In case you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps have missed all of our awesome coverage at LMB NOLA, has officially begun and gone two days deep into the swampy . Today is one of those days that people will be talking about for a while headlining the fairgrounds two and a half hours scheduled ( talks about him playing past curfew anyway). Should shape up to be an epic day. But for me, I need to recap where I’ve been so far and catch up a bit on my output over here. It’s a wonder how anyone gets any work done in this town. It’s just too

For uninitiated folks, could not sound any more “unimpressive” on the surface if you explained to someone “I’m going to this year…” I’d tell my family and they’d still think that Jazz Fest means ONLY jazz. But for folks that know, tt’s the annual time of year where takes center stage in scene and folks fly (and drive) in from all over the country to celebrate some of the best to ever be performed. And given that I’m flush with free time, I decided to spend both weekends of Jazz Fest covering what I can and seeing the rest through the lens of our talented LMB NOLA team, Wesley Hodges and Jimmy Grotting. I’m staying on their living room floor in a place walking distance to Tipitina’s, , and many other spots that I’ve yet to discover. And things started SO right for me on the trip that I’m still riding a high from playing the biggest gig my band has ever been booked for. So obviously I’m coming into this weekend quite happy and excited, and that all showed itself in the first night I arrived, Friday, April 27th.

We got started with us taking a quick stroll over to the Tipitina’s early show with and Mofro with openers The . This band straight killed it and per Wes these guys are a new local force that’ll be worth watching in the years to come. Great energy from the stage and was cranked so loud that I immediately wished I remembered my earplugs, but then I shrugged off that thought and “fuggit, I’m a Jazz Fest.” That’s been my mantra so far and it’s continuing to pay off.

After the , Wes and I got our way down to World, the spot where the Buku Music Project was held earlier this year. The big of and and was definitely something I wanted to see, but by the time the line let up and people actually got their will-call as intended, we caught only the last 10 minutes of and it was lights for in no time. Thanks to some VIP media passes we were upstairs in an empty space with no one around, except, well we did meet ’s mom at the show. She chatted me and Wes up a bit and she was beaming with joy about being able to casually talk to Jazz Fest and drop little nuggets of knowledge about her son that no one else would know. One of those great Jazz Fest moments for me thus far.

And the set they put on was billed as , so the use of laptops on stage was prohibited from ’s standpoint. That allowed them to get deep in their catalog and played a set of tunes like “Kaya,” “Wika Chikana,” “EB” and more. I had a blast at this show and was really blown away by how well was locked in on each other. It was so much more “instrumental” than I had felt like I had gotten out of their shows in the past. Saxton was raging the lights. All in all, this was a hard show to beat as the first major event that we saw.

Afterwards we found our way over to and we had just missed the end of the set there. We stayed on for a few drinks and strolled home. Onto the fairgrounds for Saturday …

Here are my quick snaps from around town as the night went on. Here’s the LMB NOLA recap from .

Tons more to come!

Ad Ops Nerd. Living that San Diego life. Chicago born and raised.