Monday, May 13, 2013

Technicolor Dream Tour

Yesterday was Mother's Day so I trust everyone spoke to theirs. Last night was also the reunion of Jim James and The Fillmore. San Francisco has been quite privy through the years in getting to experience quintessential performances during the ascension of My Morning Jacket. Jim playing with a new band felt like an experience that had to be had. Rallying with a great group of friends never hurts either.
Ever the showman, he came out with an energy that coursed its way through you. These songs, written by Jim, were soaked in live reverb, piercing with tone. There were tracks that teetered near too loud. On the other hand, who doesn't like some good old fashioned rock and roll? Sure there were times when the audience wanted what was familiar, yet he remained vigilant, perhaps stubborn, in uncloaking his new songs. Like most true art, there are times when the artist must not compromise their mission. He clearly had his. His demeanor hovered between crooning band leader and the commander of a force that needed to be unleashed. Jim James is an entertainer, he's intimate with the power of being on stage. During one song he was in full character, fake-smoking a cigarette and all. Other times he would jump in a gangly-limbed exuberance, resembling a human starfish. His newest bandmates react and interact well with him. I wonder if he feels like he's cheating on The Jacket? The drummer was phenomenal and the the two multi-instrumentalists were indeed grizzled musicians who fit seamlessly into the world of Yim. The bassist was the steady hand amidst the sonic jams - of course she was. There were moments when they emanated an almost Pink Floyd like thrill, capturing us all, putting us in a zone. Another name came to mind while listening - Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

The five of them had a tight synergy performing the material from his solo debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God. Set one was a live version of the album, played in order as it appears on the record. For what it's worth, the first three songs of the night were straight delicious. I was especially spellbound by State of the Art. To the delight of the crowd, Jim came out alone with an acoustic guitar for the encore, coaxing a beautifully stripped-down version of Wonderful. What began as a My Morning Jacket song bloomed into a series of covers from the Monsters of Folk and New Multitudes.

Regions of Light and Sound of God.

Setlist: State of the Art (A. E. I. O. U.), Know Til Now, Dear One, A New Life, Exploding, Of the Mother Again, Actress, All is Forgiven, God's Love to Deliver
Encore: Wonderful (My Morning Jacket), Dear God (Monsters of Folk), His Master's Voice (Monsters of Folk), The Right Place (Monsters of Folk), Losin Yo Head (Monsters of Folk), Changing World (New Multitudes)

If you find yourself with time to spare inside The Fillmore I recommend chilling out upstairs in the great poster room with an adult beverage. There are so many awesome vintage prints. I have my personal favorite. Surely you can find one too. Remember to stay until the end of any sold out show for the free poster (one of my favorite nuances).


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