My Morning Jacket
front man Jim James is a shrewd one—he keeps one foot in the mainstream and the other in the outlands. He's apparently made it his mission to create amphitheater-ready rock songs that will not only please well-to-do thirtysomethings milling around a Crate & Barrel on a Sunday afternoon but will also satisfy a crowd that worships grandiose kitchen-sink indie fare—and has a taste for sky-high jam-band aesthetics and eccentric, fur-accented getups. On its sixth full-length, last year's Circuital
(ATO), the Louisville-based band keeps on keeping on, following a carefully honed formula that balances aching acoustic rambles—say, "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
"—against dramatic orchestral rockers—such as "Holdin' on to Black Metal
"—both of which benefit from an expansive sound that's stretched out even further by a good drenching with reverb. My Morning Jacket sets often run two hours or longer thanks to the dudes' willingness to turn a four-minute album track into a ten-plus-minute onstage wild-out, and hearing them do that at Pritzker Pavilion—a venue that might as well have been built for their sensibilities—should be pretty life-affirming. —Kevin Warwick Band of Horses opens.