Wet Fest

Conjuring memories from last year, it was a wet day at Jazzfest. Dad, Jeff and I left sometime after 11 and got our usual parking spot. There was a light drizzle as we left the car to walk to the gate. As I understand, a power outage of some sort was responsible for the fact that the gates had been closed and a very long line formed. We probably stood in it for about a half hour as we inched our way to the gate, which I also presume was opened just after we got in the line. After we got in we made our way to the blues tent, mostly just to get out of the rain. Shortly after we took some seats to dry off a bit, Raful Neal Jr., a reasonably traditional blues musician, started performing. His set bared resemblance to a family reunion. Some of his family was in the band or appeared on stage just for the hell of it. By the time Neal’s set ended the rain had stopped. We walked over to Economy Hall where Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony was performing, a female vocal quintet. Dad, Jeff and I took turns getting something to eat. There was a striking amount of standing water near the large line of food stands near the economy tent so I stuck to a smaller group on drier ground. I got some jambalaya and crawfish bread, which was pretty good. We ate in Economy Hall and proceeded to the jazz tent to see Astral Project. They’re a remarkably talented contemporary jazz band I happen to be rather fond of. I’ve seen them at Snug Harbor a few times but I’ve never seen them with such a large audience, and they packed the tent pretty well. They put on a great set that featured a lot of the music I heard when I saw them back in March. After they finished we walked over to the Acura stage so more-or-less see Jeff off, He was going to see Dave Matthews Band perform there in a little while. Dad and I then walked back towards the blues tent. We stopped and got some white chocolate bread pudding, which was remarkably tasty. We then stood at the rear of the blues tent and saw a good part of Eddie Bo’s performance. Dad and I then proceeded to the Sprint stage on the other end of the track where Elvis Costello and The Imposters were performing at 5:30. Costello drew a pretty substantial crowd, a feat considering he was up against Dave Matthews, who is quite a draw at Jazzfest. Elvis put on a decent show, although I can’t say I enjoyed it nearly as much as I thought I would. I wish he would have played more of his older stuff. After the set we walked back to the grandstands to meet up with Jeff before leaving. After slowly making our way out of the fairgrounds we made the obligatory stop at Liuzza’s for a drink. We probably hung around there for about an hour before walking back to the car. We drove down Esplanade and made our way to Frenchman St. We had dinner at the Praline Connection. It took almost 40 minutes for us to get seated, largely because our name was called out incorrectly after about 15. As I was still rather busy digesting bread pudding, I wasn’t very hungry and just got an appetizer, fried catfish and cocktail sauce and orange juice with ice. Jeff and Dad got dessert after the entre. Having finished a late dinner we all walked up and down Frenchman a few times before making our way to the car and heading home. After getting home I cleaned myself up and went to bed around one.

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