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My Morning Jacket creates a storm

The Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, Cal., August 28, 2023

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

It was another beautiful Southern California night, and not the hurricane weather predicted for the original date of this My Morning Jacket/Fleet Foxes concert. The only storm created this evening was the rocking jams that My Morning Jacket played to close out the evening. It was the sort of storm we all readily welcomed.

My Morning Jacket's second to last song, "One Big Holiday," has become a little like the alternative rock "Freebird." With its classic rock-like dual guitar parts, it just feels like rock and roll freedom at its best. While front man Jim James plays a lot of electric guitar and also does the singing -- many times filling songs with wordless howls of emotion -- guitarist Carl Broemel also draws a goodly share of attention. In addition to his rock star lead guitar lines, Broemel also played both steel guitar and saxophone this night and was kept quite busy the whole time.

On the gentler side of things, Fleet Foxes' leader Robin Pecknold joined My Morning Jacket on acoustic guitar and backing vocals for the lovely "Wonderful (The Way I Feel), " which also included sweet steel guitar on it. James alternated between accompanying himself on guitar and wandering the stage with just a handheld mic. Many times, he just looked and sounded overwhelmed by the music he was making. He is consistently emotional in the best sense of the term.

James joined opener Fleet Foxes for a fantastic cover of Buffalo Springfield's "Expecting To Fly," which was a song that sounded a lot like Fleet Foxes' original music. Much of Fleet Foxes' music is vulnerable in a way that's unusual for rock music. They closed with "Helplessness Blues," which filled the Bowl with nearly overpowering sensitivity.

Los Angeles postpones shows about as often as the Dodgers have rainouts. However, with this fine double bill, to experience Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket was well worth the short week's wait.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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