Jazz Fest 4.29 Thurs | Photos & Best Of

Words by: Tom Speed | Images by: Dino Perrucci & Chad Smith

Jazz Fest – Weekend 2 – Day 1 :: 04.29.10 :: Thursday :: New Orleans, LA

Dave Schools – WSP :: 04.29.10 :: Jazz Fest
The opening day of Jazz Fest‘s second weekend brought with it clear skies, temperatures in the mid 70s and a slight breeze – ideal weather for an outdoor music festival. After severe rain and mud stained the first weekend, the sunshine was a welcome respite for festival faithful.

The day’s aural, gustatory and otherwise indescribable cultural delights provided a banquet of sensory inputs for the incessantly insatiable. The following is a brief but faithful recounting of some of the highlights.

Tom’s Top Three Aural

#1 Elvis Costello and The Sugarcanes (Gentilly Stage)
Every day of Jazz Fest is marked by that intangible Jazz Fest magic – a single set or experience that makes the spine tingle. Sometimes it comes as planned, but usually it comes unexpectedly. Thursday it came in the form of Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes, his top-flight acoustic band that includes Jerry Douglas on dobro and Jim Lauderdale on guitar, along with mandolin, fiddle and bass instrumentation.

The group worked their way through a stellar set of roots rock renditions from Costello’s catalog and some choice cover selections. They nimbly navigated their way through the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of The Devil” and the Stones’ “Happy.” They breathed new life into Costello stalwarts like “Allison,” “Peace, Love and Understanding,” and a down-tempo reboot of “Every Day I Write The Book.” Costello brought out New Orleans legend and collaborator Allen Toussaint for a rousing “encore” that consisted of five songs and left the crowd in bliss. Magic.

#2 Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk (Acura Stage)
With a double bass assault, Dumpstaphunk harnesses the runaway power of decades of incessant, ferocious chugging. They serve as the torchbearers of that delightful slice of American music known as New Orleans funk. In a city and festival full of contenders to the throne, they are the kings of the hill. By the time they launched into the now- anthemic thrust of “Put It In The Dumpster” their harnessed momentum had exploded into a full-blown frenzy.

#3 Sunpie Barnes & The Louisiana Sunspots (Congo Stage)
The warm weather was the perfect backdrop for Sunpie Barnes’ soulful set of swinging zydeco.

Tom’s Top Three Gustatory

#1 Crawfish Pie
From the people that bring you the Natchitoches meat pie, this particular crawfish pie was fluffy on the outside, creamy on the inside and possessed just the right amount of spice to become a new favorite.

#2 The Ruby Slipper
Though it’s often inadvisable to eat before entering the Fairgrounds racetrack, an early breakfast at this local mid-city joint provided a much needed and well-spiced Bloody Mary, not to mention a delicious take on Eggs Benedict that incorporated a grilled tomato. It was the perfect prelude to a great day at the fest.

#3 Coors
Because the banquet beer will do in a pinch.

Tom’s Top Three Lagniappe

#1 Field Trips
The sight of numerous middle school groups roaming the festival grounds on field trips gave reason to believe in an oft-maligned local school system that was imparting an undeniably unique life lesson on regional heritage and a serious steeping in the arts.

#2 Funny Hats
Big, small, wide, pointy, colorful, floppy, majestic, droopy. You gotta love a hat party, and Jazz Fest is among the biggest and best in the world.

#3 Chance Encounters
You know those people that you only kinda know, and if you’re bad with names (raise your hands!) you know them only by face and not necessarily by name, but it doesn’t matter. They’re at Jazz Fest, and it’s great to see them.

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

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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