LIVE: The Jayhawks @ The Egg, 10/30/14
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The last time that alt-country pioneers the Jayhawks flew into Nippertown was nearly 10 years ago. In February 2005, Mark Olson and Gary Louris launched into the final song of their first set at The Egg and sang “Blue” – “Hard to sing with someone, won’t sing with you,” they sang, their magnificent harmonies tightly woven together.
While Louris has been the band’s one constant throughout all the years, Olson has been in a here-today/gone-tomorrow mode. And unfortunately, he was missing in action at the Jayhawks’ recent return to The Egg.
Fortunately (and surprisingly), it wasn’t all that big a deal. Louris has learned to work around Olson’s absence, and the band’s reunited 1997 line-up – featuring Marc Perlman, Tim O’Reagan, Karen Grotberg and Kraig Johnson – delivered the goods.
Straight outta Milwaukee, Trapper Schoepp & the Shades opened the show with a more organic, rootsy approach than they’ve exhibited in prior Nippertown performances. None-the-less, the drummer-less quartet hit the bulls-eye from the start with their opening “Tracks, and didn’t let up throughout their too-short opening set.
Excerpt from Kirsten Ferguson’s review at The Daily Gazette: “Despite [Mark] Olson’s absence, and the fact that earlier classic albums like Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass got minor play, there was nothing missing from the Jayhawks’ performance at The Egg. From the opening pairing of the lush, pop-fueled ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ and the elegiac ‘The Man Who Loved Life,’ the band sounded in fine form — rich and warm. They also seemed to have great fun throughout the show, which had been downsized to The Egg’s smaller Lewis A. Swyer Theatre but appeared to be a full house. Band members joked onstage about fining each other for violations like playing out of tune, and [Gary] Louris made a crack about the band’s age, saying he could put together a primer on ‘touring for seniors.’ ‘Is this an uncomfortable moment for you? Because I like these moments — just to show that we’re human,’ Louris joked after stopping ‘Stumbling Through the Dark’ to tune his guitar before launching into a perfect-sounding version of the blissful Byrds-like tune.”