By Ty Simmons
Part One of our Jazzfest coverage was focused solely on the Fair Grounds, featuring previews and schedules of prominent and upcoming acts performing on one of the festival’s 12 stages. But Jazzfest is strictly a day festival, and there’s much to do in New Orleans after the gates close.
The energy of New Orleans is in no way inhibited by the setting sun.
Thursday, April 24 is technically a day before Jazzfest begins, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t festivities leading up to its opening. Le Belle Galerie will host its annual Jazzfest Kickoff Block Party on the 300 block of St. Charles Street. The Rebirth Brass Band, Revelution Steppers, and The Revealers will be playing from 3 to 7 p.m.
Slightly Stoopid is set to perform at the Joy Theater with Mariachi el Bronx and The Expanders. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the first act starts at 8. The Soul Rebels play their weekly Thursday show at uptown dive bar Le Bon Temps Roule. Doors at 11 p.m. Expect some Jazzfest-fueled energy.
Friday, April 25 has some energetic after parties following the first actual day of the festival. Blues guitarist John Mooney will perform at Carrolton Station at 10 p.m. Howlin’ Wolf will host Dumpstaphink performing Led Zeppelin and Gravity A performing Talking Heads at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m., respectively. Galactic will play a sold-out show at Tipitina’s at 2.
Saturday, April 26 will see Pretty Lights performing with his full live band at Champions Square. Also performing will be the Preservation Hall Brass Band, Eric Krasno, and Hot 8 Brass Band. Doors at 8 p.m. and show begins at 9.
Jam band moe. will play the Civic Theater this night, with Moon Taxi opening. Doors at 8 p.m.; show at 8:45. Big Gigantic, Branchez, Giraffage, and Gravity A will play the Joy Theater. Doors at midnight.
Dumpstaphunk will preview their May 4th show at the Acura Stage with a show at One Eyed Jacks at 9 p.m. The Publiq House will showcase Flow Tribe and Naughty Professor, also starting at 9.
Sunday, April 27 will close out the first weekend with Mogwai at the Civic Theater, a direct follow-up to their April 26 show at the Varsity. They will be playing with space rock band Majeure.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears play at 9 p.m. at Tipitina’s. Doors at 8.
The Creole Queen Riverboat hosts a booze cruise of sorts this night, from 8 to 11 p.m. They’ll be showcasing a Superjam featuring artists from Big Gigantic, STS9, Trey Anastasio Band, and Dumpstaphunk. The ship sails every other night of the first weekend, as well.
Thursday, May 1 starts off the second weekend of Jazzfest, and the second round of afterparties and shows. Flow Tribe plays at Bamboula’s Festival Hall Theater with Trumpet Black & the Heart Attack at 10 p.m. Anders Osborne plays with Greensky Bluegrass at 9 p.m. at Tipitina’s. Doors at 8.
On Friday, May 2, Gov’t Mule plays at The Saenger Theater at 8:30 p.m., and North Mississippi Allstars open.
The Iguanas play with Kermit Ruffins and Bonerama at Rock n’ Bowl starting at 8:30 p.m., and Galactic plays at Tipitina’s again at 2 a.m.
Saturday, May 3 shows Grouplove at the House of Blues at 7:30 p.m. Doors at 7. The New Mastersounds play at the same venue at 1 a.m.
Soul Rebels plays a De La Soul set with Rahzel from the Roots at the Howling Wolf at 9 p.m. Break Science also performs a set with Inspectah Deck (of Wu-Tang). Doors at 8.
The Revivalists play with The Motet and Earphunk at the Joy Theater. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9. debauche plays from 6 to 8 p.m. at Seahorse Saloon.
By Sunday, May 4, almost everybody is partied out by the time Trombone Shorty finishes his final headlining set. There’s a smaller amount of notable activity going on, including Rebirth Brass Band’s album release party at Howlin’ Wolf. Doors at 9 p.m.; Show at 10.
Maple Leaf hosts Funk’n Stay Up Y’all, a 3 a.m. show featuring Marco Benevento Band, Dave Drewitz, and Andy Borger.
The Republic New Orleans hosts their second straight night of an event called Dead Feat, featuring Anders Osborne and other notable New Orleans musicians. Dumpstaphunk performs at Tipitina’s with The Royal Southern Brotherhood and DJ Soul Sister. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9.
That’s all for after parties, but before the festival has treats too. The Sync Up Conference, held on April 25-26 and May 2-3, is put on by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the same organization that organizes Jazzfest. The conference discusses topics ranging from the music industry to developments in technology to indie movies.
Admission (and beer and food) is free but requires online registration. It takes place at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and runs from 9 a.m.– noon each day it’s held.
Jazzfest has a lot to offer within the Fair Grounds, but if all the live music you see is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., you will miss out on some quality shows. New Orleans is set to be an all-around exciting town for these two weekends.