My Morning Jacket – Red Rocks 2011. Album Release date: June 15, 2012
Score – 8/10
In line with the consistently warm, fuzzy feeling that My Morning Jacket relay to its faithful fans, this download-for-fan-club-members-only release is no exception – and once again helps set MMJ among the elite with the fan-friendly experience. For a brief moment forget about the fan club poster, the shirt, the laminate for early show access and the rights to the first tickets because a downloadable live album from arguably the finest live act on the planet is the jewel. Consisting of no less than 25 tracks, including some lasting as long 15 minutes, this 192kbps mp3 download by itself is worth the paltry fan club fee paid up front. Sonically, the recording and mix aren’t as dynamic as you would hope but still excellent, and clean. The cool and calmness that Jim James exudes during ‘Wordless Chorus’ to ensure a fight out among the crowd ends peacefully is a gem.
(For those of you dying to find out where you can obtain this Red Rocks 2011 download from My Morning Jacket simply click on this sentence)
So where does My Morning Jacket rank among the best live acts if not at the top? That’s a great debate and it will be an upcoming article topic on this site. I witnessed My Morning Jacket in St Louis during this same 2011 tour and it was breathtaking – and I’ve attended 43 concerts in the past 52 weeks. Clearly MMJ are on a heavenly plane that is occupied only by the likes of Radiohead, Wilco and a few (very few) select others. My Morning Jacket possesses your soul, jams on it, barbecues it, pounds it into a fine dust and then sprinkles it back onto you three exhausting hours later with a smirk on their face. Where the outstanding Black Keys seem to aim at keeping every song below 3.5 minutes and every show below 75 minutes, Jim James and the boys are just getting their throats cleared by that time. This album reflects that same onstage dominance and endurance. All of the fan favorite psychedelic My Morning Jacket tracks are splattered over these 25 tracks, in full length and more typically, quite longer. For myself, I’ll take ‘Circuital’, ‘I’m Amazed’, ‘Touch Me I’m Going to Scream part 2’ and ‘Holdin Onto Black Metal’. Give me just those four tracks and I’ll dare any band besides Wilco and Radiohead to match them. Nothing can stop the freight train power that is My Morning Jacket onstage. “The wind, and your affection, I feel like we’re in a really holy place right now.”, Jim James exclaims prior to ‘Wonderful (The Way I Feel)’. Oh how right he is and how lucky we are.