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My Morning Jacket @ The Palace
At the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival My Morning Jacket performed what could well be defined as one of the most legendary festival sets of all time. The four-hour long star-studded jam was the culmination of the Kentucky outfit’s slow-burning reputation as one of the greatest live bands in the world. Australian audiences have since fantasised about experiencing such a performance – with the band’s 2009 Big Day Out appearance shunted to an early-afternoon, minor stage timeslot (they still ruled, though). With the band booked for Byron Bay Bluesfest, tonight’s indoors performance provided a satisfying consolation.
Engaging in any banter in regards to Dawes’ homophonous title would be selling them short. The Californian outfit turned out to be the long-overdue answer to Mumford & Sons’ faux-Americana drivel, providing a more than satisfying surprise for the uninitiated. Very much worshipping at the alter of CSN&Y and Simon & Garfunkel, without verging on overly derivative territory. Their musical adeptness made for the perfect complement to the night’s headliners.
Gracing the stage with what appeared to be a Darth Vader-like chest apparatus, Jim James opened the set in accordance with the band’s most recent album Circuital – leading with LP opener Victory Dance into the title track. Each element to the music was spring-loaded with purpose – every single percussion strike resonated beyond reproach.
Evil Urge standout I’m Amazed was the evening’s first non-Circuital track, and proceeded to be performed with an effortless aplomb. Such breezy proficiency forms into a double-edged blade, sometimes failing to translate into intimacy while the audience digests such a ostensibly flawless display.
Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2 was a triumph, its palpable groove emanating throughout the multi-tiered Palace, verging on an all-out dance jam.
Despite a lack of spontaneity and fun found in their elongated festival slots, Jim James and co. managed to pull off a flawless display of live rock and roll in all its glory – doing little to diminish their reputation as one of the world’s greatest live acts.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
LOVED: Jim’s (or is it still Yim?) heavenly voice.
HATED: It being indoors and on a hump day.
DRANK: In moderation.