New Orleans was in epic party mode on May 5th with Cinco De Mayo, the 50th Jazz Fest and the Tri-Centennial of New Orleans! There were Cinco parties everywhere, there were fireworks by the river to celebrate 300 years of NOLA and at Jazzfest there were those bad boys from Boston, Aerosmith!
Jazzfest has grown over the years to celebrate not only jazz but all genres of music. There is the blues tent, the gospel tent, the jazz tent and so much more. Two big stages, the Gentilly and the Acura for the national acts coming to entertain the masses. For the foodie, there is so much great New Orleans food and drink to choose from! For the art lover there is artwork of all kinds to admire and purchase! There are parades that are going on throughout the day on the fairgrounds. A young couple got engaged in the middle of the crowd at the Acura stage early in the day. On the Acura stage leading up to Aero were Remedy, Lost Bayou Ramblers, the incredible Walter Trout, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk which brought major funk and New Orleans own rockers Cowboy Mouth who have played Jazz Fest an amazing 28 times!
It is an honor to play at Jazz Fest and this was not lost on the band from Boston! New Orleans is one of the original cities of great music in America! From Steven Tyler receiving a NOLA scarf that he tied to his mic stand to Sarasota’s part time resident Joe Perry saying “We knew coming to New Orleans that we needed to bring our “A” game and we hope we are doing that for you”! The crowd yelled its appreciation for Perry, Tyler, Hamilton, Whitford and Kramer. It was a setlist of Aerosmith’s greatest hits along with a couple of nods to Tyler’s Maui neighbor Mick Fleetwood with Fleetwood Mac covers including Peter Green’s “Oh Well” and Joe Perry singing lead on “Stop Messin’ Around. During the encore they paid tribute to James Brown with a cover of “Mother Popcorn”!
As relevant as ever “Janie’s got a Gun” and “Livin’ on the Edge” still pack a powerful punch of life’s realities in America. There’s the fun of “Love in an Elevator”, “Rag Doll” and “Dude Looks like a Lady”! Tyler took a hat from the audience and sang that big ballad “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”. You know that Hamilton bass line of “Sweet Emotion’ anywhere and the crowd went wild as soon as he hit the first note. Classic Aerosmith tunes “Dream On’ and “Walk this Way” closed out the encore of America’s best rock and roll band at the 50th Anniversary of Jazzfest!
Photos courtesy of Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography