morning becomes electric

my morning jacket

How do you break in a brand new arena? Here’s a tip: try doing it with one of your city’s most prominent and industrious rock exports.

Admittedly, Louisville’s My Morning Jacket isn’t the first act to play its new hometown arena, the KFC Yum! Center. It was actually christened a few weeks ago by the Eagles. But the band will get to use the venue as a homecoming base on Friday after one its most curious road treks.

Frontman Jim James and company have just completed an intensive New York residency that began on Broadway with a performance of The Way That He Sings on The Late Show with David Letterman. MMJ then served an hour-long post-show set at the Ed Sullivan Theatre which is still viewable here.

The band then detoured to Woodstock to serve as a special guest at one of Levon Helm’s famed Midnight Ramble concerts. After a 10 song set, James teamed with Helm for some of the latter’s songs with The Band, including It Makes No Difference.

Then came the really wild run. Last week, MMJ journeyed back to Manhattan to play five club shows over six nights at Terminal 5. During the engagement, the band performed each of its studio albums in its entirety in chronological order (from 1999’s The Tennessee Fire on Oct. 18 to 2008’s Evil Urges on Oct. 23). Encores included cover tunes by Elton John, Erykah Badu, Rod Stewart, Danzig, Black Sabbath and more.

So after giving New York literally all it had, My Morning Jacket is returning home Friday for a show that could cover anything and everything.

Louisville’s Wax Fang and members of the Louisville Youth Orchestra will open the performance. Wax Fang will also journey to Lexington on Saturday for a performance at Cosmic Charlie’s with Ultra Pulverize and The Broken Spurs (9 p.m., $8).

My Morning Jacket performs with the Louisville Youth Orchestra and Wax Fang at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. Tickets are $52.05. Call (800) 745-3000.

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