Written by Eddie Ferranti
Dec 08, 2011 at 08:00 PM
ImageBeing a child of the 70’s rock concert experience I’ve been spoiled from the get go.  Back then you assembled your “checklist” of libations, a ride, and maybe a left handed cig or two and headed off to rock. Rarely were you disappointed when the likes of Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and the Rolling Stones, to name a tiny few of the many acts I caught live, were crankin’ it out on stage.

Well, two influences in my rock life over the last 20+ years got me steered to a band by the name of ‘My Morning Jacket” and I listened.  My music compadre, Pete Hosea out in Santa Cruz area, and Donna McKenzie, only the best DJ in H-Town, stoked the flames of promo and, man, am I happy they did!

Peter slid me three CD’s, which included 2 live recordings, and I was mesmerized. The more I found out about this band that has been around 13 years and is known for their live gigs,  the more I anticipated the show at one of my favorite venues the Verizon Theater.

This place always does the sound right and tonight was exceptional.  Where’s that checklist?!  These cats grabbed my partyin’ ass from the start and would not let loose until they thunder rocked the building with encore closer anthem “One Big Holiday”!

True to 70’s form was the photographer’s nightmare lighting, but unlike the early days when lighting was an after thought, this was planned spooky ass greens, blues, and Satan-esque reds hiding MMJ all night.  Hell, lead singer Jim James was making an effort NOT to be seen like no other performer I’ve covered of this magnitude, but sure made his presence known all night.

When he was not leading an effortless and energizing 2+ hour non-stop set with his vocals or scorching guitar licks, he was engaging with the upfront crowd as much as he could from side to side. Dude has a beard and long hair and kind of casts a Jim Morrison persona if you will behind the mike.

ImageThe current members of Tom Blankenship on bass, Patrick Hallahan on drums, Bo Koster on keys, and the spot on guitar work of Carl Broemel was an epic blend of in your face psychedelia music!  The three openers I got to be pressed up front photographing of “Victory Dance”, new Cd title cut “Circuital”, and “It Beats 4 U” got me into a hypnotic trance.

The term “jam band” gets thrown around a lot , but MMJ truly fits the bill whenever they wanted to. The sneak up and kill ya stun-gun mashing guitar work consistently throughout of Broemel coupled with James’ haunting lyrics ruled the night.  MMJ covered all the bases with even deeper cuts “War Begun” and “Phone Went West” from early 2000 era and “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2” adding to the surreal live monikor this group embraces.

This Louisville, Kentucky based band has cut six albums, plus three Live CD’s to date. The way this packed house responded they will be welcomed back soon whenever album #7 comes around!

For this old hippy it was a very welcome trip “Back to the Future” and will not be missed again if I can help it…Get off your duff and see something live folks!