My Morning Jacket @ the Wiltern on 1/6/07
We walked into the venue as Elvis Perkins was finishing up. I had just seen him at Spaceland as the opener for the Pernice Bros. It’s always weird to see somebody in a 250 capacity venue one week and then a place ten times as big less than two months later. I have a feeling his songs are so good that he wins over new fans every time he plays. You can see him at a place even smaller (Largo) on March 24th.
As My Morning Jacket’s set time neared, the venue was getting packed. My friend and I faced a predicament. We weren’t in the mood to push too close, since people had been camped out forever. At the same time, we didn’t want to be under the overhang where it always seems like people get louder than the band by about six songs into the set. We were forced to move way to the side, about half way back on the floor. Due to the tiered floor arrangement, the sight lines suck just about everywhere except the first row of each tier. Further complicating things is the fact that with bands like My Morning Jacket, it seems like the average fan is about 6’ 3”.
The curtain dropped and the band came out with ferocious energy. They played about six rockers in a row. Jim James was throwing his hair around like James Hetfield. If it wasn’t for the 6’ 6” chick in front of me (and the muddy sound) I would have been fully into it. The 6’ 6” chick eventually left and the sound eventually got less muddy. I noticed that James was wearing some giant, springy moon boots. About the exact moment I was really getting into their set, they did a streak of about four or five of their “funky” songs. To me they’re a rock band, not a reggae band, not a funk band. I can take one or two on each album, but I couldn’t take four in a row in the middle of the set. Does you mind ever start wandering at a rock show? You start thinking about how you need to do laundry. You actually open your phone and read your text messages. You start looking around at the other fans and wonder under what other cicumstances you’d willfully hang out with them. It’s a bad position to be in. At that point it’s very difficult to return. I remember Jim James talking about how beautiful the venue was and how we all need more hobbies. And I thought, was architecture a hobby back in 1931? They brought me back mentally for a few songs, but then completely lost me going into the encore through the first couple of songs of the encore. We ended up walking out a few songs into the encore, vowing to never return to the Wiltern unless we had balcony seats. Getting old sucks.