Sunday, June 22, 2008

MMJ Killed the Radio Hall, 6/20/08

Jim James may have stated he was in awe of standing on the same stage where Aretha once stood, but JJ and My Morning Jacket owned Radio City Music Hall on Friday night and not many fans in attendance would have preferred the Queen of Soul. With a level of energy and buzz in the air normally reserved for the four boys from Vermont, My Morning Jacket brought back full force why I love live music because this wasn't a was an experience. The lights were stellar, the sound in RCMH was rich, the guitars soared, Jim was like a kid on Red Bull, all fans were grooving from the opening notes, and the band played like they had something to prove. If Phish comes back, and I sure as hell hope they do, they truly have competition from these five boys from Kentucky.

Opening with 'Evil Urges' from that same titled disc, the group played the full spectrum of styles that their fans have come to appreciate. From the surprisingly sublime Prince/Beck funk falsetto off of the new album to the more expected Crazy Horse guitar wailing, white-boy reggae sounds, and Gram Parsons-style county, every song took the crowd for a ride. There were more "stare at your friends with jaws dropped' moments than should be legal.

And after all of that love, I'm not an MMJ fanatic (at least not before this show). I have seen snippets of sets from them at Bonnaroo each time they play and even ruined my friends' night by making them check out SuperJam rather than MMJ this year. That mistake will never be made again and may never get lived down.

I have to say that when tickets went on sale in January for this show, and it sold out in minutes, this was clearly to be MMJ's most important show to date. And at the time it should have been. But the band appears to be on a much faster and steeper upward trajectory than anybody could have imagined considering their upcoming New Year's Eve date with destiny at Madison Square Garden. And it is well deserved. Even as big of a show as Radio City fucking Music Hall must be for the band, this was just one stop on the MMJ ride to the top.

For a great example of how quickly this band can turn on fans, check out this clip of the group playing 'One Big Holiday' on Conan way back in 2003, pre-Jim James haircut. If you're impatient, fast forward until the end when Conan shows his obvious new found love. Made me smile.

1 comment:

WeightStaff said...

"That mistake will never be made again and may never get lived down."


Good call on Superjam bro...