Photo by Andrew Blackstein via Jambase
He’s the primary songwriter for My Morning Jacket, but Jim James still feels the need to put out solo material like this year’s Eternally Even. His sophomore solo effort is great, and like any great musical work deserves tour surrounding it. So he is on one now.
That tour stopped by New York City’s Terminal 5 on Sunday night, transforming the cavernous, three-level venue into a warm and loving gathering of peaceful peoples. James has been vocal throughout this turbulent month we’ve had, and he was there to provide uplifting words to a packed crowd a few nights ago.
The setlist was heavy on new material. In fact, James and his band, which comprised of opening trio Twin Peaks and a couple others, played the entire new album over the course of the evening, starting with “Hide in Plain Sight” and ending with “Eternally Even,” just as on the record.
In between were older favorites like “Know Til Now” and “A New Life” and a Velvet Underground cover (“I’m Set Free”). The band focused on stretching out each song with a bit of improv and really James to let loose on guitar, something that – for this improv enthusiast – doesn’t happen quite enough. The main set lasted an hour and twenty minutes, leaving plenty of time for a lengthy encore to bring it home.
The Regions of Light and Sound of God song “Of the Mother Again” kicked off the four-song, thirty-minute encore. The Monsters of Folk track “Dear God” followed and brought everything down to simmer before really cranking the heat again with the Bob Dylan-written “Down on the Bottom.” The opening notes of “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” ushered in possibly the biggest applause of the night, only to be topped by the screams after the ‘power went out.’
Jim is one of those musicians that could have probably went on another 100 minutes without too many people leaving, but that was all for the night. An hour and fifty minutes of rock ‘n’ roll’s modern-day savior, the closest thing a lot of us will get to a legend in his prime. He’s charismatic, well-intentioned, talented as all hell, and can write the hell out of a song. If that wasn’t enough, his shows kick ass too.
Hide in Plain Sight Know Til Now In the Moment Dear One True Nature The World’s Smiling Now A New Life I’m Set Free (The Velvet Underground cover) Here in Spirit We Ain’t Getting Any Younger Same Old Lie Eternally Even
Encore: Of the Mother Again Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.) (Monsters of Folk cover) Down on the Bottom (The New Basement Tapes cover) State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)