Watch My Morning Jacket’s New Year’s Eve 2017 Concert
While My Morning Jacket have only played four New Year’s Eve concerts over the course of their 20+ year history, they’ve sure made their December 31st performances count. Our week-long look at past NYE shows continues with video of MMJ’s December 31, 2017 concert at 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado via the JamBase Live Video Archive and includes bonus footage featuring countdowns from the group’s New Year’s Eve 2008 and 2012 galas.
My Morning Jacket first took the stage for a New Year’s Eve concert at the famed Fillmore in San Francisco on December 31, 2006. The band decked out the venue in a “Donner Party meets Little House On The Prairie” theme and opened with a pre-recorded “Oregon Trail” intro played over the speakers as per Kayceman's report for JamBase. Performances of 13 originals were followed by a New Year’s Countdown and a string of covers that included Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration,” Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long,” George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” and Prince’s “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man.” MMJ presented six more originals and a four-song encore featuring a rendition of AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” sung by bassist Tom Blankenship.
Two years later, My Morning Jacket ended 2008 with their debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City. MMJ delivered a marathon 33-song performance featuring guest appearances from Nicole Atkins, Will Johnson and a horn section. Jim James and company opened with Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” aided by the horns, who also helped out on the “Evil Urges” that came next. The quintet went on to mix career-spanning originals with such covers as Charles Wright’s “Express Yourself,” Dion’s “The Wanderer” and Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me.” James and Atkins dueted on both “You’re All I Need To Get By” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) and “Islands In The Stream” (Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers). A countdown once again led into Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” and this time “Get Down On It” followed. The horns made various appearances throughout a night that ended with Jim James singing “Auld Lang Syne” over a backing track.
The next My Morning Jacket New Year’s Eve concert took place at Boston’s Agganis Arena on December 31, 2012. MMJ treated fans to a 20-song main set before following their countdown with seven additional tunes. Members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who opened the evening, sat-in with the Jacket at points. The countdown led into “One Big Holiday” and covers of “All Night Long,” “Celebration” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart.” My Morning Jacket said farewell with a performance of The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah” sandwiched between “Dancefloors” and “Anytime.”
Anticipation was high leading up to My Morning Jacket’s December 31, 2017 show in Broomfield, the final concert of a three-night stand at 1st Bank Center. Not only was it the five-piece’s first New Year’s Eve performance in five years, but the band announced the shows would be their final U.S. concerts until 2019 as they planned to take a hiatus after their One Big Holiday destination event in the Dominician Republic March 6 – 8, 2018.
JamBase contributor Andrew Bruss reviewed MMJ's NYE 2017 concert. Bruss explained the different approach the band took to start 2018:
The third and final night of the run featured a New Year’s countdown featuring pyrotechnics and costumes and in keeping with their tradition, the post-New Years segment of the night featured a handful of new covers. My Morning Jacket never directly discussed politics, but everything from the production to the song selection was explicitly political. During their two previous New Year’s gigs in 2008 and 2012, following the stroke of midnight, the band celebrated the New Year with celebratory covers like Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long,” Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” and “Rock The Casbah” by The Clash.
However, this time around, the countdown featured footage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warning of the dangers of isolationism and professing the power of love. Rather than continue with celebratory hits, My Morning Jacket proceeded to perform iconic songs that focus on love and tolerance. Jacket performed The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” Hal David & Burt Bacharach’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” and a pair of Sly & The Family Stone songs that both focus on the necessity of universal acceptance. Without bringing up any specific political topic, frontman Jim James told his audience numerous times over the weekend that he was looking forward to ending a crushing year. When analyzed through this context, it’s impossible to experience Jacket’s New Year’s Eve set without interpreting it as a de facto endorsement of the Resistance that has assembled in opposition to the current administration. Throughout their musical love fest, they even had a costumed member of their crew holding a sign saying “Love Always Wins.”
All told, My Morning Jacket turned in an 17-song main set and followed the countdown with nine additional tunes. Horns helped out on “Victory Dance,” “Dancing In The Dark,” “Holdin’ On To Black Metal,” “Magic Bullet,” “Highly Suspicious” and “Miss You” during the main set. MMJ was also augmented by horns on the entire encore sans “Lay Low.” The show concluded with the band’s debut versions of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” and Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” and a “One Big Holiday” finale. No repeats were played throughout the three-night stand in Broomfield.
See multi-cam fan-shot video of My Morning Jacket’s New Year’s Eve 2017 concert followed by footage of the 2008 and 2012 countdowns below:
New Year’s Countdown & Encore
Countdown To 2013, One Big Holiday
Countdown to 2009
My Morning Jacket December 31, 2017 Setlist (via Setlist.FM)
Set: Victory Dance*, Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 1, Evil Urges*, Compound Fracture, Dancing In The Dark*, A New Life, Spring (Among The Living), Tropics (Erase Traces), Holdin’ On To Black Metal*, Magic Bullet*^, Highly Suspicious*, Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2 > Cobra > Miss You*, Gideon, Bermuda Highway, Phone Went West
Encore: New Year’s Countdown, Wordless Chorus, Everyday People*^, Dancefloors*, What The World Needs Now Is Love*, Lay Low, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)*^, Rhythm Nation*^, One Big Holiday
- * – w/ horns
- ^ – First Time Played