Astral Project and Jimmy Buffet at Jazz Fest

Mom, Dad and I went out to Jazz Fest this afternoon. I think we got our usual parking spot today. The weather was nice again, largely overcast with the sun coming out now and again. We walked in sometime around 11:30. We stopped at the Jazz tent near the Sauvage Street entrance where the Mandeville High School Jazz Ensemble was playing. For a group of kids, they sounded remarkable. They were intermittently accompanied by guest soloists Jeremy Davenport, Tony Degradi of Astral Project and Ellis Marsalis. This certainly bolstered the appeal of watching the high school group, which had a rather large audience. They were also the first act to start, beginning at 11:15. I left Mom and Dad after they finished at noon. I went to the first food area to get something to eat. I got a crawfish puff and some crawfish rice and took it to Economy Hall to eat, where June Gardner was playing. After I finished eating or after the set, I’m not sure which, I wandered around for a little while. I stopped at the gospel tent and watched the Zulu Gospel Male Ensemble for a few minutes and then went over to the Native American Village. I got some fry bread, like a beignet but quite not as good and watched Amanda Shaw at the Fais Do-Do stage for a short while. After stopping at a water fountain to get the honey off my fingers, I walked to Congo Square to see the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. I thought I may have seen them before and ‘brass band’ was in the name, which largely influenced my decision to go see them. The group was entertaining. They do a nice job of working the crowd and getting them involved. I remember leaving Congo Square before they were finished but I don’t remember where I was until I made my way to the jazz tent to see Astral Project at 4:10. I got there early, as the preceding act was finished up, but I was still unable to get a good seat. I did find one though, which was more than a lot of other people were able to say. I saw way in the back, but at center stage. Mom and Dad were there as well but they say somewhere else. Just like every other time I’ve seen Astral Project, they put on a fantastic set. This was the only time I’ve seen them when they didn’t play Big Shot. Before they started, the stage manager said that they have performed at every Jazz Fest since 1978. Although the jazz tent is an acoustic nightmare, they still sounded excellent. I complemented the sound man after the performance. After stopping in the grandstands, I met Mom and Dad at the Acura Stage where they had their chairs set up for Jimmy Buffet. I’m not sure but I think he started on time at 5:25. I’m not a Buffet fan and he isn’t exactly one of the better musicians around but there’s no denying that he’s a gifted entertainer. Everyone, including myself, knew the words to his songs and thoroughly enjoyed the show. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd at Jazz Fest so lively. After Buffet’s set, Fest Producer Quint Davis came on stage and talked about the weather. He said a large thunderstorm had been heading towards New Orleans from Baton Rouge but looking at the RADAR you could clearly see that it split in half and spared the fairgrounds and most of the city of a heavy rainfall. He left it up to the audience to decide the cause. Later that evening, I saw that the new hard drive I ordered for my desktop PC arrived. Due to a blue screen crash problem caused by nVidia IDE drivers, I didn’t get far in getting things setup before going to bed later than I should have.

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