Jazz Fest 2016 has come to an end, and I’m reminded that much like Mardi Gras, I really to have a love/hate relationship with it. So this year, instead of embarking out to the fairgrounds, and reliving most of the things I dislike about Jazz Fest (the overcrowding, lack of shade, and rain aftermath to name a few), I opted to take advantage of several of the other events that corresponded with the two weekends. There was by no means a shortage of after fest activities and even an event or two between the weekends too.
Most notable, the 15th anniversary of Tipitina’s Instruments A Comin’. This year’s lineup was jam packed and included Galactic’s fifteenth appearance. The event also celebrated the Preservation Hall Jazz Band who played an amazing set. Even though the sets for the evening were short, you really do come away with a nice impression of what the event is geared up to. The charity is a major backbone in the education of New Orleans’ youth and sits perfectly between both Jazz Fest weekends.
The night shows were numerous and covered all types of genera’s of music, much like the festival itself. The shows I managed to get in included, Peter Murphy, Lucinda Williams, The Joy Formidable with The Helio Sequence, Rising Appalachia, Smashing Pumpkins with Liz Phair, Duran Duran, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. I could have easily gone to five or six more shows without hesitation, but I don’t think I could have handled it. This hesitation of sorts did have me miss some guest spot sit in’s, but you almost had to be there to catch those.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell which acts were just coincidence and those that were aiming to play during the two week span. Rising Appalachia and Smashing Pumpkins were both deliberate in their timings as well as Duran Duran and Lucinda. On the fence in my mind would have been the Peter Murphy show and Joy Formidable, but they did benefit from their placement either way. The Brian Jonestown Massacre was part of Austin’s Levitation fest, and made New Orleans the next stop.
Jazz Fest 2016 is in the books and even with the few detours that came with hosting such an expansive event, the experience will bring the crowds back to the city because of those unspoken truths are what keep the mystery and passion alive. Music is the heart and soul of our existence and the whole Jazz Fest experience is the perfect anchor for the festival season. You can see some of the set lists here and more pictures here and here.