The Jayhawks at Taste of Chicago 2011 | Photo gallery + live review
"Time to put down the plates of food and listen to some music," quipped singer Mark Olson as the reunited Jayhawks took the stage at the Taste of Chicago on Saturday. With Olson and Gary Louris sharing the helm of the seminal alt-country group once again, the band settled into a retrospective mood, focusing on tracks from 1992's Hollywood Town Hall and 1995's Tomorrow the Green Grass. The latter's title track was one of the highlights of the set, a staple of the genre the band helped bring to prominence performed with as much gusto as the band could muster in the sweltering Grant Park heat.
The Jayhawks also took time to play some material from their fourthcoming release, the group's first studio record in eight years, Mockingbird Time. It's fairly standard fare coming from the aging, country-inclined band which has shed what little edge they had in favor of the more pop-oriented jangle of new tracks such as "She Walks in So Many Ways" and "Black Eyed Susan." There were no audible complaints coming from the predominantly diehard fans in attendance—more than anything it was just nice to see the Jayhawks back onstage once again.