My ears are still ringing a bit from last night's My Morning Jacket concert at MSG.
To be quite frank, I thought the show started off rather "standard." I had decided to go a bit spur-of-the-moment, as a friend had an extra; so for a bit I was sitting alone up to the right of the stage. The sound was a bit fuzzy probably due to the volume, and I just wasn't feeling it. I really love Victory Dance, but it just seemed to be slightly one-note for the next few songs. (Needless to say, I was not as excited as Aaron was following his Tweets.)
But somewhere around Steam Engine or Out of My System, I took a walk, met my friend, and joined him and his wife in Section 2 just off the floor in the back. The sound improved, I was around friends, and the band seemed to pick up speed (to my ears). Dancefloors really marked when the show took off for me -- loved the Magheeta, wish I could have heard Bryan Jackson on flute for Dondante, and the closing five songs were just about perfect and set me into another level (Smokin From Shootin, Run Thru, Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 2, Off The Record, Gideon).
I like the lyrics to Bermuda Highway, so that was nice to hear for an encore, just Yim and an acoustic. As soon as I started to hear Bottle, by Gil Scott Heron, I became the most animated fan in Section 2. And this time, you could hear Jackson on flute (along with the horn section)! I had last listened to the song after hearing of Gil's passing a few months ago, but I recognized it almost immediately. (On the way home, I realized he played on Gil's original studio version, which made the event even cooler). Black Metal > Holiday was the perfect way to end the night (I'll Be Home for Christmas was so-so musically, but a fun walk-out).
All in all, a great night, and I am quite happy I went. The show had a nice arc for me, and I actually don't mind the slow start as it made the end even that much better. Seeing MMJ fill MSG with their music would not have been expected when I saw them at a small venue called Rosebud in Pittsburgh over eight years ago. But fill it they did.