photo courtesy of Walker Art CenterSetlist
08/15/15 Omaha, NE "Maha Music Festival"Read More
08/24/15 Fish Creek, WI Door Community
09/10/15 Wilmington, DE World Cafe Live
09/11/15 Lancaster, PA Chameleon
09/12/15 Lockn' - Interlocking Music Festival
09/19/15 Saint Charles, IL Arcada Theatre
The Music & Movies event itself runs just a month on Monday evenings, with next Monday’s August 17 closing event featuring Lotte Reiniger’s silent animated The Adventures of Prince Achmed with a live score by Mark McGee’s ensemble MAKR’s Coven.
The Jayhawks had actually played this event prior, way back in 1986, though the current incarnation is the so-called ‘90s version of the band - Gary Louris: guitar, vocals; Tim O'Reagan: drums, backing vocals; Karen Grotberg: keyboards, backing vocals; Marc Perlman: bass; and Kraig Johnson: guitar; and hadn’t played live since a Pamplona, Spain festival show in mid-April.
Starting with 1995’s ‘I’d Run Away’, people bobbed and nodded from their blankets, snacking on chips and home-brought sandwiches under draping trees, with some getting up to dance on either side of the small outdoor stage. This year’s event theme was “Bigger than Life” and that became apparent as Louris and co. tuned up for song three of their hour-long set on this windy, warm evening.
“The real reason we’re playing here is that we’re trying out a lot of new songs”, Louris confessed to applause, saying the band would be convening in September to record their new album. ‘Useless Creatures’ (about “underpaid high school teachers”, Louris said) had a whimsical, swirling guitar riff anchoring it; while ‘Lovers of the Sun’ played on a Beach Boys vibe and the group’s exact harmonies, to be a potentially ideal summer song, and led perfectly into hit, ‘Waiting for the Sun’.
‘Isabel’s Daughter’ sounded just like the band’s mid ‘90s work, with jangly guitars and Grothberg helping on vocals, and ‘Need You Tonight’ wasn’t the INXS song, but a folky quieter number Louris wrote while in Nashville. ‘Ace’ was not a tribute to the Kiss guitarist, but an echo’d, reverb’d song with a dark edge to its lyrics.
The new ‘9 More Days’ was written about a long distance relationship, with Louris mentioning it was bassist Perlman’s birthday the next day (though that had nothing to do with the song) before the band ended with 2003’s ‘Tailspin’.
This Monday evening was anything but a tailspin as everyone present felt fortunate to hear not only their favorite Jayhawks songs, but also be among the first to hear almost a new album’s worth of brand new songs for the first time live – a perfect cure for any Monday blues.
Gary Louris & friends (The Jayhawks) at Loring Park, Minneapolis (27 July 2015)