My favorite festival of the year is always the French Quarter Fest, the world’s largest free concert. Featuring only local food and music, the festival runs through Sunday expanding to 23 stages. We started the day, as always, at the Muriel’s booth in Jackson Square for a combo plate of Crawfish & Goat Cheese Crepes Shrimp & Eggplant Stuffing ($11). We stopped on our way to the river for Two Pieces of Fried Chicken with Potato Salad (or Cole Slaw) ($8) from McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’.
Then it was off to the Abita Stage in Woldenberg Park to see Mia Borders for the second time in 2 weeks. Her shows are like flipping through pages of her diary – heartbreaks, bad moods, love stories and secrets shared – all served up with her sassy, sardonic humor and the standing offer for “free, sweaty hugs after the show.”
DancingMan504 got the crowd on their feet then entertained everyone with his super-high jumps while we enjoyed a Plum Street Nectar Creme SnoBall ($3), the perfect treat for a warm, muggy day. Then my favorite brass band took the stage, Grammy Award winners Rebirth Brass Band. The played a few covers and traditionals but they’re best known for their originals. We sang along, danced ourselves sweaty and waved our hands in the air like we just didn’t care. It was awesome. Toward the end, bass drummer Keith Frazier’s grandchild, Sy’riah Jones, joined the band onstage. She may not be ready for a mic, but she proudly held her own with the big boys.
Between bands, I grabbed a Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($8) from Love at First Bite – another of my fest-food favorites. Then it was time for the legendary Allen Toussaint and his band to fill the stage. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee in both 1998 and 2009, Mr. Toussaint has had hits on pop, country and adult-contemporary charts and has been sampled on hip hop hits.
I’d love to write more about everything from the Natchez River Boat’s horn contributing to the show to the names of all of the incredible musicians, but I had to leave the show early to work and my schedule was overwhelming. Sorry so few links and photo labels this time.