I wasn’t supposed to go to Jazz Fest and see MynameisJohnMichael or Trombone Shorty, and I surely wasn’t supposed to eat a soft-shell crab and a Cajun duck po-boy. I was content with recommending to some friends that they should catch the New Orleans Bingo Show!. I wasn’t until my sister called with the offer of ten dollar tickets. While I couldn’t afford sixty dollar tickets with the wedding coming up, I definitely could afford a ten dollar ticket. Unfortunately, Cristina couldn’t make it due to a conference in Orlando that lined up perfectly with her sister’s graduation from UCF. However, Cristina did give me her blessing to attend Jazz Fest.
Natalie, my type-one diabetic sister, had never been to the Jazz Fest. She had no particular band she wanted to see which fed directly into my plan of seeing all local acts.
We arrived a little later than I wanted. I wanted to see Shamarr Allen but we had to eat first. Natalie played safe with jambalaya, which she remarked was very good. I went straight for the soft shell crab po-boy which is always my first stop at Jazz Fest. Along with a coke and a diet coke, I bought a couple of waters to ward off dehydration later in the day.
We then headed to the Gentilly stage where we caught the end of Allen’s set. We then waited for MyNameIsJohnMichael. I had heard the band a couple of times on last.fm and like what I heard. I was waiting to see their set before I purchased anything. Well, I went home and bought his album on iTunes. The way I figure any band that bangs a chain on a garbage can is a band that I have to be a fan of. Between sips of water she told me she really liked this band which was really impressive since she is more into radio pop.
Next up was Trombone Shorty. We made friends with the people around us. I told a guy from San Diego that if he like Trombone Shorty and Bonerama that he should also check out Galactic. Natalie was shocked that most of the people enjoying herbal refreshments around us were older than us. She asked if the cops did anything to which I responded they have selective eyesight at events like this. The couple in front of us was talking to a girl standing next to them. She was telling them about the food. The couple stated with an air of snobbery that they hadn’t tried any food at the Fest. The girl, who was from Alabama if memory serves, asked where they ate. They replied Brennan’s and Acme House. The girl from Alabama responded without thinking “oh, touristy kind of places”. I couldn’t help but laugh. They looked at me incredulously. I told them I’ll give them Brennan’s but yeah I feel like Acme is kind of touristy. I told them they aren’t truly experiencing Jazz Fest without sampling the food. When they asked for recommendations, both the girl from Alabama and I said everything.
Trombone Shorty came out hard. Natalie was really enjoying it. Everyone except the girl in front of me was enjoying it. I would have preferred she suffer in silence but she had to make sure she told everyone. Then, all of a sudden Natalie starts to become unsteady. She went from dancing and clapping to looking like death in under a second. I quickly assumed it was her blood sugar. She was trying to tell me it wasn’t her blood sugar but she could only speak Charlie Brown’s Teacher at this time. With the help of the people next to us, we got her on the ground. The same people who were enjoying the herbal refreshments were now identifying themselves as doctors and offering their help. (God, I love Jazz Fest.) I gave her the second bottle of water as they checked her pulse and made sure she was ok. Her blood sugar was fine so it was just a quick onset of heat exhaustion. After she sat down for a little while and drank a bottle of water (which I think Shorty held one note for the same amount of time…it was that impressive), we left the crowd and Trombone Shorty behind.
Natalie seemed fine, but I figured we needed to go to the cover tents to relax and get out of the sun. Plus, I figured we both had to give thanks and get right with the lord. Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries definitely put on a show while Natalie recuperated.
We ended jazz fest with two po-boys, Cajun duck for me and fried alligator for Natalie, and part of the New Birth Brass Band’s set before we decided to leave. We also listened a little to Jimmy Buffet without getting near the crowds. We did get to hear the Strokes perform “Last Night” from the shuttle back to our car. Exhausted and thankful to both be well, we headed home.