A festival full of big guitar rock and local celebrations, Jazz Fest 2012 came to a close today. Several sets featured a sort of victory lap for folks visiting or sitting in with other bands. Galactic's show on Acura literally featured a Carnival parade full of guests as it played many of the songs on its recent release Carnivale Electros. Living Color's Corey Glover handled vocals on many songs, including "He Na Na" and Living Color's "Cult of Personality." Other guests included Trombone Shorty, Shamarr Allen, Pedrito Martinez, Casa Samba and War Chief Juan Pardo.
The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl noticed Jazz Fest didn't feature the band's typical fans. He was more amused by the beach balls bouncing around the crowd than the audience's lack of volume (if not knowledge) on the choruses he asked it to sing. But he gamely handled them himself and covered most of the Fighters' bigger hits, as well as a cover of Tom Petty's "Breakdown." And he led the crowd in singing happy birthday for guitarist Chris Shiflett, who got to blow out candles on a cake. Grohl was entertainingly snarky, but the band was all business in turning in a loud set including its better known material, including "Learn to Fly," "My Hero," "Big Me" and "Monkey Wrench."
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band finished the day on the Gentilly Stage and presented its own parade of guests, including Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, Steve Earl and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The Rebirth Brass Band also come onstage to play several songs, and in case anyone wanted to have a look at the Grammy the band just won, it was prominently displayed during the band's appearance.
As the Preservation Hall again celebrated its 50th anniversary, it offered an appropriate finale. Joining the band for the final songs were trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, who turn 101 in July, trombonist Wendell Eugene, who is nearly 90 years old, and the next generation of musicians, the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz Band. There had to be at least four generations of musicians playing along on "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "I'll Fly Away." It was as joyous as it was reverent.
Friday offered a rather diverse lineup at Jazz Fest, with performances by everyone from R&B elder statesmen Little Anthony and the Imperials to New Orleans rapper Mystikal, Rodrigo Y Gabriela's fast and furious guitar strumming to Ziggy Marley's reggae/pop, Cajun firebrands Feufollet to the countrified rock of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
It was a big day for female vocalists. A far cry from her recent solo Jazz Fest performances, Theresa Andersson was at full volume, beautifully delivering material from her recent Street Parade album, backed by a full horn section and John Michael (of MyNameIsJohnMicahael) on guitar. Potter was also impressive opening her show a cappella, and though she switched back and forth from a flying-V guitar to organ, it seems that just as a vocalist, she should could carry a soulful and bluesy rock band (a la Janis Joplin as a few people on the Grounds noted) if she would let loose and shed the country pop. One of the odd moments in her show was a detour into the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right." She said the band was a big influence on her while growing up, but I don't know if everyone was aware that it was a tribute to Adam Yauch, the former Beastie Boy who died of cancer this morning.
Saturday, May 5:
MyNameIsJohnMichael (12:40 p.m., Gentilly Stage) offers two free downloads from his upcoming album Picture Perfect Past here.
Sam Doores & the Tumbleweeds (12:35 p.m., Lagniappe Stage) release their debut LP tomorrow night at AllWays Lounge — stream tracks from the rough-edged, Southern soul-inspired country outfit here.
Listen to Niger's Tuareg star Bombino's (2:40 p.m., Blues Tent) album Agadez here.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band (4:25 p.m., Economy Hall Tent) celebrates its 50th anniversary at the fairgrounds. Download the band's "One More Time Fore I Die," a collaboration with bluegrass musician Del McCoury here. The band also celebrates with an anniversary blowout at The Joy Theater on Saturday, featuring an all-star New Orleans lineup including Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and a dozen others.
Much more after the jump.
Photos by Gary LoVerde
There are plenty of videos from Jazz Fest on YouTube, not all of them officially sanctioned. But Jazz Fest and YouTube and Dell are cooperating to webcast many live sets from the second weekend and highlights from the first weekend over the next three days (May 4-6). The webcasts run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is a schedule here. Much of the content will remain posted on the page through June 18.
It's the first of four festivals YouTube is broadcasting live this year. It also will webcast from Bonnaroo (June 7-10), Lollapalooza in Chicago (Aug. 3-5) and Austin City Limits (Oct. 12-14).
God's speed, Rodrigue
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