My Morning Jacket
With Delta Spirit
Sunset Cove Amphitheater, Boca Raton
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Check out the slide show here.
Better than: Sitting in a cubicle watching cell-phone videos of My Morning Jacket's live shows as research.
Saturday's evening air had a dangerous humidity to it, daring those waiting to see My Morning Jacket to cross their fingers and hope for clear skies. Only a few measly droplets fell on Sunset Cove Amphitheater on Saturday night, but the anticipation in the atmosphere was palpable.
Before the band began, a guy wrapped his arm around my shoulders and told me I was
"about to have my face melted off." And I should have believed him.
Bathed in unearthly green light, My Morning Jacket hurled into "Victory Dance" and cast a trance-like state over the entire amphitheater. It was a wall of sound that left listeners gasping.
One of the most impressive aspects of the set was the unconscious showcase of the band's range. Effortlessly, it weaved through genres, making the lap slide guitar in "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)" riddle up your body just as powerfully as the hard-hitting bass line in "Holdin on to Black Metal."
Breaking in between songs only to thank the audience and comment on how good the weed smelled, frontman Jim James was nothing short of enthralling. Sweating with a black towel on his lion-mane head, he seemed to control the crowd with subtlety. Not one for making a spectacle of his guitar skills or putting on crazy stage antics seen by most frontmen of his stature, James seemed content to just get lost in the overwhelming power of his music. He trusted the attendees to do the same, and they happily obliged. Whether it was quietly swaying along, participating in group air-guitaring, or just standing there among the heavy smoke, the crowd accomplished its simple objective of getting lost in the music.
My Morning Jacket's songs seemed to have only a beginning. My phone died
during the first few minutes of their set, so with no way of telling
time; their performance felt like blissful eternity. So I did the only
thing I could do -- just close my eyes and drink it in.
Earlier on, most concertgoers were still
hotboxing tailgating in the parking lot outside, but Delta Spirit came out firing to a small group of dedicated followers.
The boys launched into a few tracks from their self-titled album set to
come out in March. The crowd enthusiastically clapped along to
"Just Tear It Up" as frontman Matthew Vasquez hollered into the
microphone. With broad guitar riffs and a sound that relied on heavy
drums and an upbeat tempo, this was driving music. They had a kind of
sound that could make a humdrum trip to Publix seem like rolling along
Route 66 in the summertime rockin' knock-off Ray Bans with the windows
"This one's for anyone who's dropped acid while sitting in a bathtub
with an acoustic guitar. Too bad you can't fit a piano in a bathtub,"
Vasquez said before leading the crowd into a soulful rendition of Pink
Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." The song transitioned into the band's
steady and refreshingly piano-heavy "Trashcan." Question: What does one
tambourine, one drumstick, and one severely beaten-up metal trashcan lid
equal? Answer: One hell of a percussion instrument.
By the time the band came to its second-to-last song, "California," the
crowd had filled in enough to allow enough room for a circle of
ironically fist-pumping hipsters, which was a fitting response to the
upbeat song about the band's home state. The only downside to Delta Spirit's set is that it ended all too quickly.
The crowd: A nice mix of people -- middle-aged couples, families with My Morning Jacket T-shirt-wearing children, young professionals rockin' pastel buttoned-downs and Sperry topsiders with no socks.
Random note: Shoutout to Carey, who applauded me for "having the balls" to come out to a show by myself. Ya know what, Carey? Next time you want to go to a show and your friends don't want to come along, screw it and go anyway.
My Morning Jacket Set List:
It Beats 4 U
Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
Outta My System
Off the Record
Smokin From Shootin
Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 2
Holdin On to Black Metal
The Day Is Coming
One Big Holiday
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