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Quick Review: My Morning Jacket in Louisville 8/16

Jenny and I went down to Louisville this past Saturday with our friends Brandon and Laurel to catch the My Morning Jacket show. It was a beautiful day, unusually mild weather for August as we have been having most of this summer. We checked into our hotel 21C about a mile from the venue, the Riverfront which is as it sounds on the river. 21C is probably the coolest hotel in the country. It's part museum and part hotel. There is world class art throughout the hotel and the rooms are absolutely perfect mixes of style and comfort. I highly recommend it, it was hands down the best hotel experience of my life.

As sweet as the hotel was the show proved to be even better. We got to the Riverfront a little late, the band was on it's second song when we came in. After a frustrating struggle to locate will call we finally got settled into the show. I was pretty anxious that we had missed the first few songs but as the night went on I soon realized that I would get my fill of MMJ. Louisville is their hometown and word was the Mayor had cleared them to ignore the 11pm noise ordinance. I think there may have been a near riot otherwise. This was a serious homecoming for a well loved band that had made good.

The band played for almost 3 hours to a sold out audience of over 10,000 people. There was a full moon shining through picturasque clouds, it was perfect. The crowd's vibe was warm and excited and the sound was amazing for an outdoor venue. The band was in top form, they put on the show of their lives.

I had seen them at The Vogue a couple years ago on the Z tour but this show improved dramatically on that impressive set. I don't mean to by hyperbolic but I think this will be one of the top 5 performances I have seen for a while to come. It never got boring, and I get bored easily. I got bored about 40 minutes into Radiohead's set at Verizon recently and I love Radiohead. MMJ played songs deep into their catalog, reinventing and exploring as they went. Carl and Jim are my kind of guitarists. Taking turns and sharing the sonic space, it was often hard to tell who was playing what, didn't matter really, it just sounded great. It was so much fun to watch a buddy, Carl, up there completely killing it. It made me feel really proud to see someone from our 90s Bton scene reach this level with a band that is clearly the best in class.

After the show we headed back to the hotel after a futile attempt to locate a liquor store that was still open (does everything close at 11 in Louisville?). I was worn out and feeling my age, I started to wonder if I would be able to pull off the after party. After exchanging some text messages with Carl I realized I should get off my ass and go hang out. So around 1:30 we hailed a cab and headed out to the after party which was at a cool, old Funeral Home about 2 miles away. On the top floor was a recording studio run by a friend of the band. I wish I would have taken some pictures of the studio, it was pretty sweet while being low key.

The after party was a full on kegger, Bton style. We hooked up with Carl and Brandi (his wife) along with old friends like Andy Snyder who was in town filming the show for his side project with some other buddies called Tugboat Productions (look for the video in the future, we discussed helping find a home for it). The vibe was very relaxed and I kinda forgot that this band had just played the show of their lives to a sold out crowd. I was able to catch up with Carl which was nice and after an hour or so we headed back to the hotel where things got even weirder but that's another story.

Here's some pics!

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Comment by Kyle Barnett on August 19, 2008 at 10:44pm
Nice work, Jeb. 21C and a show on the waterfront is a good night in Louisville. The art hotel thing is a national trend (I think it's Brown-Forman money that made it happen here). We missed the MMJ show, but have seen them a lot over the years. Our fave show remains the first, in Austin TX circa "At Dawn," with about twenty other people outdoors during SXSW. We'd never heard of them -- they made quite an impression.
Comment by PJ Christie on August 19, 2008 at 1:14pm
Andrea suggested the penguin pics might make a good cover for the next Vess Ruhtenberg album.
Comment by Jason Brammer on August 18, 2008 at 1:01pm
Sounds like a good show! Nothing says PARTY like a funeral home.
Comment by Jeb Banner on August 18, 2008 at 10:21am
Comment by Andy Snyder on August 18, 2008 at 10:13am
She was pretty funny that night!!
Comment by Jeb Banner on August 18, 2008 at 10:07am
the story involves my wife being hilarious and out of respect for my wife I can not tell it publicly. I will say she befriended some interesting people once we got back to the hotel...
Comment by Andy Snyder on August 18, 2008 at 10:04am
Look forward to hearing your weird hotel after party hotel experience consisted of waiting quite a while for a cab and then passing out all dirty from the rock, face first on the bed...out cold. Good times
Comment by PJ Christie on August 18, 2008 at 8:02am
I rarely listen to WTTS but about a month ago I turned it on and there was this awesome guitar solo. I actually pulled over to listen carefully and then they announced it was MMJ. A couple times we've been driving around and the song comes on again, it's as close to the them of my summer, and I only really ever get to hear the solo.

But I tell you it rocks
Comment by Jeb Banner on August 18, 2008 at 12:51am
yeah, the after party certainly didn't close at 11 but the liquor store did which we thought was weird for a Saturday night. The next day we went to get breakfast at the hotel and we showed up at 11:05 and they said, "we close at 11" so the joke was "everything in Louisville closes at 11" based on these random samples which I'm sure are completely atypical.
Comment by Bill Zink on August 17, 2008 at 11:48pm
"Does everything close at 11 in Louisville?" Oh my god, nothing closes until 4 am! It's almost ridiculous.

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