Church of Psychedelic Soul: Jim James makes The Fillmore Eternally Even

Jim James | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |
Jim James | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

It was a packed house last night for My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James at The Fillmore Philadelphia. Touring on his new album, Eternally Even, he played many of his inherently spiritual, yet psychedelic, songs accompanied by his unmistakable voice.

James played a 90-minute set plus a 30-minute encore, whipping his hair around during all guitar solos, donned in a suit and sunglasses, as always. The light show accompanying the band had the color spectrum of a Phish show, but with the nuance of a contemporary art installation. It really felt like some millennial-filled church, with all eyes drawn to the worshiped James, as soft lights flickered like stars of the lid.

Jim James | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |
Jim James | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

Though it was obvious most of the crowd was there as MMJ fans, they still grooved to the band’s longer jams, once The Fillmore was fully filled with a thick smoke. Crowd favorites included many off James’ last album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, included “Dear One” and “A New Life.”

James did not offer much banter to the audience, besides a positive message about loving one another after recent political events. The crowd bit on that. With opener, Twin Limb, as his backing band, James felt very much the center of the room, as he glided around the stage preaching messages in each song.

Jim James | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |
Jim James | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

During a brilliantly-received encore, James played one Monsters of Folk song, “Dear God,” though we all also wished for “His Master’s Voice.” Hearing James hit his highest falsetto during that song is a thing of true beauty. The night ended with a favorite, “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.),” which had everyone dancing, shouting and feeling like they were at a My Morning Jacket concert.

Twin Lamb | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN | <a href= target="_blank"></a>
Twin Limb | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

The glitter-covered opener, Twin Limb, played a sleepy, yet trippy set, full of Lacey Guthrie’s alluring vocals. Based in Louisville, Guthrie accompanied her vocals with a darker version of the accordion than you’ve ever heard. Maryliz Bender and Kevin Ratterman helped create the dream-like sound the band used to warm the audience up, all without cracking a single smile.

Below, check out a gallery of photos from the show, plus the setlist and some fan videos.

Hide in Plain Sight
Know Til Now
True Nature
Here in Spirit
Dear One
A New Life
In the Moment
We Ain’t Getting Any Younger
I’m Set Free (The Velvet Underground cover)
Same Old Lie
The World’s Smiling Now
Eternally Even

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.) (Monsters of Folk cover)
Of the Mother Again
Down on the Bottom (The New Basement Tapes cover)
State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

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