Playing Red Rocks is one of the highest accomplishments many bands achieve throughout their careers. For many they usually tend to amp up their production for the specific day they land in Morrison, Colorado. In the case of My Morning Jacket, they have managed to book back to back nights for the last few years now. They hail it as one of the best places to play in the world, and rightfully so. We have been lucky enough to cover the band the last three years at Red Rocks and each year they seem to set the bar higher and higher not only for themselves, but for other artist playing the venue. This year was no different as the band managed to play two sold out shows with each covering 3 hour sets. We had a chance to check out the first night which featured the usual hits that band has been putting out since 1998.
The band opened things strong with "Victory Dance", as lead singer Jim James danced around the stage making sure his presence was felt amongst the 9,000+ revelers in the crowd. The band even managed to bring out original MMJ guitarist Johnny Quaid to perform a few numbers including "Steam Engine", and a cover of Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heavens Door". The covers didn't stop there as they also managed to seduce the crowd with a folk version of Erykah Badu's "Tyrone". We have all bared witness to the huge amounts of outpouring many bands have been performing as an ode to the late Prince. James and company performed one of the best tributes as they tore through a beautiful version of "Purple Rain", that had the crowd singing in unison. The bands encore was pretty impressive as they played a four song set including "Highly Suspicious", both versions of "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream", "Cobra", and fan favorite "Mahgeetah". Overall it was an amazing show that contiunues to impress as the band is reaching the cult like status of bands such as Phish, and The Dead with their carefully orchestrated long sets. Until next year Jim James.