- wadE

Long before the Superdome,
Where the Saints of football play,
There's a city where the damned call home,
Hear their hellish rondelet:

New Orleans!
Home of pirates, drunks, and whores...
New Orleans!
Tacky, overpriced souvenir stores...

If you want to go to hell, you should take a trip
To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip':

New Orleans!
Stinking, rotten, vomiting, vile...
New Orleans!
Putrid, brackish, maggotty, foul...

New Orleans!
Crummy, lousy, rancid and rank...
New Orleans!

- The Simpsons

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in The Big Easy...no, not your mom! Ha ha ha... I'm talkin' 'bout New Orleans!

I was down there specifically for Jazz Fest, which is actually called The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and my ticket just called it the "Louisana Heritage Fair"... but I digress.

A very small sample of the performers that were/are there (NOTE: they have 10 stages... with approx. 6 different acts throughout the day on each stage... and it runs for 7 days (fri-sun and then thurs-sun)... you do the math!)

Counting Crows (missed them...heard them over our friends cell phone when I called upon arriving in Louisana), The String Cheese Incident, Galactic, Lenny Kravitz, Indie.Arie, Frankie Ford, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Teddy Pendegrass, Wynton Marsalis, Melissa Etheridge, Blues Traveler, Bonnie Raitt, I think the entire Neville family, Better Than Ezra, Jimmy Buffet, Phil Lesh (of the Grateful Dead) & Friends... and rumor has it a Dead reunion might happen! (Glad I'm not going that weekend!)

Since I got in late on friday, that night we hit the french quarter. I can see why they call it that, it reminded me very much of the side streets of Paris...including the smell :-D. Once you make your way to Bourbon Street...all hell breaks loose. It's pretty much exactly how you see it on those Girls Gone Wild commercials. Just packed with drunken people. Many standing on balconies of bars yelling down, "Show us your tits...show us your tits!" Which even on a "quiet" friday night, some women are more than happy to do. What a concept! I demand this be incorporated into every major city!!!

If you are from a reasonably sized city, imagine after a street party in dead of summer. Lots of spilled beer and liquor, some vomit, some urine, discarded food of all kind...it's been HOT ALL DAY. Ok, that is how Bourbon Street is every day! So you can imagine the fun stuff you see and smell.

That sign about sums it up!

Now don't get me wrong...if you are into the hot, crowded, sweaty bar scene, this is your place! As a matter of fact, I think it has ruined me from going out downtown ever again. If I want stinky, packed bar scene, I might as well take the weekend and fly down. Though, I'm not sure my liver could take a whole weekend on Bourbon Street...

Anyway, after 1.5 hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's, I was feeling really good...I was sweaty and stinky, but way too drunk to notice. I could barely form sentences.


Saturday: Jazz Fest. Held at the local fair grounds on the infield of what appears to be a horse racing track. Lots of food, arts and crafts, and of course, music. Good Stuff!

Mudbugs?...and you want me to eat that?

The highlight of the day was Lenny Kravitz. Though I realized that the reason you always hear the same Lenny Kravitz songs over and over again on the radio is because the songs you haven't heard suck. His musical performance was very good, but very little crowd interaction, he barely even spoke into the microphone.

There's Lenny...right there! Ok, let me zoom in...

Ahhhhh...too close...too close!

Saturday night: Recovery. Did I mention it was hot down there? And sunny? Even with 30 SPF sunblock, I was already nursing a lovely burn, but well worth it.

Sunday, back at the festival. This time we staked out a much closer spot to the main stage much earlier in the day. Some would say, a little too close.

Whoa! That's more lesbian than I can handle!

On the flip side of performances was Melissa Etheridge. She was very chatty with the crowd. Almost too chatty, but her fans (who throughout the day surrounded us until we were an island of heterosexuality) loved everything she said and did.

After a few songs us guys started to feel very unwelcome...so we decided to check out Cowboy Mouth. You know, they had that song on the radio.. "Jenny sayyys turn up the radio...Jenny sayyys turn out the lights..."

Don't let Fred scare you...these guys are really good!

Cowboy Mouth is from N.O., so that probably helped them, but wow! They had tons of energy and really got the crowd into it. I was just blown away by their performance. I also like Fred the drummer, he does most of the singing, and he has this funky almost "standing up playing the drums" style. Anyway, they reminded me of a harder rock New Orleans version of my beloved Gear Daddies. Songs about booze, chicks, and life in general. Good stuff! I can't say enough about them.

By the time we wondered back, Melissa Etheridge (who started 10 min. late) was done (about 20 min. early). So what was scheduled as a one hour forty-five minute show came in at an hour max! But that didn't bother us too much! :-)

By the end of Sunday my sunburn was in full effect, and it was time to high tail it back to Baton Rouge to catch a flight the next morning. Yes, Baton Rouge...during Jazz Fest it's $400 cheaper to fly there instead of New Orleans!

So that was my trip. An excellent time was had by all, and I highly recommend N'awlins for a weekend of drunken debauchery! One odd last thing...the new capitol in Baton Rouge is the only non-domed captiol I've ever seen.

How Bizarre!

- 05/02/2002

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