That little Batiste on stage the other night reminded me of my favorite jazzfest moment. I finally remembered where I put this story, that I wrote in 2005.
At that time, It thought the closest I would ever come to seeing The Original Meters was that night I saw each of them in different shows. Little did I know that I would see them all together in an amazing show a few fests later. After that, I saw them in NYC, Vegas, and FL. After that, I found myself done and wanting The Funky Meters back.
My favorite jazzfest moment:
My first jazzfest was 2002. I had wanted to go for years, but I used to have an exam that week. I was already seriously into The Funky Meters and had started exploring other NOLA music.
I was in a state of complete joy for the entire fest - I go for the whole thing. I go all out and see as many night shows in the clubs as I can as well. The music helps me stay awake, but my legs usually tire out. Often The Funk makes them move any way, though.
I found myself that year constantly being pulled to stages based on what I was hearing while walking by. There were some days where I wanted to leave early (I rarely stay for a whole headliner show so I can get some sleep for the night). I usually left for the day when my legs felt like they couldn't move another step. Yet, on my way out, always, I would hear something and think "what's that I hear", and my exhausted legs would just start taking me towards the sounds. This happens to me a lot at jazzfest.
One day, I thought I was about to collapse so I started leaving. Almost made it out of the gate, but then, "what's that I hear". Funky. My feet were taking me to the Kid's tent of all places. The Kid's tent! I walk in and there is a 10 year old drummer on stage, Alvin Batiste, being coached by Russell. The other guys were seasoned musicians I do not know. Well, little 10 year old's band had me dancing what was left off.
If I had to pick just one, that's the one. At least at the festival.
The one for the clubs was the 2nd Sunday night. Started at the Orpheum Theater to see The Funky Meters. Then onto Howlin' Wolf to catch the last couple of songs for a Cancer benefit - Zigaboo, Teresa Anderson, John Gros, and some others. Then, quickly up to Blue Nile to catch the end of the Leo Nocentelli with the Batiste Brothers set. Back to Howlin' Wolf for Zigaboo's Funk Review whole show.
Each band did the Meters song "Africa". Waiting in line to get into Howlin Wolf for the Zigaboo show, I had The Funk for the first time. For the real first time. There was no music and I couldn't stop dancing. Someone in line asked me what song was in my head and I told him "Africa". I was really going at it. I didn't stop dancing until 7 am. It was amazing.