Live Review: My Morning Jacket

5 April 2012 | 1:03 am | Danielle O'Donohue

A long set - with long songs - stands to favour the fans who knew it was coming.

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The psychedelic, jam rockers My Morning Jacket from Louisville, Kentucky played sprawling, epic songs at their Enmore gig – stretching them from about six minutes, if they were feeling particularly efficient, right out to 25 to 30 if they really wanted to run with an idea.

Support band Dawes had a more realistic grasp on standard song length, but they too enjoyed taking their slightly more Americana sounding songs out for a romp. Playing their first ever show in Australia, the band were more impressive when they lifted the tempo and a couple of songs really packed a beautifully harmonised punch. It seemed a shame that with a keyboardist and drummer possessing such strong voices they weren't given more back-ups and harmonies to sing.

My Morning Jacket also knew their way around an otherworldly harmony. The music at times had an incredibly cathartic mood to it, as frontman Jim James stomped and shuffled his way around the stage. With songs stretching as long as they did, James provided the audience with a focal point, but it was often what was going on at the back of the stage that proved more interesting. My Morning Jacket have been honing their live show for almost 15 years now and the rhythm section – bassist Tom Blankenship, drummer Patrick Hallahan – and keyboardist Bo Koster were an incredibly tight unit, giving James and the often dazzling guitarist Carl Broemel plenty of space to explore the songs. Though some of the darker, more epic moments (Dondante in particular) were no doubt sucked up eagerly by the 'Jacket faithful, it was the contrast provided by the quieter Golden and the almost poppy I'm Amazed that allowed for the inevitable intensity to really hit its mark.

Having said that though, it was a long set, made up of long songs and while every My Morning Jacket fan in the crowd would certainly have known what to expect, there would have been the odd talked-in-to-being-there best mate that stumbled out of the Enmore at the end of the night glad to be free.

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Danielle O'Donohue