It's been 10 years since Jazz Fest drew unprecedented single day crowds to the Fair Grounds - on a day that featured the Dave Matthews Band and Mystikal. No word on what today's attendance was, but maybe Mystikal is the key link as all stages were packed starting early in the afternoon. Jimmy Buffett closed the Acura Stage, and he seemed intent on letting all of Mid-City know as sound from the stage carried everywhere, bleeding heavily into nearby stages. Ms Lauryn Hill packed Congo Square (and she started at 5:38 p.m. in case you were wagering on something other than the Derby). The beginning of her set was marked by frantic fussing with the mic and sound levels, but her voice sounded good once she got going. The Strokes packed the Gentilly Stage and started late and finished early on a day that seemed to bristle with backstage drama. Julian Casablancas few attempts at talking to the crowd mostly sputtered, like when he said he stopped listening to jazz in the 1940s — he probably should have skipped trying to explain what that meant. But the band's hits sounded the same as they ever did, and that seemed to be just what the crowd wanted.
Also for the record, Kirk Joseph notified the crowd at the Jazz & Heritage Stage for his "Tuba Tuba" show that he plays the sousaphone. "Sousa—phone. Sousa—PHONE." The band then played "Walk Like An Egyptian," in case anyone was wondering if the band just plays brass band music.
One of the most impressive performances of the day on horn came from Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Orleans Avenue. Andrews played both trombone and trumpet, but he also showed how much he has grown as a frontman, handling James Brown songs with all the bravado of the Godfather of Soul. But the band still has its youthful exuberance intact, and members let loose on a cover of the Isley Brothers' "Shout." Andrews also worked in some moonwalking. The Gentilly crowd got a great show, and it's easy to imagine the band one day claiming a signature performance slot at Jazz Fest.