The number of ways to experience the food at Jazz Fest can be overwhelming, but some of the options can actually take you farther than others. For instance, in years past, I would have headed straight for a meat-pie line. This year, it’s all about that Doh Doh and Jama Jama from the Benacchin stand.
At least a half hour before Young arrived and as the rain was at its worst, over at the Acura stage there was a thin crowd screaming in anticipation for the Neville Brothers. The rain subsided and the crowd filled up to numbers that the New Orleans favorites deserved.
As much as I enjoy a local-heavy Jazz Fest, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to see Neil Young performing at the Fairgrounds for the first time ever. When I heard the electric buzz of just the first few chords, I got goosebumps.
The words seem strange as I type them, but Sunday you could really catch some of the best this festival has to offer without moving from the Acura stage. Example: Allen Toussaint sat himself at the piano and belted out a string of classics from the nearly endless collection of songs he wrote, including some great Lee Dorsey and Ernie K-Doe tunes.
With everything going on it had been a while since I visited my dependable fallback the Gospel Tent. I was greeted by the Voices of Distinction, an all-female quartet studded in sparkly green dresses. Their foot-stomping soul was an absolute blast, and it felt good to know that my faith in the Gospel Tent pulled through.
Esperanza Spalding has been exploding lately, and with good reason. Her enthusiastic and earthy character is matched by an articulate and proficient style of breezy jazz. The WWOZ Jazz Tent was certainly hypnotized, and I think more than a few crushes were formed.