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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