My Morning Jacket: Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ 9/23/08

It’s human hipster nature to love bands that nobody else knows of or likes yet. But what’s that to say about My Morning Jacket?  No longer an indie secret having played the likes of Radio City and SNL, it’s a wonder that “One Big Holiday” hasn’t been used in a car commercial yet. 

This isn’t the band of a few years back where Two Tone Tommy, Jim James and Patrick Callahan would toss their long hair in their faces like malicious Vikings.  Today’s most of the band’s hair is shoulder length and their current music from Evil Urges has more in taste with Spoon than their reverb drenched southern rock of 2003.  But that’s not say that My Morning Jacket aren’t one of rocks most dominant stage acts – as they rank on the list with a select group of “guaranteed to getting your money’s worth” bands.  Their show at Tempe’s Marquee Theater proved that no matter how big a festival stage they’ve played since June, the club/theater room is still treated with priority by the Kentucky quintet.

With Evil Urges out for three plus months, the band continues to be hit their stride live, mixing a majority of their live catalog from their past three studio albums including It Still Moves and Z. Front man Jim James is evolving more into his own in the role of rock and roll front-man.  Whether donning a cape during “Evil Urges,” surfacing a sheik like towel on his head during “Off The Record,” shaking his ass during a funked up version of “Mahgeetah,” or running around the onto stage catwalks during “One Big Holiday” with a jolly ass grin, its tough to call Jim James “inhibited.”

The two and a half hour show rocked tight during “Gideon,” jammed mysteriously throughout “Dondante” and playfully expressed the funky flavor the band is currently experimenting with during “Highly Suspicious.”   My Morning Jacket might very well be the new Radiohead or Wilco – either way, they got a good thing going, lucky for all of us involved.

photo by Jennifer Love

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