It would appear that the concert industry is riding the wave of the “play our classic album in its entirety” tours, and this music geek couldn’t be more thrilled.
Of course just two weeks Chicago hosted the two packed nights at the Aragon where Weezer performed their ‘Blue Album’ and ‘Pinkerton’ on consecutive nights (you can check out my photo gallery from the latter here). In late ’09 Aragon was also the setting for the Pixies and their ‘Doolittle’ 20th Anniversary Tour.
So in my book, if an excellent band is setting out to perform a notable record, I’m all for it. Part of the fun is knowing what’s coming up next, being anxious to hear your favorites, hearing tracks that NEVER get played live under normal circumstances, plus the surprises of the other “favorites” that fill out the rest of the show.
Enter The Jayhawks. They’re coming to the Vic for two very special nights on Jan. 27 and 28, and tickets are still available for the 28th.
On these nights, the band will perform two of their seminal albums: 1992’s ‘Hollywood Town Hall’ (on the 27th) and 1995’s ‘Tomorrow The Green Grass’ (on the 28th). This short tour accompanies both an upcoming record to be released later this year, but also deluxe expanded reissues of both of these albums featuring b-sides, outtakes, rarities and demo versions.
Since 1985, this Minneapolis group has been for all intents and purposes the cornerstone of the Americana (or, “alt-country” if you will) style.
Led by the stunning songwriting, vocal harmony and guitar playing of co-front men Mark Olson and Gary Louris, The Jayhawks laid the groundwork for a genre that generates mass appeal these days.
At a time when the quirky “cowpunk” movement was occurring on college radio in the mid-80s, The Jayhawks figured out how to create music that was firmly rooted in the sounds of Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield and classic country yet captured the energy and attitude of the era of the bubbling alternative music movement. Let’s face it, the 80s were a decade of countless acts who wrote music to adhere to a trend or style. These guys created stuff from within, and it was the genre that was born from them.
If no Jayhawks, then it’s arguably safe to say there’s no Wilco or Old 97s.
‘Hollywood Town Hall’ and ‘Tomorrow The Green Grass’ are considered by most to be the landmark releases by The Jayhawks, and it’ll be a treat to see them performed straight through at the Vic.
The band is touring to just five cities, and doing these special album engagements in only Chicago and New York, so we should consider ourselves lucky.
Seeing this band play live is a sonic joy in the first place, regardless of the fact that we’ll be hearing these definitive records played from front to back.
Tickets for Thursday’s ‘Hollywood Town Hall’ are $29, and you can get them here.
“Waiting For The Sun” from ‘Hollywood Town Hall’:
“Blue” from ‘Tomorrow The Green Grass’:
…and I’m willing to bet that this one will be heard both nights:
The Jayhawks: “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” from 2000’s ‘Smile’: