The Jayhawks: Save It For A Rainy Day
I never saw The Jayhawks with both Gary Louris and Mark Olson, although about a year after I saw the Louris-led version of the band at Town Hall in New York, I saw a Louris/Olson show at the Bowery Ballroom, and yeah, their voices do sound incredible together. But I also like the music that the band did after Olson left, and the album “Rainy Day Music” is probably my favorite with that lineup.
In early 2004 my family and I went to see The Jayhawks, with Josh Rouse opening, at Town Hall, a venerable, relatively small venue in New York where I also took my bar review course. So, enjoying myself in that space, where contracts, torts and other arcana were drilled into my brain, always seemed a little strange. But I digress. Somehow, we got great seats, very close to the stage, and it turned out to be a memorable concert. Josh Rouse was an excellent opener—he had recently released his “1972” album, which my family enjoyed maybe as much as we did “Rainy Day Music.”
The Jayhawks were also great. I hadn’t focused on how good a guitarist Louris is, and the band was tight and the songs were exactly what we expected. One thing I enjoy about going to concerts with my wife and kids is hearing them sing along, because they are actually talented, unlike yours truly, who is much, much better at writing about music than singing. Ask my daughter.
During the performance of “Save It For A Rainy Day,” after Louris sang:
Waiting for a breakthrough
What will you set your mind to?
We stood outside the Chinese restaurant
in the rain
someone in the crowd whooped loudly. I mean, incredibly loudly. And from that moment, I have never heard this song without actually whooping myself at that point in the song, out loud, or internally, if it wouldn’t be appropriate for a grown man to scream at that particular moment.
So, thanks, Mr. Jayhawks-concert-going-whooper for forever changing how I listen to this song. And, if by some strange coincidence, you are reading this, please let me know what there was about standing outside a Chinese restaurant in the rain that so excited you. Because for the past 9 years, I have wondered.