Everest got the night warmed up in a serious way, those boys know how to put on a show. The highlight of their set was Neil Young's "Revolution Blues" off of On The Beach, probably my favorite Neil record. I was JUST about to hit the washroom before the crowd got to thick and I turned away from the stage and heard the opening notes to one of my favorite tunes, one of many unexpected treats.
Every night MMJ hit the stage at about 9:30pm but on Saturday night they went on about 9:15pm to everbodies delight. Evil Urges was excellent, I think the record as a whole flows tremendously well and seeing it live cover to cover was no different. "Highly Suspicious" had an unreal display lights and the version of "I'm Amazed" was seroius business, all night (all week really), their guitars sounded like they had some extra oomph, some extra edge and this really came through on these two tracks.
"Aluminum Park" had enough energy to run NYC for a night, "Smokin' From Shootin'" was gorgeous and "Touch Me Pt. II" is such a proper way to end the album.
The encore. All week the encore has been a show in itself. The night was techinally labeled "Evil Urges & Beyond" and the "Beyond" part wasn't anything that we've never heard but I think it pointed in the direction of things to come. The excellent new track (that seems like it was made to play live), "Circuital" was a blast to hear again, Jim sounds marvelous on it. "Friends Again" was good to actually see live. In Columbus, OH last May they sound checked it and that was the closest I've been to see it, awesome tune. The Carl Broemel song "Carried Away" is a friggin' powerhouse when played with MMJ. The song on it's own is excellent and it's a treat to watch Carl play it solo but with Jim on backing vocals and the power of the band as a whole behind it, man o man. "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)" is possibly the most beautiful song ever written. The omnichord made another visit for the tune "Tonite I Want To Celebrate With You" and then the covers began. MMj absolutely kill The Velvet Underground's "Oh Sweet Nuthin'" and "Hot Fun In The Summertime" by Sly & The Family Stone. The Al Johnson tune "Carnival Time" is a lot of fun to watch MMJ play and ending the first encore with the Curtis Mayfield tune "Move On Up" was an excellent choice.
But they couldn't end the night there. In grand My Morning Jacket fashion they came back and played, to quote Chris, "the One Big Holiday from hell." (One other really good quote from Chris: That was one constant stream of holy f*ck") Chips of the ceiling were practically falling from above at this point.
My week spent in New York was absolutely fantastic. But only a portion of that cake of fantasticism can be cut and labeled "My Morning Jacket concerts." The group of people I had the absolute honor to spend time with over the course of the week really took things to the next level. I guess I'll stick with this whole cake deal I've got going on and say that going into the week I thought the MMJ shows were the cake, the whole thing, but looking back I now know that they were just the icing. From Monday the 18th to Sunday the 24th I essentially lived with strangers. Of the bunch that were splitting an apartment for the week I'd only met one and the rest were just email addresses with MMJ Forum handles attached to them. Brand new city. Don't know anyone. Needless to say, I had my concerns. Within the first 10 minutes of walking into that apartment and meeting Ky and Rob I knew everything would be just fine. Over the course of that Monday I met everyone else I'd be bunking with as well as a slew of other MMJ forum members. Let me tell you that the My Morning Jacket Forum members are the greatest group of strangers, from all across the world, that I've ever spent time with. Every single person was warm, inviting and eager to mingle. It was as if everybody had known everybody for years. The experience I had with these people was a first for me and it's one I look forward to having many more times.
Thank you everyone.
I'll be posting pictures tomorrow (left my USB cable at work darn it) as well as a show (NOT a MMJ show).
P.S.- THANK YOU for the birthday wishes!