Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Morning Jacket at Times Square

Jim James (born James Olliges, Jr.) formed My Morning Jacket in 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky. The band’s sixth and most recent studio album, Circuital, was released in 2011. My Morning Jacket presently consists of James (vocalist, guitarist), Tom “Two-Tone Tommy” Blankenship (bassist), Patrick Hallahan (drummer), Carl Broemel (guitarist, pedal steel guitarist, saxophonist, vocalist), and Bo Koster (keyboardist, percussionist, vocalist).

My Morning Jacket headlined the closing day event of the second annual CBGB Music & Film Festival with a free outdoor concert in Times Square. The street fair also featured live performances by the Wallflowers, Grizzly Bear, Divine Fits and Lisa Loeb, as well as a DJ set by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and several blocks of vendors. While My Morning Jacket has been known to play as long as four hours in concert, at Times Square this evening the concert was less than an hour. The band opened with “Circuital,” the title track of the band’s best selling album, but from there did not play a “greatest hits” selection. Perhaps the only other anticipated tune in the eight-song set was “I’m Amazed.” The band covered a Fela Kuti song, “Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am,” with guests Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Merrill Garbus of TuNeYaRds and Antibalas’ horn section. My Morning Jacket also brought out Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers for a rousing version of “Baby Don’t You Do It,” originally written for Marvin Gaye in 1964 and later popularized by the Band as “Don’t Do It” in the film The Last Waltz. Many of the songs included wailing instrumental sections, as the band deftly merged blues rhythms with space rock. It was an odd but satisfying set by My Morning Jacket, highlighting the diversity of the band’s influences while also spotlighting its capacity to add its signature to a rocking blend of tasteful jams.

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