Cross Country Songbook: My Morning Jacket Live at BJCC Concert Hall 8/10/2015

My Morning Jacket at BJCC Concert Hall 8/10/2015

I’ve been to nearly 30 My Morning Jacket shows, but last night in Birmingham at the BJCC Concert Hall was a new experience for me with it being my first solo MMJ show. Once I arrived in Birmingham after a short drive from Nashville, I headed to the Avondale Brewing Company to get rid of those pre-show jitters. The brewery, who have quite a selection of delicious beers, also sports a pretty amazing backyard concert venue themselves. After downing a few Spring Street Saisons and making friends with fellow MMJ concert-goers at the brewery, I knew I had nothing to worry about for my first solo show.

Once I arrived at the venue, opener Mini Mansions had already taken the stage as the crowd was beginning to filter in. Though there was loud chatter throughout the set as fans were getting settled in their seats, it didn’t phase the band at all. They played their two most well-known songs, “Vertigo” and “Any Emotions”, back-to-back and judging from the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm it was very clear that everyone was strictly there for the main event. Don’t let that give you the wrong idea about Mini Mansions’ set though, they were very clearly pros (frontman Michael Shuman does play in Queens of the Stone Age after all) and in a mid-sized club headlining setting they would kill.

Like I mentioned though, everyone was eagerly anticipating the main event and as soon as the lights went down the crowd exploded into uproarious cheers. We’ve said it a million times before and we’ll say it again, one of the best things about this band is that you never know what you’re going to get from the setlist night after night. Last night’s show was no exception as the band chose “The Dark” as their opener, a move that immediately recalled their Forecastle Festival headlining set back in 2012 where they employed the same tune to kick things off. From there the band led us on a journey through their full discography, hitting on tracks from each of their seven albums over the course of the night. Highlights included Carl Broemel busting out the sax on “First Light”, an incredibly epic version of “Dondante”, pulling out “They Ran” from the depths of The Tennessee Fire, and  At Dawn‘s “Strangulation,” which is one of my personal favorites and is always a treat to hear performed live.

Throughout the evening Jim James was in complete control of the crowd, even interacting with nearly everyone in the first row with some weird ET-esque forefinger touching going on that only James could make look cool. It had been quite sometime since I’d seen MMJ indoors and one redeeming quality about that experience is the band’s light show. Perfectly timed and an element that helps to elevate MMJ’s songs to the next level, if that’s even possible.

The show was a great way to prepare for Friday’s Red Rocks performance and I have to commend the Birmingham crowd for bringing such high levels of energy to a show on a Monday night. Check out the full setlist below from last night’s show until we meet again at Red Rocks on Friday.

1. The Dark

2. Compound Fracture

3. Off The Record

4. First Light

5. Wordless Chorus

6. In Its Infancy

7. They Ran

8. Strangulation

9. Like A River

10. Believe

11. Tropics

12. Circuital

13. Dondante

14. Spring

15. Mahgeeta

Encore

16. Hopefully

17. Touch Me I’m Going To Scream, Pt. 2

18. Victory Dance

19. One Big Holiday

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, Cross Country Songbook

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