I’ve always said Fridays are the best day of the week, but First Jazzfest Day Friday is a special kind of great. I went with a bit of trepidation this year because, after all seven days with Kyndall last year, I was not sure how this year would stack up. It was definitely different, and I seriously missed her, especially when I ran into Bubbles (the Mr. B’s waiter who befriended us during our campout for Elton John last year) only minutes after entering the fairgrounds. (If you ever eat at Mr. B’s, ask for him. He’s awesome) The Gospel Tent wasn’t the same without her either, and I was feeling a little lost for a bit, but when you are as big a Jazzfest fan as I am, it’s hard not to have a good time. Certain things stand out as I reflect back on day 1, most good, some funny, and one in particular, neither of those at all. I’ll share a few of the most memorable.
~The food. Always. My Day 1 Jazzfest experience was sandwiched between a cochon de lait po-boy (roast beef, slaw, bread…yum) and a praline beignet. That’s right…a sugar-covered beignet filled with a sweet, gooey praline. Two big thumbs up for both!
~Meeting Chef John Besh at the Gentilly Stage. I didn’t want to be a pest, so I waited until the show we were watching was over, then told him we had eaten at Johnny Sanchez, the restaurant he opened with Aaron Sanchez, on Monday. He was very gracious and seemed to be having a great time at the fest. We talked about the beautiful weather, but I wish I had asked him what his favorite fest food was!
~Grace Potter. She is so talented and absolutely mesmerizing to watch. I think I took 300 pictures of her set alone. Her cover of Prince’s Kiss was great, and the Ooh La La/Iko Iko mashup she closed with had the entire audience at the Gentilly Stage singing along. She never disappoints.
~The weather. Warm but not hot. Sunny. Light breeze. No mud. How can that not make the “good” list?
~Ghost Sheet. One of my favorite items to carry in my festival bag is a sheet to sit on when I get tired. It takes up less space than a blanket and it much easier to tote around than a chair. What I was not expecting when I pulled the sheet out of my bag was the ghost face. Apparently, this sheet had been a Halloween costume in a previous life. I think he enjoyed Gov’t Mule, but it was hard to tell, as he remained somewhat expressionless.
~The Sticky Thing. If you embarrass easily (or are a guy), you may want to skip this one, but it was definitely memorable. As I was enjoying Grace Potter’s music, one of the little sticky things I occasionally wear in lieu of a bra decided to unstick itself and drop to the ground with no warning. If anyone saw, they were nice enough not to comment, and I’d appreciate if you didn’t, either. 🙂
~The Strange Compliment. Hey, I like a nice compliment just like the next girl (well, honestly, I find them very embarrassing and don’t take them well), but some are just weird. A much older gentleman, who was attempting to flirt with me, kept asking me if I was married. He threw a few compliments my way, the final one being how much he liked that I obviously regularly brushed my teeth. What? I’m not sure what he’s used to, but I thought that was pretty standard. He did get a good laugh out of me.
~Mr. Al. For the past five or six years, my Jazzfest experience has included Al, a very sweet man with a little grass lot on Dupre used for parking during the festival. I parked with him every day of the fest, and he would even save me a spot on particularly busy days. We would enjoy a brief conversation at the start and the end of each day. He knew my kids…called Griff “Cool Breeze.” When I got to the lot yesterday, Al was not there, and I learned from his nephew that he had passed away two months ago. It’s funny how someone with such a small role in your life can make an impact. Cool Breeze and I are heading over shortly, and we’ll still park in Mr. Al’s lot. I’m guessing we always will, but we will miss you, Al.