My Morning Jacket brought their traveling circus to Indianapolis’ White River State Park on Sunday night. The band played a mammoth 23-song set just a day after headlining Chicago’s 20th Anniversary Lollapalooza festival, adhering to the motto: You don’t take nights off while conquering the world.
The concert was a homecoming for the band’s long-time guitarist Carl Broemel. A graduate of Pike High School, Broemel grew up playing in local band Old Pike before studying guitar at IU. My Morning Jacket picked him up in 2004 after two of the band’s members had quit. He has since carved out an important niche in the Jim James led outfit, lending his talents on guitar, saxophone, vocals and lap steel.
Tracks from My Morning Jacket’s latest summer soundtrack Circuital dominated the setlist Sunday night. The band looked a tad drowsy on the first few songs of the evening but throttled into high gear shortly thereafter. By the time they played “Mahgeetah” from 2003’s It Still Moves The Lawn had reached full-on party mode.
This is a band that displays clearly its ten years of experience. They hit on every cylinder with a catalog of songs that span an astonishing range of genres—the mish mash of sounds are all bound together by James. His vocal influence can be felt on so many of today’s hottest acts.
James stands alone in his natural born ability to entertain. He has learned over the years when to push an audience’s buttons. When to dance like a mad man. He wears his heart on his sleeve, constantly offering an emotional earnestness to the crowd that often seems false or contrived with other performers. It is James’ ability to constantly appear genuine that allows My Morning Jacket to frolic so boldly from style to style without alienating their audience.
A decade in their rear view, these guys are fucking rock stars with serious chops. This ship will continue sailing as long as the band can tolerate each other. If Sunday night was any indication, they are all having entirely too much fun to hop off the bus any time soon.
Written and experienced by Rob Peoni
Top photograph courtesy of Sam Kowal.
Inset photograph courtesy of Michael Stephenson.
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