One Big Dance Party: My Morning Jacket at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre

The sun sets late these days, and a bright, naturally-lit St. Augustine Amphitheatre welcomed a crowd of all-ages fans to see My Morning Jacket, accompanied by Mini Mansions.

The headliner is something of a household name, but Mini Mansions cruises under the radar despite a member of note: Queens of the Stone AgeQueens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, who rocked a floral-print suit. MM recently released their second album, The Great Pretenders, which leans noticeably toward pop-rock.

MMJ took the stage as twilight fell and the lights went up. As a rule, their presentation and sound is perhaps notoriously aimed at the stoner crowd, and there was a certain fragrance present at the show. Fog machines provided an artificially smoky feel to the venue. The standing-pit crowd led an enthusiastic dance party that spread up the rows of seating, where no one actually sat. MMJ draws from 15 years of fans and, young and old-ish alike, getting down in the stands was welcomed, expected—even necessary.

Hailing from Louisville, Ky., the southern-rock-psychedelic five-piece has been making music since the late 90s. Their latest album, The Waterfall, dropped in May and has been fueling a summer tour. Even to a non-committal fan, an “I know this song!” is likely. MMJ has been featured in TV and movie soundtracks, numerous compilations and tributes, and regularly performs on late night talk shows.

They are a festival staple, and are infamous for a Bonnaroo set in 2008 that lasted an exhausting four hours. It was a year of transition for the band, during which they truly stepped into a national spotlight. They went on to perform on Saturday Night Live and reach a broader audience of national network viewers. They’ve since recorded three more albums, and toured relentlessly.

Ever-busy, MMJ is slated to release yet another studio album, their eighth, the first of next year.

About Toni Rachal