The Essence Festival starts this weekend, and it remains one of my favorite festivals in New Orleans. It’s a far less punishing way to see many of the acts that play Jazz Fest’s Congo Square Stage, but as they’re meant to be seen—suave, smooth, and not sweating their way through wardrobes that were never intended for the late afternoon Louisiana sun.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler clearly has no plans to grow old gracefully. Saturday at Jazz Fest’s Acura Stage, the lead singer spent much of the set having an obvious, onstage squabble with the sound engineer running the monitors, repeatedly pointing angrily at the wedges in front of him and his in-ear monitor. At one point, Tyler jokingly stopped short of hitting him in the face with the base of his mic stand, and Tyler missed the pick-up in “Sweet Emotion” because he couldn’t let it go.
The Spilt Milk crew picks this week's favorites, including Travis Garland, New Orleans' first acoustic bounce set with DJ Jubilee, Joan Baez, Gary Clark Jr., A$AP Ferg, Tryptophunk, Bill Cosby at Xavier, and the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival.
[Updated] Outrageous ticket costs have come to be expected over the years, with scalpers and secondary sellers buying tickets in bulk and manipulating market values. With the music industry in trouble, new strategies are being employed to keep tickets out of scalpers’ hands, to maintain fair prices for fans and provide artists and event organizers with a higher percentage of the revenues.