Words by: Tom Speed | Images by: Dino Perrucci
Jazz Fest – Weekend 2 – Day 2 :: 04.30.10 :: Friday :: New Orleans, LA
The best laid plans aren't worth a damn. Repeatedly, the ad hoc yields the sweetest fruit. Days like Friday, April 30 at the Jazz Festival reinforce this truth time and time again.
The giddiness rears its head when the cubes are published. Hours pored over scheduling increases excitement. When the day comes, it's irrelevant. A well-planned and structured itinerary is no substitute for a day of happy accidents and splendid surprises. With the rain staying away despite the weatherman's best attempts to doom and gloom the otherwise optimistic, a gentle fairgrounds-wide mist tent effect cast a pleasant ambiance over a day filled with brilliant unplanned pleasure. To wit:
Tom's Top Three Aural
#1 Allen Toussaint (Acura Stage)
Allen Toussaint was a contributing factor in the best set of the day on Thursday and helmed the best set on Friday. He's New Orleans royalty, and his mid-afternoon performance on the Acura Stage proved why. Exuding class and professionalism, Toussaint's top-notch band (including the resplendent Theresa Andersson as one of the background vocalists) radiated confidence as they spun the sounds Toussaint helped birth many moons ago. Touching on standards and mainstays, they were at times funky, soulful, and moving. Giving "City of New Orleans" a twist that removed any sense of cliché was a mean feat that was handled adroitly, and the sprawling "Southern Nights" closer was awe-inspiring fun.
#2 Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys (Fais Do-Do Stage)
The infectious zydeco groove commands your dancing, your swaying, and your shuffling. The onstage capabilities grab your respect. When the band was joined by three trombonists from Bonerama, it underscored the wide swath that the music at Jazz Fest covers and cross-pollinates at the same time.
#3 Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra (Louisiana Heritage Stage)
A loose amalgamation of Mardi Gras Indian tribesmen and various interested instrumentalists, the Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra celebrates this musical tradition with the addition of a string section and a cavalcade of participants, including Reggie and Camille of The Radiators.
Tom's Top Three Gustatory
#1 Fried Chicken
Like playing guitar, making fried chicken is easy to do competently but takes real talent to do exceptionally. The fine folks at Jazz Fest have talent.
#2 William's Plum Street Snowballs
The nectar cream snowball could easily be classified a Schedule IV narcotic.
#3 Coors in a can
Here's a fun game: try to drink the whole can before the "cold activated" thingy turns from blue to gray. It's tough in the New Orleans heat, but practice makes perfect. Or something like that.
Tom's Top Three Lagniappe
#1 Eric Lindell
The overflowing crowd at the Blues Tent before and during Lindell's set rendered the situation unsympathetic to mellowing out to his groovy vibe. It's great that he's catching on with so many new fans, but it's well past time to put him on a main stage. Ya heard?
They're a highly underrated form of entertainment. Just sayin'.
#3 Celebrating your wife's birthday with her at Jazz Fest
Every year. It's one hell of a birthday party.
Check our Jazz Fest Survival Guide for Must See Bands, food suggestions and
Check out Second Weekend Thursday coverage of Jazz Fest here.
Check out First Weekend Friday coverage of Jazz Fest here.
Check out First Weekend Saturday coverage of Jazz Fest here.
Check out First Weekend Sunday coverage of Jazz Fest here.
Check back tomorrow for more coverage of Jazz Fest...
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