My Morning Jacket @ Forecastle 7.14.12
July 30th, 2012 by Matt
My Morning Jacket’s Forecastle set was not the best one to see if you’re a casual fan who was seeing them for the first time. This one was engineered toward their big fans who’ve probably caught several shows. This one was full of rarities, covers, guest appearances and drawn-out jams. As such, we sacrificed some of their common set staple songs… but really the trade was well worth it.
This fan-pleasing set started off with “The Dark,” a track from Z that doesn’t ever get much setlist time, and “Holdin On to Black Metal” done with a little help from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Mid-set we got one of the best one-two punches I’ve seen at a MMJ show: crowd-pleaser “Steam Engine” leading into a cover of George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity” done with Dean Wareham. Like I said, this was a special set.
One of the scariest, weirdest moments of my concertgoing life came during the group’s cover of “Rocket Man.” I’d never seen them do this song live, so I — like most everyone else in attendance — was enjoying the serene majesty of this beautiful cover. Halfway through the song someone let go of a sky lantern that slowly sailed above the crowd. It was great. Well, it was great until it became clear that it was flying straight at the giant Forecastle banner above My Morning Jacket. Thousands of fans watched with wide eyes as it floated toward what seemed like sure doom. When it went within an inch of the banner and jumped straight above it, the crowd cheered massively — no doubt to the confusion of the group, who were only halfway through the song.
Another rarity filled section of the set came a bit later when the group played “The Bear” and Chocolate & Ice‘s “Cobra” before the entirety of “Run Thru” with former member Johnny Quaid and a cover of The Band’s “It Makes No Difference” with some help from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on sax solo. They finished their pre-encore set with a great performance of “Gideon” with Andrew Bird providing violin work to replace the string section of that song. That was just a beautiful collaboration.
To close, we got their lengthy cover of George Michael’s “Careless Whispers” featuring the “go go bananas” outro where the band threw out dozens of bananas while Jim James did a reenactment of a fictional phone call between him and George Michael. They closed the night with “One Big Holiday,” again joined by ex-Jacketeer Johnny Quaid.
More photos after the break