After the insanely epic Saturday I had down at Jazz Fest, I was unsure of how well my stamina would keep with me at the hot and humid fairground day we had planned to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band close out the weekend on the main stage with a two and a half hour set. Sure enough, the energy of New Orleans took over and me and Jimmy from LMB NOLA raged the day pretty hard in the hot sun. By the time we made it into the bed the next morning, we had see amazing music from Dr. John, Iron and Wine, The Boss himself and some of our favorites in Worship My Organ (Robert Walter, Marco Benevento, Skerik and Adam Deitch). It was a pretty good day front to back. Read on for a few photos and videos I’ve found from the sets that day.
We made a stop to get a frozen drink on our way to the fairgrounds, and it was necessary on Sunday with nothing but clear skys and a humid sun beating down on my already sun-burned neck. But our entrance the festival was unencumbered and we made it to the back of the main stage area to see most of Dr. John’s set start our way. The crowd was insanely packed in already for Bruce, which I had more than a few people comment about when casually talking to their friends or running into some other friends in the beer line. Everyone knew that they would pack the place, and Dr. John knew to play to that crowd big time and I really enjoyed the set.
Got my first taste of the crawfish monica that’s oh-so-famous there and it was just as good as I remembered it. After the quick recharge we made our way over to see Iron and Wine’s set. I caught a bunch of this at the ACL Fest last year and really came away floored by it. Since then I’ve gone back and dug into some of the catalog and really enjoyed the disocveries, but I knew I could only watch part of the set. And Samuel Beam commented on that right away when we saw him start his set. He said how he’d be front-loading the set because he knew we were all going to leave in 20 minutes anyway. Then I’m pretty sure he said, “I understand…. I would be if I could…” — which was quite the endearing moment and part of me wished that no artist would EVER have to go up against Bruce Springsteen on a headlining stage. Obviously Janelle Monae and Al Green can hold their own also, but based on the turnouts around the park it was clear that this was a Boss crowd.
I can’t speak all that intelligently about seeing a full Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show besides the fact that I was blown away by it without knowing any of the catalog instinctively at all. I mean, I don’t even really know “Born to Run” all that well. But the power that this band and this man specifically has on stage has always been something I’ve known to respect. And when I saw him do a solo show in an arena a few years back that literally made the hair on the back of my neck standup, I thought, “Okay yep, I’m a Bruce fan whether I know it or not.”
The set on Sunday only solidified that further, especially the way he repped on New Orleans so hard and brought out a set of covers fit for the mood of the festival.
His jam with Dr. John was killer, also…
He went about a half hour his scheduled time so we saw about three full solid hours of Bruce just doing his thing. It was great and he was clearly having a blast up there playing. But finally we got out of that sun and relaxed a bit to ease into the night. After a pizza break we headed down to Frenchman Street to get in on the Boom Boom Room Presents shows going on all week at Blue Nile. They had started earlier than Sunday but I was busy with STS9 and Greyboy Allstars the previous two nights, so I was glad to finally get back to my “home” turf style show that I get to see so often in SF at the Boom Boom Room proper. Plus there was some fire dancing happening nearby…
Tonight’s 10pm show at the Blue Nile was Worship My Organ, so it was my first time at Jazz Fest seeing Marco Benevento and Skerik (not to mention Adam Deitch). The four of them just completely and literally tore part of the roof off at this club. During the second set, a huge water (or something else?) pipe started leaking through the main portion of the dance floor which resulted in a huge flood of water right near where I was standing. Kinda reminded me of that One Way Station show back at Boom Boom Room where the disco ball fell on me… but I digress. The “worshippers” in the crowd were loving this show and it was a really great time, even if my crew had to bail early a little early on me. I stayed through the second set and caught them closing things out with a pretty wailing version of “House of the Rising Sun.”
I strolled out on Frenchman, hopped in the first cab I could find and headed off to Uptown to sleep…
Here’s how my day looked from my camera phone: