My Morning Jacket Covers The Band, Elton John, George Harrison and Wham! and Dusts Off Rarities at Forecastle Festival

In the world of sports, the tag “clutch” is attached to athletes who have a track record of success when the game in on the line and the pressure’s on. If any of our favorite bands deserve this “clutch” tag, it’s My Morning Jacket. A perfect example can be found last night when the Louisville, Kentucky natives treated a massive crowd in their hometown to a perfectly balanced set filled with guest spots, fan favorites and rarely-played covers at the Forecastle Festival. MMJ not only headlined the second day of Forecastle, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, but they helped select which acts would also perform in their role as curators of the long-running event.

[Photo via @WeListenForYou]

Speaking of “curators,” last night’s My Morning Jacket set was part of the band’s Spontaneous Curation series in which fans have a say in what songs were played. Jim James and Co. honored the requests right from the start, opening the set with only the second version of The Dark, off Tennessee Fire, of the year. For the Holdin’ On To Black Metal that followed, MMJ were joined by old friends the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. A string of fan-favorite staples came next in Wordless Chorus, I’m Amazed, Anytime, It Beats 4 U and Steam Engine before the quintet welcomed Galaxie 500/Luna front man Dean Wareham for the debut cover of Isn’t It A Pity from George Harrison’s legendary All Things Must Pass LP.

Later, MMJ busted out their cover of Rocket Man by Elton John for the first time since the “albums run” at Terminal 5 on October 18, 2010. From there, they offered rarities The Bear, Cobra and the complete version of Run Thru to fill Spontaneous Curation requests. Former MMJer Johnny Quaid, who was an original member of the group, helped out on Run Thru. Towards the end of the 18-song set, My Morning Jacket dusted off another cover that hadn’t been played since the “albums run,” The Band’s It Makes No Difference, which featured Preservation Hall Jazz Band sax player Clint Maedgen handling the sax solos. Gideon closed the instant classic set complete with Andrew Bird on violin. However the hometown heroes still had a few treats left for the encore. Not only did MMJ cover Wham!’s Careless Whisper for the first time since the T5 “albums run,” but the show-closing One Big Holiday saw the band accompanied by Quaid and Kentucky puppetry troupe The Squallis Puppeteers.

Here’s a look at the complete MMJ Forecastle Setlist…

Set: THE DARK, BLACK METAL (w/ Preservation Jazz Hall), WORDLESS CHORUS, I’M AMAZED, ANYTIME, IT BEATS 4 U, STEAM ENGINE, ISNT IT A PITY (George Harrison Cover. w/ Dean Wareham), OUTTA MY SYSTEM, MAHGEETAH, ROCKET MAN (Elton John Cover), THE BEAR, COBRA, RUN THRU (w/ Johnny Quaid), MAKES NO DIFFERENCE ( The Band cover w/ Clint from PJHB on Sax Solos), SMOKIN FROM SHOOTIN, TOUCH ME PT.2, GIDEON (w/ Andrew Bird on violin)

Encore: VICTORY DANCE, CIRCUITAL, CARELESS WHISPER (Wham! Cover), ONE BIG HOLIDAY (w/ Johnny Quaid & the Squallis Puppeteers)

[via MMJ Forum]

In addition to the scheduled set, My Morning Jacket also played an impromptu acoustic set after their soundcheck was cancelled due to bad weather. Here’s a video of Wonderful (The Way I Feel) from that performance…

Next up for My Morning Jacket is a headlining set at the Newport Folk Festival on July 28th.

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