My Morning Jacket
Lifestyles Communities Pavilion
October 6, 2008
2008 appears to be a threshold year in the careers of the members of My Morning Jacket, as evidenced by their performance at Lifestyles Communities Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio on October 6.
Lead guitarist and vocalist/songwriter Jim James’ charismatic stage presence continues to transfix audiences with his otherworldly falsetto vocals and black cape costuming. Jumping into "Off the Record," drummer Patrick Hallahan’s pounding drum attack pushed the packed pavilion into full force overdrive. Guitarist Carl Broemel stood off to the side of the stage, ripping into one escalating riff after another, and sending the small venue’s patrons into full fledged ecstasy on "What a Wonderful Man."
Keyboardist Bo Koster’s colorful keyboard embellishments continue to be a crucial element in My Morning Jacket’s multi-layered sound, particularly on the title track to the 2008 classic recording Evil Urges and the pairing of both parts of "Touch Me I’m Going To Scream." Columbus, Ohio’s MMJ experience was powerfully accented by James’ ability to hit everything in or outside of his soaring singing range.
But, it was the quiet dreamy moments that transcended the moment with James’ echoing vocals cutting through the dark night on the country flavorings of "Golden." The beautiful harmonies on "Sec Walkin" took MMJ’s live production beyond any ordinary concert. And, certainly few musical entities can equal the thrust of "Dondante" and "Run Thru." Still, there were those silly enough to try and guess when "Highly Suspicious" was going to be shaken from the My Morning Jacket songbook, and scattered about the Columbus, Ohio air.
It hardly mattered, because My Morning Jacket has made their art in the studio and on stage an all-inclusive rite, taking the likes of "Wordless Chorus" and "One Big Holiday" to newer, stratospheric heights each time. Not since the Electric Light Orchestra landed their huge spaceship into the hearts and minds of arena audiences has the music world had the sensation of an ensemble that seemed to come from another planet, with alternately improvised punk and country sass. The crowd at the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion digested huge portions of the complete meal, proving, with authority, 2008 to be the year of My Morning Jacket.