My Morning Jacket Live

My Morning Jacket visited South Florida for the first time and played the Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater Friday night (8/29/08). I’ve been getting acquainted with MMJ over the last month with their last two studio CDs, Z and Evil Urges and their double live CD Okonos: The Concert. With some familiarity with their material I had heard some things about their live performances but didn’t really know what to expect. One  MMJ exceeded my expectations and then some.

Right now, they are a band at the top of their game. Jim James, lead vocalist and guitarist, puts on an interesting performance, dancing, staggering, wearing capes and at several points, putting on his head what appeared to be a towel. His singing barely cuts through the mix but he’s very effective and the harmonies are tight. The drummer, Patrick Hallahan, seems like a man possessed, driving the band and combining with the bass player, Two-Tone Tommy, to lay down a tight, heavy bottom. Their songs have a variety of influences (country, rock, reggae) and the set list is well  constructed, mixing up so the 2+ hours show so that it is never boring. Most songs work up to a crescendo demonstrating that the songs are well worked in and the band is able to build upon the themes of each song.  There were a few songs in the middle of the show which seemed a but weaker but, really, that’s about the only criticism I have.

This is a band that is comfortable with and in command of their material . They are one of the better live bands touring. Go see them if you can.


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