07-28-2016, 11:09 AM
Great show last night. A local baritone (I think) saxophonist joined for "Ace," which turned out to be an amazing addition that freed up the band to stretch out a bit more. He returned during the encore to join in on "Bad Time," which again allowed the band to improvise a bit more than usual, this time by adding an extended jam to the middle of the song that was built around a saxophone solo before Gary reeled things back in for a final rendition of the chorus.
Had a chance to chat with Karen for a few minutes after - incredibly gracious. Chatted with Marc and Gary a bit as well. Gary, as he has during pretty much every show I've attended over the last 20 years, seemed genuinely amused by and grateful for the fan support while feigning (but only sort of) bitterness over the band not being more popular and successful than it already is.
As others have said, Chet is a terrific addition to the line-up, and it would be wonderful (assuming they record again) if he became a permanent member. Then again, Kraig is certainly missed. There will probably never be a definitive roster that everyone can point to and say, "Now, THAT'S the Jayhawks," but the version taking the stage in 2016 is pretty damn great.
I agree with all that. What a solid and satisfying show. Chet was great, best when he was on pedal steel, IMO, even though it was pretty understated.
The new songs came alive for me, as I hoped and guessed. Its a solid album in which a lot of songs sound kinda like rewrites of earlier songs, but they are pretty much playing to their strengths, which I think is fine. Gary's voice has lost nothing over the years (nor has Tim's), its still fantastic and beautiful and the way Gary and Tim blend is sublime to me. I wish Karen got in there more on backing vocals, seemed like she was doing a bit less than she used to, but maybe I'm imagining that. She did plenty of great backing vocals on the new stuff. I love her voice in the mix, too.
Tampa To Tulsa was a fucking magic moment, excuse my French, but they took it to another level of majestic glory the way the piano and pedal steel blended with guitar, bass, drums and Tim's glorious vocal (and the amazing song he wrote) to create one of those perfect and subtle performances. I was truly moved and ecstatic. Bottomless Cup and Somewhere in Ohio were nice surprises, too, they sounded so great.
Gary said several times how pleased and surprised he was that there was such a good turnout in Phoenix when they hadn't played there in quite a few years, typically going to Tucson instead the last few tours, I believe. He commented on how good it was to see people closing their eyes and singing along (to All The Right Reasons) and he jokingly got distracted by one piano filigree from Karen in the middle of Two Hearts when Gary said he loved that part. Gary, Mark and Karen hung out and chatted with fans after the show, they seemed sincerely grateful and appreciative for their fans, especially the fans who knew all the words even to the new songs!
Waiting For The Sun
Leaving The Monsters Behind
Somewhere In Ohio
Stumbling Through The Dark
Lovers Of The Sun
Tampa To Tulsa (pedal steel)
Nothing Left To Borrow
Big Star (Gary on the Flying V, "strap one of these on and its better than Viagra, not that I need it. Chet told me about it")
Two Hearts (not on the setlist, I called out for it)
Ace (with Keith Kelly on baritone sax)
All The Right Reasons
Save It For A Rainy Day
Devil Is In Her Eyes
Tailspin (pedal steel)
I'd Run Away
Settled Down Like Rain (Gary solo acoustic)
Angelyne (Gary solo acoustic)
I'll Be Your Key (pedal steel)
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
Bad Time (with Keith Kelly on baritone sax, Perlman on lead guitar, Chet on bass)
They did not play Tomorrow the Green Grass but it was on the setlist. I always wish for Trouble and A Break In The Clouds, but it was fine setlist even without those favorites of mine.
Some of these songs have been a part of my life for over twenty years and it felt so good to hear them played so well still after all these years and to share them with my wife, we were kinda in our own world, happy and joyful to experience the beautiful music of the Jayhawks together again.
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