words and photos by David Andrako
Seeing My Morning Jacket play Z on the Friday of the nearly week long CMJ festival immediately knocked all the overhyped bands, blog posts and sponsored parties of the week down a few pegs. This was a band at their peak, sufficiently warmed up and hitting all cylinders after playing 3 shows in the last 4 days. Their night off was spent playing solo or as special guests at other venues in the city. The cavernous Terminal 5 could barely contain the energy that MMJ produced all night.
Z, released in 2005 to almost universal critical praise, marked a turning point as the band brought in an outside producer, John Leckie, and recorded the album at Allaire Studios in the Catskills rather than at home in Kentucky. This was the album that made My Morning Jacket a headlining act at Bonnaroo and an international touring act that headlined Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
MMJ took the stage shortly after 9:30 and tore through the three opening songs of the set ("Wordless Chorus", "It Beats 4 U" and "Gideon") before settling down with the fuzzy surf guitar influenced "Off the Record" and the calliope-like and rarely performed "Into The Woods." Although they were performing the songs of Z, I couldn't help but be reminded of their 2006 live album, Okonokos, which starts with the same first three tracks. The "Z" set ended with a 20 minute plus version of "Dondante" which featured lead guitarist Carl Bromel picking up a saxophone and soloing into a Jim James guitar solo using a glow stick as a bow on his guitar.
The band took a brief break and returned to the stage for a encore that ended with The Who's "A Quick One, While He's Away", Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" and Wham!'s "Careless Whisper". "Careless Whisper" was dedicated to George Michael who Jim James described as "One of the best singers of our lifetime" and encouraged the crowd to "send him some good vibes." James led the audience in a "Bananas" chant while throwing dozens of bananas to the crowd as the show was ending.
Opening act Holy Miranda kicked off her set with the slow building "Pelican Rapids" and by the time she covered Etta James's "I'd Rather Go Blind" she'd earned hundreds of new fans.
More pictures from night four at Terminal 5 (night five post coming soon), and the Wham! video, and both setlists, are below...
My Morning Jacket
MY MORNING JACKET - Terminal 5 Setlist 10/22/10
It Beats 4 U
What A Wonderful Man
Off The Record
Into The Woods
Knot Comes Loose
Lullabys, Legends And Lies (Shel Silverstein cover)
Where to Begin
How Do You Know
Hit It and Quit It (Funkadelic cover)
A Quick One, While He's Away (The Who cover)
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (Prince cover)
Careless Whisper (Wham! cover)
HOLLY MIRANDA - Terminal 5 Setlist 10/22/10
Slow Burn Treason
Mark My Words
No One Just Is
Sleep On Fire
I'd Rather Go Blind