ja mon, this year's pilgrimage to new orleans for the jazz fest was extra special given the havoc that Katrina wreaked on the city last hurricane season.
for a while, the whole event was in question... and, leading into the shindig, there were tons of concerns about the turn out, the musicians, the food vendors, the support services, the local city scene, and the general vibe.
but, alas, it was all good!
everything, that is, except for the sketchy start we got when shellzam and i botched the take-off and missed our red eye flight down.
well, "missed" is perhaps not exactly accurate. we made the flight, but a veritable conspiracy of circumstances kept us from making the cut-off for checking our bags.
can anyone say, "classic penquin smackdown"?
well, we could have caught the flight and left our stuff behind... but a jazz fest without the bojon flag? F-that!
after some panic that made widespread seem narrow, we bit the bullet and purchased a one way flight out the next morning. call it an entertainment tax.
anyway, we got our arses to the fairgrounds in plenty of time to catch the back half of cowboy mouth and the majority of the dylan show on the acura stage.
by the time dr. john hit the stage, our rocky start was just a blip on the radar screen, and we were 5 days into a three day trip. something about the voodoo on the bayou that makes this possible.
killer to reunite with a bunch of friends friday night and stroll the quarter and the marigny. everybody was stoked to find that the vibe around the city was strong. sure, there were plenty of boarded up buildings and large trash piles to remind us of what went down, but the soul of the city and the magic that comes with it seemed to be intact.
saturday brought a textbook fest experience. we hit the fairgrounds early, braved the land grab, and settled into a cherry spot straight out from the acura stage.
killer music flowed our way, led early by a carribean reggae band called The Elements and an absolutely jamming local alt-rock band called World Party Pretend.
by the afternoon, the crowds started to teem, our neighbors became fast friends, and many of the buds we've been hanging with the past few years came by for a visit.
galactic and the subdudes provided the mid-day musical entertainment, and they did not dissappoint.
always mind-blowing to get hit with one great set after another as friends and strangers alike keep the bowls packed, the coolers full, and the conversation lively.
dave matthews closed the night on saturday and tore the place apart. now, we've seen the DMB a billion times over the years, including a half million times at the fest, but the guy just continues to amaze. he brings the beat time and time again, and he never fails to add new wrinkles to old tunes to keep them oh so fresh.
the highlight of the set had to be when U2's guitarist, the Edge, took the stage and ripped through a stirring rendition of "Smooth Rider." i'm tellin' ya, the place was electric.
and boyd was sizzling...
and the brown's were pleased...
whoa, what a ride. by the end of it all, the crew was most content.
we had to wind things up and split out on sunday, but not before squeezing in a
late saturday night visit to the house of blues to catch the north misissippi allstars.
what more to say? jazz fest is dear to our hearts, and the good people of new orleans make it all possible. godspeed to the continuing recovery. such resilience is inspiring.
Posted by bojon at May 3, 2006 09:36 PM