Attending our second day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival called for a specific strategy. Arrive about four hours before the gates opened, work as part of a team so that one could run the length of the Fair Grounds Race Course to claim a viewing area at the Acura Stage while another carries all the equipment, apply sun screen, and wait for the last performance of the day--Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
So, this was our location for the day, set to hear four acts and missing some 50 other performances on the 11 other stages. Waiting for the Boss.
But to imply that waiting period was merely a time-filler would be doing a great disservice to the performers who preceded THE
What a lineup.
Beginning with Jumpin' Johnny Sansone. His music draws from swamp-rock, blues, zydeco and had the crowd on its feet with an enthusiastic response.
Then began a series of emotional performances.
"Seventeen days after Hurricane Katrina, Troy 'Trom-bone Shorty' Andrews stood in the middle of Jackson Square, trying to bring some life to a city facing widespread destruction. Lit up by a few news cameras, Troy and his brother James played their horns to
“New Orleans,” Troy says, “is everything to me.”
Brought up in Treme, the New Orleans neighborhood known as
And then he picked up the trumpet. His exuberance and mastery of this instrument were simply amazing.
(The photos of the crowd were taken off the screens adjacent to the stage.)
Of all the selections, his "Save Our Wetlands" had the most
And then--at three minutes past the scheduled start time--the crowd began calling for Bruce. What followed over the course of the
This impression is based on the following article: "On (April 30, 2006) Bruce Springsteen and his Seeger Sessions Band presided over a mass wake/therapy session/group hug/house party that touched nerves still raw eight months after Hurricane Katrina and its levee breeches rendered New Orleans a sudden ghost town.
We left with an understanding of the ability of Bruce Springsteen to connect with the emotions of the audience. We were exhausted, but left singing "Pay Me My Money Down."