Broadsides, Boyfriend Best at Jazz Fest Thursday, and Friday Highlights

Think of Thursday at a test drive for this year’s Jazz Fest. The lineup was a Locals Thursday lineup and lacked the firepower to get a lot of people out to the Fair Grounds, and the morning rains further discouraged attendance. For that reason, the first day of this year’s festival didn’t feel like much of an event, but there were still some impressive shows. 

Nas Loved Jazz and Harry Connick Jr. Needed a Shave at Jazz Fest Friday

First Friday felt more like Locals Thursday at Jazz Fest yesterday. The festival didn’t overcrowd the lineup with big name talent, and the crowd was correspondingly comfortable. You could get close to most shows without being a jerk, but if you preferred to be a relaxing distance away, you weren’t lonely. The biggest audience of the day congregated at the Gentilly Stage for Trey Anastasio, but Harry Connick Jr. at Acura and Nas with The Soul Rebels at Congo Square had solid crowds as well.

Jazz Fest: Ms. Lauryn Hill Delivers

After a Jazz Fest that has had an unusual number of performers late to the stage, it was a pleasant surprise to see Ms. Lauryn Hill take the Congo Square Stage right on time Friday. Or, to be precise, her show started promptly at 5:45. Her DJ warmed up the crowd with 20 minutes of R&B, dance hall, and hip-hop including a minute or so of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.” Then, Hill came on stage wearing a cardinal red jacket over a bold, black and white striped dress with a high lace neck.

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