Monday, May 2, 2016

April 29, 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

We walked into Jazz Fest and headed straight to the Love At First Bite food stand for the Cochon de Lait Po-Boy. This festival has amazing food and this sandwich is the most popular option. Apparently it rained yesterday because the grounds were very muddy and sand was used in an  attempt to dry the areas in front of the stages. This turned out to be a futile mission. But I am getting ahead of myself, today was a beautiful day with clouds mixed with occasional sun and a nice breeze.

Our next stop is my favorite stage at Jazz Fest., the Fais Do-Do stage. There is always a huge party in front of this mostly Cajun music stage. Feufollet had people dancing in the mud to start the musical portion of our day. 
I saw the Mississippi Rail Company several years ago on the small Lagniappe Stage. I thought they were fantastic then. Today they rocked the main Gentilly Stage. 

I love bands with a horn section and this one was top notch.

After a very entertaining set, we headed back to the Fais Do-Do stage...

...where Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys had everyone dancing.

Since my first visit to New Orleans, I have fallen in love with Cajun music. Wherever it is being played, there is always a party and really good food.

Dancing at the Fais Do-Do stage.

New Orleans is full of characters that just want to have fun.

Jazz Fest has the best banners and flags of all the music festivals that I have been to.

After watching Bonerama for a few songs, we stopped by the Lagniappe Stage to catch a few songs by Sean Bruce.

Then we bought some grapes from Mr. Okra. He is the last of New Orleans singing street vendors.

Here's Bonerama's tribute to Mr. Okra.

New Orleans is a city that thrives on it's traditions but like most cities change is inevitable. I believe that progress and change can be good for a city but not if it requires destroying the heart and soul of it's past. 

We caught a few songs by Nicholas Payton & the Afro-Caribbean Mixtape in the Jazz Tent. Then we saw the Dirty Dozen Brass Band show everyone how it should be done on the Acura Stage.

We decided to stick with the brass bands and stopped at Economy Hall to see the PresHall Brass Band. They represent the old school version of brass bands but that doesn't mean they can't bring the house down.

As they played the old standards, an impromptu second line erupted with most of the crowd dancing and parading through the aisles with their umbrellas, parasols and white handkerchiefs. This was the coolest set we saw all day.

Here's a few pictures as we walked the grounds of Jazz Fest.

We saw the last half of Irma Thomas's amazing performance. Some people could sing anything and I would want to listen. Irma Thomas is definitely on that list. Incredible voice at 75 years have to bow down to the Soul Queen of New Orleans.

South Park's Chef made an appearance at JazzFest.

After Irma Thomas, we stayed at the Acura Stage and waited for Paul Simon to close out the day for us. Thanks to my parents, I've been a huge fan of his music for years and have never seen him play live. So I made the difficult decision to skip My Morning Jacket and C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisana Band. I am glad I saw Paul Simon and there were a few very cool moments especially during The Boxer that sent chills up my spine. But overall it was unimpressive. Paul seemed bored while playing the songs and I believe that affects the crowd. One thing I love about New Orleans and it's music scene is that the bands all know how to put on a show and the music fans know how to enjoy a show. That mutual respect makes for a very enjoyable experience for me. Paul picked the wrong city for a lackluster show and lots of people left to see other bands during his set. There were young people around us that were singing the words to everyone of his songs. I was shocked that they left about halfway through the show. Even Paul Simon left the stage with ten minutes left on his scheduled time. I don't care if you are a music legend, this city always deserves your best performance. There were plenty of performers here today that would have loved to play the main stage as the headliner. And they would have "blew that room away."

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