Jazz Fest 4.23 Day 1 | Photos & Best Of

Words by: Kayceman | Images by: Dino Perrucci

Jazz Fest Day 1 :: 04.23.10 :: Friday :: New Orleans, LA

Fans at the 41st annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival were greeted with buckets of rain on the first day. Though the numbers were a bit thin and most of them damp, those who did weather the storm were rewarded with spirited performances, no lines for food and plenty of Fest atmosphere. Between noon and 3 p.m. roughly two inches of rain covered the Fairgrounds, but the only set that got canceled was Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band. Everyone else played right on through.

Kayceman's Top 3

#1 - Lionel Richie

Watching Lionel Richie go from "Dancing On The Ceiling" into an instrumental Van Halen "Jump" tease and back into "Dancing On The Ceiling" was a standout moment of Richie's Friday Festival closing set. Playing lots of Commodores, talking 'bout Afros and making the cougars purrrrr, this was nothing but fun fun fun.

#2 - Rotary Downs

As the rain finally broke, local rock band Rotary Downs began to play the Lagniappe Stage. Bandleader James Marler commented that drummer Zack Smith "paid the devil $20 to stop the rain" as they tore through a set of propulsive indie rock with pop hooks and psychedelic burns. The rain started to pick up again and Marler asked Smith to put another twenty in the meter before the band dismantled The Beatles' "Get Back" in glorious fashion.

#3 Maurice Brown Effect

Dashing into the Fairgrounds as the sky opened up, many ducked into the Jazz Tent, where trumpet virtuoso Maurice Brown was holding court. Offering shelter from the storm, Brown's banging five-piece band (trumpet/sax/drum/piano/upright bass) floated from traditional jazz phrasing into wild excursions full of noise-jazz and trumpets laced with wah-wah effects. At this point, the rain hardly seemed to matter.

Check our Jazz Fest Survival Guide for Must See Bands, food suggestions and more...

Check out First Weekend Saturday coverage of Jazz Fest here.

Check out First Weekend Sunday coverage of Jazz Fest here.

Check back next Thursday for the start of our Second Weekend Jazz Fest coverage...

JamBase | New Orleans
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[Published on: 4/24/10]

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