My Morning Jacket Let Their Music Do the Talking at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

Posted on Monday October 12th in

My Morning Jacket :: 2015.10.09 :: Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

Past My Morning Jacket tours have been filled with a healthy dose of sing-along covers and frontman Jim James’ between-songs loquaciousness. But as the Louisville, Ky., five-piece rolled into the desert on Friday night to kick off a two-night stand at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, their music spoke for them. Gone were the crowd-pleasing covers, and James — looking as if he’d stepped out of a rock and roll version of The Matrix, Flying Gibson V in hand — didn’t say one word not in song. No matter.

Known for their fiery live performances, My Morning Jacket arrived in Vegas battle-tested and ready to go, all five members locked in unison, a sum-of-their-parts sound that still allowed each his room to shine. For more than
two hours, they deftly mixed new songs off their seventh album,
The Waterfall — like the life-affirming “Compound Fracture” and the slow-burning “Tropics (Erase Treasures)” — with older ones, including “The Dark,” guided by Tom Blankenship’s bass, and “It Beats 4 U.”

James and guitarist Carl Broemel — perhaps the band’s secret weapon, often at the very front of the stage, his hair furiously swaying in harmony with his slashing guitar — played in, at, and around each other over the course of the entire show. “Get the Point,” began just James alone in a spotlight with an acoustic guitar but blossomed into something bigger as Broemel joined in, coaxing gorgeous sounds from the pedal steel. And standing just a foot apart, they played face-to-face on “Honest Man.”

However, it was Patrick Hallahan’s ferocious (barefoot) drumming and Bo Koster’s subtle keys work that drove everything forward, one song into the next, like the effortless segue between “War Begun” and “I Will Sing You Songs.” After “Holdin’ On to Black Metal,” they returned for a four-song encore capped off by “Dancefloors” and “Mahgeetah.” But it was during an elongated “Phone Went West” late in the set when My Morning Jacket took their audience to church, the house of musical worship’s congregants, hips swaying to the reggae groove, testifying, “Tell me I’m wrong, tell me I’m right/ Tell me there’s nobody else in the world” into the night.
—R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

Photos courtesy of Erik Kabik


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