After putting on a stellar show as the closing act for the ACURA STAGE at this year’s lJazz and Heritage Festival on may 5th, Shorty, aka Troy Andews, aka Trombone Shorty took off to perform in Pennsilvania at the Weis Center on the 17th. The next day he was Maryland at the Chesapeake Bay Blues Fest.
On Wednesday May 22nd he returned home to perform at YLC’s Wednesday In The Park series. The crowd that turned out to see New Orleans’ newest super star was impressive. The weather was near perfect, at least by New Orleans’ standards. A warm and humid 80 degrees, sunny, and almost no breeze to speak of. It was wonderful.
There were two opening acts for the evening, West Bank Mike, and The 610 Stompers.
When I arrived, Westbank Mike and his band were well underway. The music was tight and funky. I recognised a few of the musicians making up Mikes’ band. Irene Sage was singing backup vocals, and Ian Smith of several bands around the city (one of which is your’s truly band) on trumpet for a few tunes. I found Mike to be a really good guitar player and singer. The crowd thought so to, and showed it throughtout Mike’s performance. Playing a mix of cover favorites and some original songs, Mike’s show was well recieved. I’d never caught this band before, but will be on the lookout from now on to see them perform again.
Next up were “The Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Moves”, The 610 Stompers! These guys are a hoot! Dressed in their trademark powder blue shorts, with calf high white crew socks, and golden sneakers, these guys are something to see. They filed into a roped off section in front of the stage 12 to 15 strong, with three members on stage, they launched into thier special brand of dance backed by recorded tracks of “I Like Big Butts” by Sir Mix-A-Lot. From there it was 25 Miles by Edwin Starr. You literally can not take your eyes off these guys, always entertaining.
After the Stompers finished, the barricades in front of the stage were removed causing a push to get as close to the front as possible by the audience. I was lucky enough to be able to get right down front before the pushing and shoving really got too intense. It was kinda like being at Jazz fest all over again. While my “wingman”, sorry, “wingperson” and go to photographer, “Lady Luna” of “Lady Luna Photography”, was safe and snug behind the barricaded section for the press photographers, I was left out to fight for my posistion along the front of the stage. The turn out was huge, especially for a Wednesday evening.
After a few minutes, it was time for the “man” to take the stage. His band of crack musicians kicked off a funky jammin’ groove, and Trombone Shorty strutted on to stage holding both of his horns (trumpet and trombone) high over his head. The crowd went wild.
He wasted no time getting into another spectacular show. Breezing through some of his hits from his three CD’s such as: ForTrue, Mrs. New Orleans, Something Beautiful, he kept the crowd engaged and hanging on his every move. He danced, he played both horns with equal exceptional skill, he sang, he did it all. The show never slowed, or faltered in anyway.
It is obvious that he loves this city, his home, and the people who love him. It is something special in today’s world of pre-recorded tracks, studio manipulation, etc. to see and hear a talent that is real, music that is really being played, and a performer that really, from the heart, enjoys the oppourtunity to do it.
Great show. can’t wait till Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave. comes home again.