Sunday, December 14, 2008

Concert Review: My Morning Jacket 6/20/08 at Radio City Music Hall, NYC

This week our man on the scene
She Hate Me writes in with a review of MMJ's incredibly fucking awesome show at Radio City from earlier this year. We're just getting this thing up to speed, so a few of these will be posted later than they should be. I'm assured that a review of the upcoming Ryan Adams/Oasis show is coming shortly. 

And now, a word from Mr. Hate Me:

All in all, probably one of the best rock concerts anyone could hope to see.  These guys were always known for their great live shows, but this one topped all others.  The sound was huge, the lights were bigger, the set list was long and the atmosphere was that of a huge party.  MMJ managed to make Radio City feel like a small club all while making everyone there feel like they were watching a band blow the roof off of Madison Square Garden.  

The whole show was full of amazing moments, but Jim James playing guitar from the rafters has to be at the top, followed closely by the absolute mayhem of “One Big Holiday” as the closing song.  “I’m Amazed” sounded like a huge mid tempo anthem from 1975, “Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt. One” just threw everyone for a loop with Jim James donning a cape and creating a very MDMA-influenced dance vibe, “The Way That He Sings” brought in some nostalgia amongst the litany of new songs and the last five songs of the first set just went one into the other, with the aforementioned from-the-rafters guitar solo of “Steam Engine” blowing things apart.  Every song seemed to top the last one throughout the night. The set ended with “Touch Me, Pt. 2”  -- a disco ball filling radio city and Jim James singing over and over again: “Ohhh, this feeling is wonderful, don’t you ever turn it off…”

Set 2 started with a spine tingling version of “Bermuda Highway”, James’ voice filling the room like only his can.  The rest of the set was mostly guitar heroics and freak outs, old school MMJ-style jams and a light show that rivals that of a hair metal act.  James stole the show but the band shined throughout, mixing in elements of 70s folk and soul, 80s synth pop, 60s and 70s southern rock, 80s and 90s style Prince, and elements from every era of rock n roll, from The Band to Motley Crue.  It was a magical performance and if this isn’t the best show I have ever seen, I am having trouble knowing what could have made it better.  

Everything lined up:  the band hitting its stride by performing new, fresh songs in a great venue that was perfect for their sound, an unreal light show, a great, laid back college-style party crowd (and everything that comes with that) and the ability to play a 3 hour show on a Friday night.  MMJ has impressed me in a huge way every time I have seen them, but this was the culmination of everything I have seen from the Bowery on forward.  As I said, the day after the show, it was an “insane arena rock extravaganza at Radio City”. This show announced them as one of the best live bands on the planet.


Evil Urges

Off the Record

I'm Amazed

Highly Suspicious

What a Wonderful Man

Touch Me Pt. 1

Sec Walkin


Thank You Too

The Way That He Sings

Two Halves

Phone Went West

Aluminum Park

Steam Engine

Smokin From Shootin

Touch Me Pt. 2


Bermuda Highway


Wordless Chorus

It Beats 4 U


The Bear

Lay Low

Run Thru


One Big Holiday

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