History's a Part of The Meters, Shorty's Jazz Fest Finales

The annual nature of Jazz Fest makes it a perfect time to reflect on how things have changed--not just how the festival or the grounds have changed, or which musicians are no longer with us, but how the acts themselves are different. The Meters’ set Sunday exists in relation to all the other Meters and permutations of Meters members’ shows that I’ve seen—jammy ones, pop ones, metal ones, blues ones, and always funky ones.

Jazz Fest: Context Works Against Red Hot Chili Peppers

Everything is relative. At a Lollapalooza or a rock festival, Red Hot Chili Peppers are funky. At Jazz Fest, they’re a rock band. They love funk, and Flea can be a funky bassist, but their rock is stronger than their funk, and it shows in a place where funkier bands are all around. Sunday, they surprised almost no one when they brought out The Meters with Ivan Neville subbing for Art to join them on the set-ending “Give It Away.” The two bands jammed together at Voodoo in 2006, and Meters’ guitarist Leo Nocentelli played the Acura Stage a few hours before the Chili Peppers.

Jazz Fest: Jazz Fest Closes with Little Pink Cacti for You and Me

[Updated] Sunday afternoon, country singer Kacey Musgraves closed the Fais-Do-Do Stage with pink neon cacti on her stage. They were unassuming, slightly silly and of a piece with Musgraves and her band’s attire—self-consciously stereotypical country music wear with twinkling lights embedded in her blue boots and their Nudie suits. The presentation was novel on that stage, but it and the two video panels that flanked Ed Sheeran on the Gentilly Stage Saturday may signal a Jazz Fest change.

Jazz Fest: Sunday, May 3 at Jazz Fest

If Saturday's crowd at Jazz Fest wasn't record-breaking, it was at least enough to make everything difficult. When Davell Crawford's tribute to Fats Domino ended at 2:45, I started to head toward Congo Square on the track, but it was quickly clear that I was going to be shoulder to shoulder with people all way. After a resigned sigh, I went the other way. The upside? I walked by Astral Project in the Jazz Tent and saw a couple of songs before Jerry Lee Lewis started.

Clap Your Hands

This Week's Soundtrack looks ahead to shows by Fiona Apple, Animal Collective, Hoodie Allen, and the benefit for the preservation of Professor Longhair's house, as well as new music from Grizzly Bear, Dinosaur Jr. and Voodoo Experience acts Kaskade and the Gaslamp Killer.

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