My Morning Jacket gave an ethereal performance Friday night at Northrop. Jim James and the rest of the band seemed to have been graced by the rock gods. The band’s two-hour set seemed infinite—full of stellar guitar solos, bashing drums, and powerful lyrics.
The openers, hometown heroes Hippo Campus (who have been touring all summer), gave an equally wonderful performance rich in danceable indie tunes and boyish charm. Lead singer Jake Luppen exclaimed that “It’s so great to be back in Minnesota,” and by the looks of the jiving fans in the audience, Minnesota’s delighted to have them back too.
The boys played familiar tunes from their debut EP Bashful Creatures and even played a couple of new songs. Hippo Campus concluded their set with “The Halocline,” an unreleased song about the concept of home, which the guys have thus far only played in Minnesota. The genuine, talented band enthralled their hometown audience enough to earn a well-deserved standing ovation. (For My Morning Jacket’s Saturday night show, Lizzo took over as opener.)
By the time My Morning Jacket took the stage, the auditorium was almost completely full. The stage was simply set with a white curtain, illuminated by the projection of a waterfall, covering the front of the stage. The intro of “Believe” captivated fans and once the curtain dropped, the crowd went wild for the band’s celestial sounds. In sunglasses and a kimono-like jacket, James commanded the audience’s attention as he lifted his guitar in the air.
In “Wordless Chorus,” James paced across the front of the stage, gracing a few lucky fans with just the simple touch of his index finger to theirs—a live-action rock version of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam.”
Just before their romantic performance of “Wonderful (The Way I Feel),” James gave a moving speech honoring the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. “We can never have enough love. They’re going to fight and try to take it away, but love is love and you can never have enough.” In that moment and throughout their set, the band radiated positivity.
Before coming back for their encore, the band played “Phone Went West” and returned just as lively and humble as before, James saying, “Thank you so much for coming out here to be with us tonight on this beautiful night in this beautiful place.”
The band returned for a strong three-song encore, accompanied by nothing but good vibrations. Jim James gave the audience two thumbs-up as he and the band walked off stage.
Sadie Bell, of Wayzata, is a college student at The New School in New York City.
My Morning Jacket