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Review and photos by Frances SealyMy Morning Jacket's (MMJ) frontman, Jim James, released his sophomore solo album, Eternally Even. The tour, in support of that album, made a stop in Tempe, Arizona to thrill his fans with a haunting, show stopping performance. Twin Limb opened the show and joined the band to add more synth to an already heavy space sound. The show was hypnotic.
The stage was set with equipment from one end to the opposite side. There were two drum sets, two or three, keyboard synths, an accordion, numerous guitars, computer equipment, not to mention 100 or more LED lights. There were no spotlights used during the show. This seems to be a Jim James hallmark. James hit the stage with a sound that was big but not oppressive. James' raging guitar burst through the synths. Jim moved across the stage with microphone in hand if he wasn't playing guitar or synth keyboards.
Songs from his first solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, as well as the new album, Eternally Even. The predominant feeling of the music seemed to be a cynical observance of the recent political climate. "Same Old Lie" was perfect testimony to his feelings. The music was more of a lament and blues nature rather than a protest.
The encore was a delicious mini set of more familiar songs. Songs from his first solo release as well as "Down on the Bottom" from The New Basement Tapes added new life to the show. A fiery rendition of "State of the Art (A.E. I.O.U.)" finished the show.
There was no banter between songs. Jim was not going to reveal any insights into his motivation behind writing the songs in the new album. His showmanship was more than enough to satisfy a curious spectator. Later on, Jim gave a sincere thanks to the fans for coming. The show brought Eternally Even into an epic status without any compromises.
1. Hide in Plain Sight
2. Same Old Lie
3. Know Till Now
4. A New Life
6. True Nature
7. The World's Smiling Now
8. In the Moment
9. Here in Spirit
11.We Ain't Getting Any Younger Pt. 1
12. We Ain't Getting Any Younger Pt. 2
13. Eternally Even
15. Changing World (New Multitudes cover)
16. Of the Mother Again
17. Down on the Bottom (The New Basement Tapes cover)
18. State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)
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