Day at Economy Hall

I was not up and about as early as I would have liked this morning but there were no dire consequences. When Krystle and I left the house this morning, we did the illogical thing and went out to eat before heading to the fairgrounds. We stopped at IHOP because it was still plausibly breakfast time when we first thought of the idea. After eating more than enough pizza last night I was not very hungry so I just got a small plate of eggs and pancakes. Following “breakfast,” Krystle and I drove to the fairgrounds. Armed with a little trick I learned from a cab driver last weekend, we found a respectable parking spot on Laharpe, a couple blocks from Broad Avenue. It was a four or five minute walk from the Gentilly Street entrance. We got in at about 12:30. I did want to see Otra this morning which was the opening act on the Acura stage but both of us have seen them before so I wasn’t broken up about it.When we arrived we went to Economy Hall where we would remain for a good while. The New Orleans-Helsinki Connection had just begun their set when we took our seats. The band consists of a few local musicians, a couple folks from Finland including Katja Toivola on trombone. The star of the show was vocalist Tricia Boutté, a New Orleans native that has spent a great deal of time in Europe.We stuck around after the Connection to hear Hot Club of New Orleans. They play a sort of “gypsy jazz” and they do it quite well. I saw them a few weeks ago at the French Quarter Festival. It’s not a sort of jazz I listen to at home but I thoroughly enjoy hearing it live.The main event followed Hot Club, the Treme Brass Band. Their annual performances in Economy Hall are always a lively and memorable affair complete with a big crowd, the band parading down the aisles and a lengthy and enthusiastic second-line following behind. True to form, Treme played host to a great party and it was a lot of fun to see with a friend. I shot a lot of pictures during the performance but sadly I screwed up the camera setting again like last year and underexposed most of the pictures.Afterward, we walked around for a while. I wasn’t planning on seeing any bands at Acura this weekend but I figured she should at least get a look at the huge crowd that’s often there. Bon Jovi was playing as we walked the track around the stage. I can’t say I was impressed by the performance but maybe it was just bad acoustics. Krystle was even more unimpressed.A couple weeks ago I was browsing the Jazz Fest website message boards looking for suggestions and one act I saw mentioned frequently was the New Orleans Bingo Show. With no other particularly compelling closing acts, I decided to check them out. They were performing in the grandstands which are a convenient place to eat. We both had the crawfish etouffee puff/cajun rice. The Bingo Show is more of a theatrical cabaret than a band. Their act was certainly interesting and fun to photograph but Krystle was not amused. After we had our food and I took my fill of pictures, we made our way back to the car.Later this evening after cleaning up and recovering from a day at the fair grounds, we went to the Westbank Palace theater to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine. To be generous, the movie was “shallow.” To be honest, it was complete garbage. My good company was the only consolation.

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