The show started, and it was maybe two or three songs into the set when the band whipped into a frenzied call-and-response on “Eliza Jane.” I’m fairly certain that Anders had had also played this chestnut at Le Bon Temps Roulé, but this version was in a league of its own. What followed was a slew of killer New Orleans classics that had the crowd bouncing back-and-forth between a sing-a-long and an epic freak-out. Words really won’t do justice to this set, but I’ll just say that this set is exactly why I come to New Orleans. The band played the music I love, and there is nothing better than grooving along to these great tunes in a room full of friends. Sadly, like so many shows in New Orleans, there were no tapers, so this one will have to live on in my memory.
The original plan was to leave at setbreak to catch George Porter back at Howlin’ Wolf and then hope to grab a cab Uptown from there. However, the killer first set changed everything. It was unanimous: we weren’t going anywhere.
Set Two didn’t quite have the same spark, and guest sax Dicky landry and guest guitarist CC Adcock didn’t add a whole lot, but it was still quite good. It just couldn’t live up to the excellence of Set One, which was right up there with the best live music I’ve ever heard in New Orleans. The show ended with “Such a Night.” I know it’s blasphemous to say, but I’ve never been a fan of this Dr. John song…yet my attitude changed on Saturday. Suddenly, it all made sense, and it was great to share that moment with a bunch of my friends.
The Souls of NOLA – Photo by Greg Aiello.
Anders gives Kevin O’Day an assist. – Photo by Greg Aiello.
Everyone was gettin’ down in a major way. – Photo by Barrett.
Dino and Weize get their groove on. – Photo by J-R.
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