The problem with a lot of live show recordings is that bands try to recreate entire albums, giving little thought to which songs actually benefit from an onstage treatment. Luckily, Kentucky psych-folk hair bears My Morning Jacket have done an ace job of distilling more than three albums' worth of material into five ideal tracks - The Bear, Sooner, Bermuda Highway, Golden and Hopefully - for this tiny, beautiful mini-album taken from a 2003 Halloween show in Massachusetts. Jim James's yearning vocals ricochet off the walls of the theatre and fold back into each other as soaring, graceful harmonies, and the guitar parts are so clean and carefully recorded, you can hear Johnny Quaid's fingers squeaking on the bridge. And aside from a rogue yelper, the version of Bermuda Highway is fucking unbelievable.
Don't miss My Morning Jacket when they hit the Opera House Friday (May 28).