The lobby of the historic Pantages Theatre in Hollywood was buzzing after a marathon performance by one of music’s best live acts, My Morning Jacket, Wednesday night.
Two hours earlier, the inside of the theater was starting to fill up with excited concert-goers consisting mainly of fans in their early and late 20’s. As the lights in the lobby began to flicker at 8:45, people finished up their drinks and entered the showroom, eagerly waiting for My Morning Jacket to take the stage.
A mix of hop-hop and soul played over the speakers as the sold-out crowd filled the 2,703 seats.
The lights dimmed inside the theater at exactly 9 p.m. as My Morning Jacket walked on stage to a raucous crowd.
They wouldn’t finish until 10:50, when they left the stage just long enough for everyone in attendance to lose their voices screaming for them to come back out. The band returned with their encore after only two minutes, playing another 25 minutes, finally leaving the stage for good at 11:15.
Opening the show was “Victory Dance,” the first song off their newest record, “Circuital,” released May 31. The bass drum boomed and Jim James’ vocals reverberated off walls so intensely it felt like you could reach out and feel the music. The song itself took time building before lending itself to the jam-rock/folk that has won them much acclaim. The song ended with a chaotic flurry of furiously paced drumbeats and guitar riffs while strobe lights added to the spectacle of sound.
Fan favorite “Wordless Chorus,” the fourth song performed, drew the crowd into another frenzy with minimal music during the verses before erupting into entrancing, beautiful choruses. James sang with gushing energy, sliding across the stage on his knees while belting out high-pitched notes at the songs climax.
After a string of slow songs in the middle of the set, “Holdin On To Black Metal” brought the crowd back to their feet by paying tribute to 70’s-style metal, inviting three female backup singers to the stage to help croon the chorus. Between the band and three extra voices, sound was inescapable inside the Pantages. The crowd danced happily in their small areas, careful not to disturb those next to them as My Morning Jacket rocked with grandeur.
The last song of the night, “Mahgeetah,” left the crowd with warm feelings as the band jammed, offering complex guitar solos and many head bobs that proved the band was nothing short of prolific.
As if James and the rest of My Morning Jacket hadn’t won over the crowd with their grandiose, absorbing performance, he found words that only furthered the love the crowd was feeling.
“We’re always defending you guys,” James said. “People say L.A. crowds aren’t good, but you’re always amazing.”
The crowd roared once more.
To listen to a short recap and performance of the show, click “play” below.