Suffice it to say: it’s an exceptionally to be a fan. What started an epic 5-night run at ’s in 2010 (where played all five of their albums ( 6 Circuital) over the course of the run), consequently sparked a fire, and seemingly ignited a desire in to revisit their strong, yet often-shelved earlier catalog (Tennessee Fire, At , Chocolate and Ice…) in great depth. Following the 2011 Circuital Tour, heavy on material from the band’s 6th and highlighted by stops on the major stages at , Lolla and ACL, MMJ decided to finally open things up a bit in 2012 and add the level of variety their full catalog provides and the missing element of surprise to every show.

Leg two of the SCS Tour kicks off tonight in Redmond, WA, and, on a personal note, the 3 shows in next week will mark the first time I’ve been able to see the band on consecutive nights despite having seen MMJ many, many times over the past seven years. I’d remarked on numerous occasions in the past that, despite the fact that they are (1) my favorite band and (2) consistently on the top of their game nearly every single night, MMJ wasn’t a band to see on a multi-night run or follow around the country for more than a couple nights – the shows just weren’t all that different each night.

Perhaps we got spoiled at these peak events that reached impossible heights, but anyone who saw the monumental 4-hour shows at in ’06 & ’08, San Fran’s NYE and the Madison Square Garden NYE show knows the sort of magic that can unfold when the formula is altered, new elements are added and the playbook gets totally re-written. New-er band members and Bo Koster hadn’t consistently played many of the songs on Tennessee Fire or At since joining in 2004 until the T5 run, generally sticking closer to the comfort zones of It Still Moves, Z and Evil Urges. These are exceptional albums in their own right (the John Leckie-produced Z is my personal all-time favorite), but the omission of the early tunes always left a small void – granted the shows have nearly always been truly great and the , for the most part are devotedly grateful for what this band gives on a nightly basis, but this new tour completes the puzzle and finds this monster band reaching an unseen potential.

The tidal sea change in MMJ’s approach to crafting can be pinpointed to this Spring when the band announced plans for the fan-curated , an experiment that has paid off with some of the greatest shows in the band’s storied history – most notably this summer during the two-night “no repeats” shows at and a monster run to wrap leg one in ATL, Charlotte and Raleigh. With a reinvigorated fan base following the tour’s every move, LMB has been tracking this tour’s every move and you can see all the from the U.S. / Canada portion of the tour below. Stop by LMB during leg two for updates, fan tweets and media from the shows. Excited to see what’s in store next week!

Continue on for setlists from all the leg one shows from the Spontaneous Curation Tour

Writer + Photogger, LMB | Relix | CoS | NolaVie