I had a rare and well-timed day off from playing Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Having missed the entire season of Wednesday at the Square so far this year, I finally made it down to the concert series benefitting the Young Leadership Council. I missed most of Hot 8‘s opener after running into a coworker on the street while walking to the show, but I arrived in time to see some of my beloved Saints join some Saintsations on the stage for a rousing rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In. Who Dat!?!
I ate yummy festival food and wound through the crowded park feeling grateful to be out among New Orleanians enjoying another community event. I’m spoiled enough to be able to compare Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue concerts. The last one I attended was on day 4 of French Quarter Fest last month (sorry I never found time to write about it and post the amazing photos). The still-very-young band just keeps getting better. Pete Murano and Dan Oestreicher were on fire.
The band played hits from For True (2012) and the was Grammy nominated Backatown (2011) as well as standards like Professor Longhair’s Second Line, during which everyone whipped out their umbrellas to second line dance. Big Sam joined the festivities for the song, playing trombone and giving his hips a grind or two. We sang along to many of the song and never stopped dancing.
I love my job and being on the set everyday has been pretty magical but I’ve missed the reality of a Wednesday in New Orleans. I looked around at the people in suits and pearls dancing after work, a toddler sitting on shoulders and holding up a trombone with his tiny fist, DancingMan504 kicking his feet up and bringing smiles to everyone and I became overwhelmed with joy to be spending a day in Lafayette Square listening to amazing live music surrounded by my community. I even spotted a few people from work in the crowd. My L.A. life and my NOLA life are braiding together now and, so far, it’s great!