Music to Go With The Big Lebowski Fest

By Amanda Lee Anderson

Fans of Louisville music and The Big Lebowski alike flocked to the Brown Forman Waterfront Amphitheater for the Lebowski Fest Waterfront Concert. The concert, which was the inaugural concert at the newly built Waterfront Amphitheater, featured local heroes My Morning Jacket plus Bobby Bare, Jr. and the Young Criminal Starvation League.

Nashville's Bare, Jr. and the Young Criminal Starvation League opened the show with an onslaught of giddy, goofy alt-country rock that didn't take itself too seriously. Bare, Jr. seemed a slightly more musically adept Jack Black, emanating energy and whimsy, sampling vocal influences ranging from the Cure's Robert Smith to Meat Loaf, but never at the expense of the genuine rock coming from the rest of the band. Keyboardist Leah Paxton impressed by playing piano chords reminiscent of rural gospel church choir accompaniment and providing upper-register backup vocals.

In the spirit of Lebowski Fest, My Morning Jacket was introduced as the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. Much to their fans' chagrin, they took their bows and exited the stage after the first song, only to come onstage again and show the crowd what they could really do. With features like Jim James' folk-idol-worthy voice and rock guitars with a twinge of country and bluegrass, it wouldn't make sense for My Morning Jacket to have come from anywhere but Kentucky. Their set seemed to many a study in contrasts, ranging from slow, contemplative and moody songs that urged you to be alone and think to breakneck-speed, moshworthy rock melodic enough to be singable and danceable. In addition, the show was not without My Morning Jacket's trademark grain-silo reverb. True to form, they showcased their versatility and ability to make listeners dance passionately one minute and pause to reflect the next.

From the success of the Lebowski Fest show, My Morning Jacket's upcoming engagements will take them to Europe and the West Coast. For more information, check out http://www.mymorningjacket.com.