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.

Our Schedules and Highlights for Jazz Fest's First Weekend

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell starts Friday, and it approaches, thoughts inevitably turn to the weather. Friday and Saturday look beautiful, but as of this writing, Weather Underground shows a 70 percent or greater chance of rain with thunderstorms starting at 10 a.m. and continuing into Monday morning. The takeaway: Enjoy Jazz Fest while you can.

A Quick Take on Jazz Fest 2017

What are the reasons to be excited by the lineup for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell? Not the top two lines of the talent release, which are filled with artists we’ve seen in the last decade. That’s certainly the case with Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Maroon 5. Will every Acura and Gentilly headliner this year be someone who has headlined the stage before?

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