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Published: 2008/07/22
by Mitchell Bandur

My Morning Jacket, Melkweg (The Max), Amsterdam, The Netherlands- 7/8

Two things were apparent during My Morning Jacket's set in Amsterdam: the band wants you to enjoy My Morning Jacket, not necessarily Evil Urges, and Jim James now fully shares the stage with Carl Broemel. The former manifested through a set list that respected the Dutch preference for The Tennessee Fire while still giving those songs that made them the quintessential live band ("Lay Low," "I Will Sing You Songs") enough time to develop without seeming like a collection of consecutive singles.

Moreover, the Evil Urges songs integrated themselves into MMJ's catalogue rather than demand attention, and "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt.2" ended their set as good as any of their other previous closers (Dondante, Run Thru, One Big Holiday), which all eventually came in a murders' row to cap the encore. The point being that this band is still primarily concerned with its performance and they remain less infatuated with the fame supplied to them during their recent surge of media support.

All that being a sort of relief to a fan that is trying desperately to deny the killing fields of mass reception, I was able to think of nothing else during new songs like "I'm Amazed" and "Highly Suspicious" than Broemel and James are a two-headed monster of electrical madness. Usually I slip into gazing at the aura that James produces, but Broemel kept tearing me away from the singularity that inaccurately enraptures most journalists with his perfectly timed guitar playing. His calm facade complements James' showmanship without bowing to his presence. I came away satisfied by the set list and intrigued by the continuing growth of a band that could rest, yet never seem to stop nor misstep.

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