Near 10:30 p.m. on May 2, 2010, Jim James slowly tightened his guitar strap one last time. Jones and his band, My Morning Jacket, were coming to the close of their almost three-hour long set in Columbus, Ohio. The crowd listened anxiously as James put pick to string and the first few notes of My Morning Jacket’s popular hit, “Dancefloors,” shrieked away.
I stood in the venue’s lawn seats a few hundred feet from the stage. I slowly imagined I was James, wishing I could unleash such badass American rock ‘n’ roll onto the thousands of ears crowding the audience.
James stood at the head of the stage. His guitar provided the pulpit from which he conducted his concluding musical sermon of the night. I stood there, letting each chainsaw riff hit my body like a warm whiskey shot. The song, which runs 5:39 on the It Still Moves studio album, turned into a twelve-minute opus.
The notes from James cascaded around the amphitheater, sounding muggy, raw and dirty. The song escalated as the vocals dropped out—a maniacal free-for-all from James’ alt-rock group. His grizzled beard whipped sweat out over the crowd’s front rows with each plucked thrash. He was the crowd’s Kentucky-fried demigod that night, channeling extraterrestrial tones and pitches.
After the last notes kicked out, I stood on my thoroughly stomped piece of yard, yearning to play like James. Rip and romp with his devil-may-care attitude, abusing the six-stringed instrument, calling it a bitch and then kicking it to the curb post-set. That is how I wish I could play the guitar—if I could play the guitar. However, I have My Morning Jacket “Dancefloors” and a night’s worth of string slaying to fill the void.
My Morning Jacket – “Dancefloors”
Previously: Day 26 – A Song You Can Play On An Instrument