My Morning Jacket brought their 2017 Summer tour to New York City this past weekend, as the band delivered an incredible set of music at Forest Hills Stadium. The band, performing in front of their largest NYC crowd since their 2008 New Year’s Eve show at Madison Square Garden, showcased their ability to harness the energy of a crowd and use it to their advantage, with each subsequent song adding to the crescendoing cascade of rock’n’roll madness that has come to define the My Morning Jacket sound.
After a spirited set from modern psychedelic blues icon Gary Clark Jr., The Jacket took the stage and immediately started up the pulsating introduction to “Circuital.” The song’s patient intro, euphoric breakdown, and howling vocals added up to the perfect start, giving the show a celebratory vibe from the get-go. After finishing up “Circuital,” the band wasted no time in bringing fan-favorite “The Way That He Sings” into the fold. The At Dawn track is sped up in the live setting, and it gives the song an extra element that changes the vibe of the track altogether.
After a quick run through frontman Jim James‘ solo track “A New Life,” the band delivered a rock-solid version of Evil Urges track “I’m Amazed,” which kicked off a four-song run of classic MMJ tunes. “I’m Amazed” was followed by live-favorite “Lay Low,” before the one-two punch of the raucous “Mahgeetah” and the gorgeous “Golden,” both hailing from the band’s iconic record It Still Moves. The band followed that up with “Tropics (Erase Traces)” from The Waterfall, a song that contains the band’s most epic intro and one of the most scorching guitar solos in their catalog, before shifting gears to a more relaxed vibe with a transition into another It Still Moves track, “I Will Sing You Songs”.
The band continued with cherished classics, with another rocker from The Waterfall–“Compound Fracture”–which moved smoothly into the title track from Evil Urges. Following a quick version of “Gideon,” MMJ delivered their most ambitious music of the night, taking “Spring (Among the Living) into a fifteen-plus minute, improv-heavy version of “Dondante.” The band moved in several different directions throughout this standout moment, giving every jam band a run for their money with the ambitious, full-band creations that emerged from the stage during “Dondante.” As the song was fizzling out, James put his guitar down and showed off his best rock-star moves, getting the crowd to wave their arms to the beat of the sinister “Victory Dance” in unison, before the band dropped impressively into the end-portion of their epic multi-sectional masterpiece, “Run Thru.” The band closed out the set with a raucous version of “Off The Record,” before busting out a heartfelt version of At Dawn‘s beloved “Phone Went West.”
After a short break, the Jacket returned for a four song encore. After starting things off with another Jim James solo track (“State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)”), the band performed three of their traditional encore tracks: the bouncy “Wordless Chorus,” the Heartbreakers-esque “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2,” and their soaring harmony of guitars and epic breakdowns, “One Big Holiday.” When the dust had settled, the band had once again proved that they are one of the best bands in the business.
Listen to the full show audio below, courtesy of chk.
My Morning Jacket | Forest Hills Stadium | Forest Hills, Queens | 7/15/2017
Set One: Circuital, The Way That He Sings, A New Life, I’m Amazed, Lay Low, Mahgeetah, Golden, Tropics (Erase Traces) > I Will Sing You Songs, Compound Fracture > Evil Urges, Gideon, Spring (Among the Living) > Dondante > Victory Dance > Run Thru, Off the Record, Phone Went West
Encore: State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.), Wordless Chorus, Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2, One Big Holiday
Check out the full gallery from Adam McCullough.