Great Day at Economy Hall

New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra… Treme Brass Band… Cuban sandwich… New Orleans Jazz Hounds of Tokyo… Aroon Neville’s Gospel Soul… John Mooney & Bluesiana… Dr. Michael White… Jimmy Buffet & the Coral Reefer Band… update to comeAs I’m writing this entry four days after the fact, I’m not entirely sure how I got out to the fairgrounds this afternoon. This may have been the day I took a cab and a familiar driver, Elliot, picked me up. He’s driven out to the west bank to pick me up on a handful of occasions in the recent past.I got to the fairgrounds before the first act of the day. Unlike some days of wandering, I had the day largely planned out. I knew I’d be spending a good portion of the day in economy hall and seeing Jimmy Buffet in the evening.The first act of the day was the The New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra. They’re a revival orchestra I’ve spoken of at length in previous Jazz Fest log entries. Suffice it to say, they’re very entertaining and a highlight of Jazz Fest for me. They are hard to photograph being such a big group with lots of people, music stands and microphones on stage.After New Leviathan, I kept my seat for the next act, the Treme Brass Band. I spoke with a gentleman sitting behind me with a laptop during the break. It was Doug MacCash, an art critic for the Times-Picayune. He was writing a blog entry about the orchestra as we spoke.Treme Brass band is another must-see act at Jazz Fest in my opinion. They’re one of the best brass bands around. I shot some great pictures from their show last year and I wanted another crack at it. They put on a very lively show with loud music and second-lining in the aisles through most of the performance. They played the lazy song walking through the aisles themselves with the second line trailing them. It’s really something you have to see, or at least read about it from somebody considerably more eloquent than myself. I shot some okay pictures but I didn’t get one great shot like I got last year.After the show I went to find something to eat and deiced on the Cuban sandwich, which was pretty good. I took it back to economy hall for the next performance there of the day, the New Orleans Jazz Hounds of Tokyo, Japan. They were a very impressive group with a very talented banjo player. You’d have trouble telling their sound apart from any of the great local jazz bands until they start to sing, when their land of origin becomes pretty obvious.After the Jazz Hounds, I went to the WWOZ tent for a little while to relax and look at my pictures and then walked to the gospel tent for Aaron Neville’s Gospel Soul. Unfortunately for me, it was so crowded you could barely get near the tent so I didn’t stay. I walked over to the somewhat less crowded blues tent where John Mooney and Bluesiana were playing. They sounded pretty good and I stayed for the first half of their show before I left to take the scenic route to the Acura stage.On the way there I remember stopping by economy hall and seeing a couple minutes of Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band.I took a spot at the barricade just to the right of the stage. I managed to get a good spot as I arrived well before Jimmy Buffet started this evening. The crowd of well over 100,000 got an interesting treat at around five o’clock. We got to see “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby on the big screens adjacent to the stage. Quint Davis introduced the derby my mentioning that one of the horses in the race, Recapturetheglory is locally owned. He led briefly during the race but ultimately placed fifth. Big Brown was the winner.Jimmy Buffet started nearly on time this evening. I saw home at Jazz Fest a couple years ago and he put on a great show tonight just like last time. HE can’t sing worth a damn, but he is a fine entertainer and the Coral Reefer Band backs him up well. Seeing him “up close” was a much different experience than in 2005 when I was back by the track. It was a lot of fun with one exception. The beach balls that bounce around the audience, which normally don’t bother me, were frequently laced with mud from the wet ground, which was very annoying and several people around me got pretty dirty and I didn’t escape unscathed myself. The folks immediately behind me eventually got fed up with it and we eventually started pulling them to the ground when they came by and someone stabbed them with a large umbrella, much to the rejoicing of the spectators. We took out at least a dozen of them.Near the end of the show, Jimmy Buffet caught sight of someone in the audience with a shirt that read “Rebuilding New Orleans One Margarita at a Time.” Jimmy offered the his flip flops for the shirt and they traded, which was pretty interesting. Jimmy played a little past his scheduled block which ended at seven. For the final song, Allen Toussaint came out to play piano while Jimmy sang Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?, a true “jazz fest moment,” as Quint Davis put it as he bid the crowd good night.I don’t remember how I got home that evening, although I think Dad gave me a ride. That evening I went through my pictures, of which there were plenty. I maxed out all three of my memory cards today.

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