M. Ward gave fans a good reason to show up early and catch his set opening for Brian Wilson Sunday night at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl as the singer/songwriter staged a surprise semi-reunion for Monsters of Folk, Ward’s supergroup with My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James and Bright Eyes‘ Conor Oberst.
The group hadn’t performed together onstage since 2010 – the tour in support of their lone 2009 LP – but they reconvened during Ward’s set to perform three tracks: Monsters of Folk‘s “Whole Lotta Losin'” plus Ward’s own “Vincent O’Brien” and “To Save Me.” Only multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis missed the reunion, Pitchfork reports.
“Thanks to my old pal M. Ward for having me at the bowl and then what an honor to witness the great Brian Wilson perform pet sounds in his natural habitat,” James wrote on Instagram. “Brought us to tears. so sweet. so glorious.”
The Monsters of Folk reunion wasn’t the only surprise of M. Ward’s opening set as his She & Him partner Zooey Deschanel – who appeared alongside Ward on Wilson’s 2015 LP No Pier Pressure – also dropped by onstage for a pair of tracks, “Magic Trick” and “Never Had Nobody Like You.”