Folk Fest: The Jayhawks think they're on acid
Mayor Gregor Robertson said he was there for the Jayhawks when the Straight ran into him earlier in the day. He was probably wetting his pants like any other fan over something close enough to a dream set when the reformed band finally hit the main stage at the end of VFMF's day two.
But it took a while for them to get there, coming together finally about two-thirds of the way through the '93 almost hit (it should have been a hit, anyway), "Settled Down Like Rain". The magical harmonies of frontmen Gary Louris and Mark Olsen were a little unmagical for four songs before that, and the five piece band generally sounded uncertain and sluggish. Then, suddenly, it was all gravy. Hollywood Town Hall classic "Take Me with You (When You Go)" was a clear highlight, with "Blue", "Waiting for the Sun", and "I'd Run Away" not far behind. Ditto a couple of promising numbers from forthcoming album Mockingbird Time, "Hide Your Colours" and "Closer to Your Side", both rooted in '60s pop.
Olson delivered the opening lines of "Clouds"—"God of the rich man ain't the God for the poor"—a little more pointedly than he probably would have in the '90s, and a parade of lantern bearers winding through the slightly thinning crowd topped it off beautifully (Louris told Olson it was the acid kicking in).
A woman on the bus home told her friend she thought Rosanne Cash should have headlined and that the Jayhawks are "has beens". Maybe, maybe not, but good luck taking it up with Vancouver city hall, sister.
The Jayhawks performing "Blue"