My Morning Jacket & Band of Horses immerse Milwaukee in sea of music

The alternative rock scene has been pretty busy this summer. Loads of tours piling through major cities around the US and Milwaukee has been no exception. Counting Crows played the other day, and shortly after in the same venue, My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses. It’s been a hot summer all around, but the music has proven to be even hotter.

Preparing to release a new studio album in September, Band of Horses showed off some seasoned hits and also something new from the anticipated release Mirage Rock.

Listening to Band of Horses is like diving into a sea of dreams with their music forcing an inevitable bliss into your thoughts. Simply put, Band of Horses is just one amazing band. Their ambient sounds and smooth flow is an attention grabber and mix of alternative and somewhat experimental tones sets them way apart from many others of their kind.

Starting their show while the sun was still lingering in the western sky kind of bummed me out since their music is accented by the dark night sky and mysterious lighting of the stage, but we can’t argue with the schedule. Though towards the end of the show it became really cozy as it did get dark. That coupled with the feeling of the beautiful atmosphere of the BMO Harris Pavilion and Band of Horses headliner-worthy performance solidified the night even before they were finished.

Showing off only one new song from their soon to be released Mirage Rock, “Slow Cruel Hands of Time,” was kind of disappointing as I would’ve liked to have heard more, but there were plenty of Band of Horses hits that pleased fans.

Very genuine and happy to be there, singer Ben Bridwell thanked the crowd after “No One’s Going to  Love You.” “Thanks so much you’re going to make me cry.”

Predictable yet very enjoyable, Band of Horses sounded off to “The Funeral” as their last song of the night. The 2006 Everything All The Time single has become a big part of the band and a tight staple of almost every Band of Horses show over the years.

A much dimmer setting welcomed My Morning Jacket to Milwaukee. Skipping any “hello,” My Morning Jacket started right into their extensive setlist and played a good six songs before addressing fans. “How ya doin Milwaukee?” shouted vocalist Jim James.

The multi-genre group played hit after hit with explosive guitar solo’s accented by strings of extravagant lights bursting color all around the stage. Flurries of notes were mirrored by an amazing light show creating not only an audibly fantastic experience, but also visually.

You’re just immersed in the the music at a My Morning Jacket show.

Songs were somewhat lengthy at times, but it gave the band a chance to freestyle with their instruments and draw in fans with their emotion driven on the spot musical creations.

About halfway through the first part of their set, Jim James stoppend and talked to Milwaukee for a couple minutes. “This place is unbelievable, you’re very lucky to have this,” “we’re very lucky to be here,” assuming he was talking about the brand new venue and its spectacular view of the Milwaukee skyline. It’s almost something similar to Chicago’s Charter One Pavilion and the view it has of downtown Chicago.

At times My Morning Jacket was genre-less. Their music spans so many different styles that it’s hard to put just one name to it. Sometimes they feel like a cross between Minus the Bear, Radiohead, and Explosions in the Sky. Other times they  have a gritty rock sound with touches of singer/songwriter. It’s like a bunch of amazing sounds in one highly refined package.

Their very long setlist was a big delight to the smaller crowd which filled only about 3/4 of the venue. Ending with one of their most identifiable songs “One Big Holiday” fans cheered with praise for the long time hit. Shortly thereafter, My Morning Jacket came out for a 7 song encore leaving everyone content.

Band of Horses

My Morning Jacket

Band of Horses Setlist: For Annabelle – The Snow Fall – The Great Salt Lake – Is There A Ghost – Slow Cruel Hands of Time – Factory – Dilly – Infinite Arms – Detlef Schrempf – No One’s Gonna Love You – Ode to LRC -Funeral

My Morning Jacket Setlist: Mahgeetah – X-Mas Curtain – The Way That He Sings – Outta My System – Evil Urges – It Beats 4 U – Golden – Honest Man – Strangulation! – Run Thru – Holdin’ On To Black Metal – Victory Dance – Circuital – I[m Amazed – Anytime – One Big Holiday  Encore: Look At You – Wonderful (The Way I Feel) – Wordless Chorus – Touch Me I’m Going To Scream – Gideon – Phone Went West

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