Is My Morning Jacket the greatest live rock band in the world? Maybe.
Stuck performing on a Wednesday night with concertgoers already tired from a full day of work, the band delivered a high-energy 2½-hour set complete with five encores. Overcoming a sound system unprepared to handle its overwhelming use of reverb and a mass of fans confined to their assigned seats, My Morning Jacket relentlessly urged the most casual listeners to become fist-pumping loonies.
From the reggae infused “Phone Went West” to the experimental funk of “Highly Suspicious” and “Evil Urges,” My Morning Jacket threw the audience a staggering range of classic songs.
Lead singer and guitarist Jim James, whose voice explores the undiscovered region between Neil Young and Prince, made his presence felt throughout the evening with ear-splitting screeches and one-legged guitar solos fashioned after AC/DC’s Angus Young—all while wearing a cape.
The band—named after a jacket James found in the burnt-down remains of his favorite bar—concluded the evening with feverish renditions of two fan favorites: “Run Thru” and “One Big Holiday.”
Now almost a decade old, My Morning Jacket has established a reputation as an imposing live act because of the connection it establishes with its audience: It plays for everyone. The band refuses to settle into a niche and instead continues to explore new territory, growing stronger and more diverse with every performance and album.
Filled with a healthy dose of music and buzzing eardrums at the end of the night, Constitution Hall’s near-maximum-capacity crowd of 3,600 wasn’t quiet; it was hollering for more.