A Different Jayhawks Lineup for D.C. Show

But McCarthy helped on harmonies as well, though his focus was that pedal steel and electric guitar twang. Still, there was a rockier sound to the all-boys lineup (rounded out by bassist Marc Perlman, who didn’t sing at all). The combination of guitars led to some dizzying heights as on “Waiting for the Sun,” one of a couple songs pulled from their third album, “Hollywood Town Hall,” now marking its 30th anniversary.  

An extra buzz of elation seems to come among audiences at live shows in an era trying to be post-pandemic. So Louris had to beg the crowd to quiet down to sing one of his softer songs, “Sound of Lies” (that was particularly missing the piano backing).

Some of the ballads sounded a little more ragged, but “All the Right Reasons,” dedicated to his wife lined up in the first row of the dance floor, benefited from a sweet three-part harmony. Still, Louris said he wished someone “like Adele, or someone who sells records” would record it. 

While most of the selections came from the popular Rainy Day Music with its ringing anthems like “Save It for a Rainy Day” and “Tailspin” (which ended the main set), they might have undersold the decent recent output on “Paging Mr. Proust” and “XOXO.” Maybe they’ve just got too many good songs. 

The five song encore seemed especially oddly constructed, with two Golden Smog tunes, the first of them by Louris solo, “Listen Joe.” The other one was “Until You Came Along,” which went down well as the finale.

If the Jayhawks needed a weekend of female harmonies, they could have looked no further than the opening act The Mastersons, whose Eleanor Whitmore has an unerring vocal tone. The duo is her and her husband Chris Masterson, but they were joined by her sister Bonnie Whitmore for a few tunes, as the singing siblings have recorded their own duo album during the non-touring down time of the pandemic. An excess of help right under their noses. 

The setlist for The Jayhawks Friday was:

  • “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
  • “Bitter Pill”
  • “Trouble”
  • “This Forgotten Town”
  • “Tampa to Tulsa”
  • “Everybody Knows”
  • “I’d Run Away”
  • “Two Hearts”
  • “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces”
  • “Waiting for the Sun”
  • “Dogtown Days”
  • “All the Right Reasons”
  • “Save It for a Rainy Day”
  • “Sound of Lies”
  • “Angelyne”
  • “Gonna Be Darkness”
  • “Blue”
  • “Tailspin”
  • “Listen Joe”
  • “Clouds”
  • “Smile”
  • “Backwards Women”
  • “Until You Came Along”
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