October 30, 2020

2015-04-26 – The Times

2015 04 26 The_Times_Sun__Apr_26__2015_

J azz Fest in New Orleans steps
into high gear with The Who

By Cain Burdeau
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The
Who, the iconic British
rock band led by singer
and guitar player Pete
Townshend, took center
stage at the New Orleans
Jazz & Heritage Festival
on a wet and stormy Satur-
day.

The Who is performing
for the first time at Jazz
Fest. This year’s fest is
marked by the debut of an-
other icon of British rock
— a show by Elton John
next Saturday.

Crowds were a bit thin
due to stormy weather
that left the grounds wet
and soggy. But the music
lovers didn’t let the weath-
er bring down their mood.

“You have to experi-
ence J azz Fest in all its fac-
ets,” said Cindy Garner, a
lawyer from Texas who
had arranged a lawn chair
in front of the Fais Do Do
stage, which features
bands playing Cajun,
swamp pop, zydeco and
other Louisiana musical
genres.

Covered by a blue tarp,
she shrugged off the rain,
which at times turned into

downpours.

“The umbrella got
blown away somewhere!”
the 57-year-old lawyer and
J azz Fest regular said with
a smile and a pina colada
daiquiri in her hand.

She applauded the mu-
sicians. “They played all
the way through the rain.”

The rain didn’t dampen
the spirits of newlyweds
J uhree and Dean Miller of
Amarillo, Texas. They got
married in Jackson
Square on Friday and
were giddy with love on
Saturday.

“We don’t care!” Juh-
ree said, protected by a
rain poncho.

“Time of our life,”
Dean said. They were
there to see The Who.

Saturday’s lineup fea-
tures the usual mix of
genres of f ered at the f esti-
val’s 12 stages and perfor-
mance tents.

The festival, now in its
46th year, was to continue
Sunday and end next
weekend. It is Louisiana’s
biggest springtime musi-
cal festival.

Here are some of the
day’s highlights:

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THE WHO

The stop in New Or-
leans is the second leg of a
17-stage tour of the United
States this spring. The
band returns to the United
States for another multi-
city tour in the fall.

Despite the rain, many
fans showed up to see the
band, considered one of
the most influential of the
196OS-era.

“They’re a group I
grew up with,” said Felix
Dornier, a 63—year—old win-
dow treatment specialist
from New Orleans who
had never been to Jazz

Fest before.
His son, Brandon,
bought him a ticket so the

two of them could enjoy
The Who together. His son
flew in from Chicago.

“I couldn’t pass up a
free ride I ” he said, waiting
out a rain spell under a pa-
vilion where the festival’s
multicolored and funky
Hawaii—style collared
shirts and trademark fes-
tival posters were on sale.

He said he had thor-
oughly enjoyed his day,
which was spent listening
to Ellis Marsalis, the patri-
arch of his New Orleans
jazz musical family, and
an impressive gospel
quartet. He also loved the
food: He said he tried ya-
kamein, a savory Creole
beef noodle soup, and
crawfish in the sack.

THE OTHER BIG
SHOWS

The day’s final late af-
ternoon and evening
shows — when the biggest

names perform — feature
alt—country singer and
songwriter Ryan Adams,
nine—time Grammy
Award winner and
rhythm and blues singer
and pianist John Legend
and five—time Grammy
winner Robert Cray, a
blues guitarist and singer.

RAIN OR SHINE?

The weather turned
foul on Saturday and saw
lots of rain. Rain has often
drenched the festival in
the past, turning the
grounds inside a horse
race track into a muddy
mess. That was the case on
Saturday after thunder—
storms swept through the
New Orleans area. The
temperatures though
were warm in the low 80s
and festivalgoers dressed
for the occasion in rubber
boots, sandals and often
went barefoot. Many rev-
eled in the rain.

FEST FOOD

Jazz Fest is not just
about music but also culi-
nary treats. Besides nu-
merous Louisiana classics
— spicy boiled crawfish,
alligator pies, boudin, red
beans and rice — the festi-
val presents dishes from
top chefs at the Food Heri-
tage and Cajun Cabin
stages. Among the cook-
ing demonstrations: Bou—
din stuffed rabbit, craw-
fish bisque, gnocchi with
crawfish and basil, whole
grilled fish with jalapeno
chimichurri, chargrilled
oysters and shrimp and
fried turkey.