This is such a fantastic idea that I wonder why no one thought of it sooner: A 2-night-stand concert series at the famed 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia — high school prom style.
Oh What A Night (Dells cover) – My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
From Paste Magazine
For the first night of its March 6-7 “Prom” at Athens’ 40 Watt Club, My Morning Jacket donned some new evening jacketsâ€”pastel-colored ones, with matching pants, ruffled shirts and, in keyboardist Bo Koster’s case, a top hat. Oh, and at least for the first few songs, silver plastic pompadour wigs.
Opening with a note-perfect cover of The Dells’ 1956 doo-wop hit “Oh, What A Night”â€”basically the title track for the two-night stand, dubbed Oh What A Night Under The Seaâ€”the Jacket performed a set heavy on tracks from their latest studio recording Z before a tightly packed room, most dressed in either prom kitsch (poofy-shouldered dresses, ’70s-style tux T-shirts) or nautical attire (two spot-on Captains sans Tennilles, one behind the bar).
Everything about the unusual show screamed “event,” from the boisterous, capacity weeknight crowd to the faces in it: Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, Boston band Apollo Sunshine, which had just visited Paste’s offices earlier in the day, and R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Peter Buck and touring member/Minus 5 frontman Scott McCaughey. (McCaughey explained that R.E.M. had convened in Athens to rehearse for the upcoming Rock Hall of Fame induction.)
At the encore, Jacket frontman Jim James crowned a prom king and queen and had them dance onstage to a deadpan reading of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” with lyrics altered to sound more like a high school backseat fumble. Then the band uncorked King Harvest’s obscure (but spot-on) 1973 hit “Dancing In The Moonlight” before powering through three more originals and calling it a night just past 1:30 a.m.
If only our actual prom night had been this wonderful, we might actually have signed up for a Classmates.com account.
LISTEN: In addition to a stellar setlist of MMJ tunes, both of these sets are laden with retro-slow-dance covers.
March 6th show is here
March 7th show is here
(includes similar goodness to the 6th show, plus covers like Johnny B. Goode and Crimson & Clover)
Fine photos (duly noted) by Kory Johnson and Daniel Peiken, from the MMJ site linked above.