Ten Things We Hope To See During My Morning Jacket's Three Day Port Chester Run
When My Morning Jacket play live, they tend to come off as an elemental force. They play three hours, paradoxically leaving you wanting more and leaving you absolutely spent. MMJ gives everything live, but also requires a lot of you, pulling you through blissed-out calms into twisting, peaking jams and one epically emotive chorus after another. They're live shows become a religious experience, where fans track recordings of each concert, or make pilgrimages cross-country to see MMJ's marathon sets at Bonnaroo, or at Madison Square Garden, or both. A rare feat.
New York City may not be getting MMJ's big New Year's Eve show this year, but we--or, at least, Port Chester--get the lead up, a three night run at the Capitol Theatre during which the band is supposedly not going to play a single song twice. This comes on the end of nearly a year and a half of MMJ touring on and off in support of their 2011 album Circuital, a tour where the band employed a "spontaneous curation" approach, fielding forum posts and tweets from fans to help select some songs for each night's set. Ever since MMJ's triumphant five night run at the midtown venue Terminal 5 in 2010--during which the band played each of their albums in their entirety, as well as pretty much all of their b-sides and a bizarre array of covers--the band has been unpredictable live. After retreading through their back catalog, songs that had previously been unheard for a decade are being played once more, and the spontaneous curation system seems to encourage MMJ to continue airing deep cuts and surprising covers.
This three night run feels like an occasion, one where we might get treated to some particularly unique moments from a band that's already known for surprises. All bets are off, really. MMJ has been known to cover anyone from Lionel Richie, to the Clash, to Black Sabbath, to Bob Dylan, to Funkadelic, to the Rolling Stones. They'll bring you to your knees, near tears, while Jim James is sporting a cape and singing next to a giant stuffed bear. But here are a few covers we hope to hear, and a few other things that might just happen the next few nights.