Concert Reviews

Mile High Music Festival day two travelogue: My Morning Jacket and Bassnectar

My Morning Jacket opened up its set with "Tonight I Want To Celebrate With You" and followed that up with "Gideon" and then "Anytime and "Magheeta." Jim James wove gorgeous guitar lines while jamming in and out of songs, meandering from place to place. The outfit played "Golden," faded drum effects in and out during "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream," and rocked out on "Highly Suspicious," without a doubt one of the highlights of the set.

The band touched down on "I'm Amazed," "Smokin' From Shootin'," "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 2" and then moved into the cleverly titled "Wordless Chorus," with James's charming, soaring voice leading the harmonies in said wordless chorus.

Next came "Off the Record," and finally, after an all-too-short set, My Morning Jacket closed with "Steam Engine," an appropriate showcase of the group's talents as they brought the song to a steadily built and undeniable crescendo, the final notes crashing over the crowd to signal the end of the best set I'd heard today. Bassnectar began heating up the Bison tent with the quirky, atmospheric, hypnotic breakbeats that travel wherever producer and eclectic experimentalist Lorin Ashton feels like taking them, as long as there's a surplus of dark, distorted bass and syncopated drum lines. There were large black balloons being tossed throughout the tent while Ashton played with hip-hop, jazz and reggae lines, including Bob Marley's "Soul Shakedown Party." Wherever the set strayed, it always returned to dirty, intense bass lines, growling beneath effect after effect, part dancehall and part haunted house. Predictably, some watchers began trickling out toward the last half of the set, angling for a good spot at Dave Matthews. But several hundred dancers stayed while Ashton rewarded them with more crashing bass and eerie effects, seamlessly moving from track to track, marching to beat after beat across the dub spectrum.
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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen