Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oh No(la), More Flooding

About a half-hour into Russell Batiste & Friends' New Orleans Musician Benefit at the Lion's Den last night, an industrial icebox by the side of the bar broke and flooded a decent-sized chunk of the floor.

Unlike FEMA, the bar's alert staff responded swiftly and cleaned up the mess before it caused the complete evacuation of that part of the floor, before most people in the crowd even noticed it. But the irony wasn't totally lost -- you can't even make this shit up.

'Twas another great show at the Den, though, as several members of the legendary Batiste funk family brought the NOLA heat to the frigid Northeast with a solid crew of friends (Ween's Dave Dreiwitz, Phish's Page McConnell, The Bridge's Cris Jacobs, Soulive's Eric Krasno, free-agent drummer Adam Deitch and many more).

At one point towards the end of the night, there must have been 12-15 people playing on a stage built for no more than a comfortable six. The end result: an all-out assault of over-powering funk and jazz grooves coming from every which way. There were many highlights, but nothing beats a "Hey Pocky Way" with a number of Batistes on stage. The impromptu "Pass the Peas" also never hurt nobody.

Rumors had been circulating like lice at a summer camp that Trey and Mike would be sitting in with this lineup, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. And that wasn't a bad thing, because the show stood up well on its own without the added pressure of the tenth rumored Phish reunion in the last fortnight. These guys brought energy, they displayed soul, they played and sang with emotion, and they paid a deserving tribute to their hometown in a city that felt like home.

On a personal note, I've never been closer to the Chairman of the Boards, Mr. Page "Leo" McConnell than I was last night. The show was packed, and good views of the band were hard to come by. But after the Guaranteed Goodtime Trio -- Seiden, Mary and Scott -- showed up, I latched on like a barnicle to their hull and wiggled my way up to the side of the stage. Ten minutes later I stood two feet away from one-fourth of the bullies that stole all my money.

I could use that money these days, fuckers...'cuz I need a flash for my camera phone. The picture below was taken by a guy standing right next to me (I think), and the picture below his is the joke of a photo my camera phone snapped.

Above: Phisheads took this awesome shot of Page. Below: My shitty camera phone took this silhouette that could be anyone in the world, including but not limited to Robert Guillaume, Michael Chang and Maurice "The Rocket" Richard.

Slack Link of the Day: Since we're talkin' about NOLA here, I found this article to be really interesting: "Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans."

Slack Song of the Day: From the short-lived Vida Blue trio (Page, Russell and Oteil Burbridge on bass), here's Cars Trucks Buses, Get Ready and Sheep.

5 Comments:

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I freakin love you!

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger offpeak34 said...

that "hey pocky way" was awesome!

this was the first time i saw page since the end of phish...i feel like he's aged a lot in that time, but it was great to see him, and he sounded real good.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger offpeak34 said...

by the way, i must've been standing right next to you basically the whole show...i was standing right in front of page

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I love you too!

You know what, Elliot, I was lookin' for you, and I didn't see you. I knew you'd be there, though. I was only right in front of Page for about 10 minutes, then I moved back...he's like a zoo attraction, you can only stand that close for a little while then you have to let others get their turn.

The Pocky Way was indeed cool as hell, rocked my socks off. I was considering leaving right after that -- ya know, go away after a good note. But I stayed, and I'm damn glad I did.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger offpeak34 said...

yeah i managed to show up. i had 3 finals the last 3 days and now i have a break so i figured i'd leave my apartment and check out some sick music. i stayed near page for a bit and then dropped back to the wall opposite the bar area. it was packed...

 

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