Day 26 – May 1
Say child have you seen the Bourbon Street queen
She’s feeling it revealing it down in New Orleans that
Cajun Stripper queen
Dance, dance, dance little stripper dance while the music’s hot
Dance, dance, dance little Queenie do give it all you’ve got
Doug Kershaw – Cajun Stripper
Jazz Fest – Last Day
Up and ready for the last day of Jazz Fest. Kate has looked at the weather forecast and there is another thunderstorm due at 10 A.M. which is the time we normally leave to get to Iggy’s. I decided to delay our departure until 11ish to see what the weather is like. The Thunderstorm did not eventuate as predicted and come elven o’clock I am getting itchy to go. The girls gave decided that they do not want another wet and muddy day and they will stay indoors today. I set off at 11 for the walk around to the Transit Bus. Not sure if the Iggy’s shuttle will still be running at this time. Gotta admit that the weather is starting to close in but I can’t wimp out on seeing Neil Young today. I walked quickly down the street as a few heavy spots of rain are falling. The street lights are on and the bright lights of Bourbon St can be seen in the distance. It is very dark and fells more like dusk than late morning.
I got on the bus and the heavens opened once again. The Transit Bus would normally be chockers this time of day with Festival goers but today there are just three others. I am not even sure the gates will be open. After yesterdays rain and now with the rain starting again there is no way the grounds could have dried out.
I got to the drop off site for the festival and the rain is again torrential. Thunder and lightning and only a few punters are making their way towards the entry gates. I got under some shelter and waited for the worst of the squall to pass and then wandered over to the entrance. I had to wade through shin deep water to get inside the Fest but I can hear some music which is a good sign. Went and got some food. A Cuban Sandwich and found some shelter to eat.
I went and had a look at the Acura Stage where Neil will be performing from 3:15. Parts of the infield are no go zones with deep pools of water and the rest of the infield is one muddy mess. Some diehards are already staking out there positions.
Best bet is to head to the Blues Stage for Terrence Simian and some full-on Zydeco madness. Terrence finished up with ‘When the Saints.’ Yes. I have heard it many times but I still get Goosebumps when listening to 5,000 singing along. I listened to the full set for two reasons. 1. The music is great and 2. The rain is settling in again.
I made a dash for the WWOZ tent and just as I went passed the Gospel Tent they also burst into ‘When the Saints.’ I decided to wait it out at WWOZ for the hour until Neil Young is on. The rain is now very heavy again. Derek Guile came in and we sat and talked about music. It got close to 3 and I said to Derek that even though it is still raining that I would never be able to face Brian Wise again if I missed out on a Neil Young show just because of a monsoon and a little electric light show.
Derek and I made it o the Acura and waded through the water and mud to get a good viewing spot. I have never been this close to the main stage for a headliner like Neil before. The man came on stage right on time and blew the place away from the first song. It did not matter that the rain was still coming down and that we were both standing in ankle deep mud. He sure is a cantankerous old rocker is our Neil and an angry one at that. He has a very young band with him which includes on guitar the son of Willie Nelson. There will be no playing of ‘Heart of Gold’ today. Each guitar and sonic distortion intro took at least five minutes and then proceeded into extended jams. I really enjoyed the show. 40 minutes into the set and we had heard two songs. The crowd lapped it up. I read later that Brian Wise had stated that the 15 minute intro to Cortez the Killer was worth the plane ticket price alone. I made a move just as Neil was blasting out ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’, which finished the two hour set. What is that saying? ‘Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.’ Today I could change it to ‘Only alligators and music nuts go out in the pouring rain.’
I really did want to stay for the closing act in the Blues Tent. Arlo Guthrie was celebrating the 50 year anniversary of “Alice’s Restaurant. But I am just to wet, from the waist down, and I am starting to feel a little cold. Yes even in N.O. you sometimes get to feel a little cold. I jumped on a waiting bus and was back home in no time for a warm shower.
Another Jazz Fest under the belt. The second week sure was a wet one. Some say the worst weather in memory but I would not have missed it for the world.