For the second night in a row, the Palace Theatre was packed with fans eager to see a lineup of all-local artists. They definitely drew an older demographic than Atmosphere on opening night, but the venue still felt like a perfect fit.
The Cloak Ox opened the show, with Jake Hanson (Halloween, Alaska; Mason Jennings) filling in for guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker. As the crowd slowly filled the space, the music built into a driving force of rock noise.
The Cactus Blossoms followed, with a tight set that showed the clear practice of lots of touring over the past year. Jack Torrey and Page Burkum were joined by their brother Tyler Berkum, who added a wonderful wash of electric guitar. The set had a more upbeat sound, with Andy Carroll on electric bass and Chris Hepola on drums.
In another of his warm intros, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joked that while Atmosphere soundtracked his son’s “wasted youth,” the Jayhawks soundtracked his own. With the Jayhawks on the stage, it was clear this was what most of the crowd was waiting for. Song after song, you could see many fans singing along in the crowd. Gary Louris looked happy and comfortable on the stage, leading the band through an epic setlist that included over 30 songs. During their set, the band invited Chris Coleman to play guitar for two songs, and Kraig Johnson (Iffy, Run Westy Run) later joined for several songs as well. Louris started the encore by playing several solo acoustic songs before being rejoined by the whole band to close out their nearly two-and-a-half-hour-long set.