In It’s Infancy (The Waterfall)
I Will Be There When You Die
State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U) (Jim James Cover)
Believe (Nobody Knows)
Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2
Raspberry Beret (Prince Cover)
Young Americans (David Bowie Cover)
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (Prince Cover)
One Big Holiday