Finally. Fucking finally.
A man in brown clothing. Heads flying. Unconsciously coordinated body movements. Absolutely huge guitars. A heavy metal drummer. The bassist from a stoner cover band. A keyboardist off to the side in a trucker hat. A second guitarist who's perfectly groomed and really hits the high harmonies. And a motherfucking tsunami in brown clothes‚ full beard and afronic hair who changes guitars every song and growls when he isn't sending falsetto notes through the cavernous‚ burning echo and lights.
This is a band.
There's no obvious marketing here. No self-promoting single. No freebies. No categories. Ditch the records‚ as good as they may be. Comparing My Morning Jacket live to their CDs would be like comparing sex to looking at a photograph of people fucking. This is a man who can sing at the top of his lungs after a long guitar solo during which he'd been swaying back and forth from foot to foot‚ eyes rolled back into his head and his hair and beard swimming back and forth all lit from overhead-only to start the next song in a bending falsetto and abandon an old Gibson acoustic to stand there in the lights‚ eyes squinted shut as his voice finds all kinds of places up there in the rafters where guys usually don't go. And a band‚ a great fucking band‚ is there backing him up.
And thus it's a hell of a shame that the Higher Ground wasn't packed for My Morning Jacket's show last Sunday night. Right from the opener the band pummeled the audience with the most unpretentious yet intelligent mix of all-out-shag-rock‚ pop melodies‚ '50s country‚ guitarists playing like the fists of fury‚ and more high points and brilliant changes than seemed possible. The amount of emotional involvement from the beginning was incredibly refreshing. The band was able to shift through their post-Crazy Horse‚ prog-rockesque take on rock‚ heaviness‚ and subtlety‚ and take the crowd way‚ way out and bring them right back home without wearing out their welcome with pointless solos or indulgent psychedelia.
A memorable night. The kind where it's very‚ very hard to go to bed afterward.
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