After selling 75 million albums with Eurythmics, Dave Stewart may not be used to playing to small crowds. About a couple hundred people gathered for his set on the Le Carnival stage. Living in Southern California seems to have rubbed off on him. He covered a Tom Petty song and then sang a tribute to Stevie Nicks. Stewart drew on Eurythmics hits for the final two songs, when he invited (as announced) the Soul Rebels on stage. The two bands had not performed together before, and barely did for the first song, a faithful rendition of "Would I Lie to You." The Soul Rebels were relegated to the back left corner of the stage and chimed in quietly. When Stewart started "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," the Rebels were still at the back of the stage. Stewart went almost entirely through the song before stepping aside and letting the Soul Rebels come to the front and do their version, and finally both bands played it together, which worked rather well.
(Update: Stewart played "Don't Come Around Here No More," which in fact he cowrote with Tom Petty. I should have given him full credit for playing his own music.)
Another good set from a Southern California band came from Chicano Batman. Dressed in matching blue tux shirts, the group played Latin grooving rock, sometimes lounge-y, sometimes flirting with psychedelia. The lower-fi it went the better. The band is in town for several more shows before heading back west.
Austin, Texas rapper Zeale promised to freestyle rap with three words the audience provided. He got "cornucopia," "rigamaroo" and either "beast" or "peace," I wasn't sure, but he used both. As for rigamaroo, he said he had no idea what it meant but rhymed it anyway and moved on.
The Silversun Pickups sounded good if not monotone. Friday night, the band members went through the House of Shock, which apparently isn't just for metal bands.
Many braved a chilly day and waited out Metallica, which was sharp and extremely loud on well known material like "Master of Puppets." It had younger and older fans pumping their fists and barking the chorus, showing New Orleans has plenty of metal fans.
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