Jazz Fest Day Two: Phish, Robert Plant, Mike Gordon with Anders Osborne and More
As previously reported, Phish made their triumphant return to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival yesterday with a full two set show on the main Acura Stage. However, there were a number of other greats acts that performed at Jazz Fest yesterday, including Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Branford Marsalis and Anders Osborne.
Osborne treated the massive crowd at the Acura Stage to a fantastic pre-Phish set that featured a number of tunes from his 2013 release, Peace. The blues guitarist was backed by his usual touring band—Carl Dufrene, Eric Bolivar and Peter Stelling—as well as keyboardist Marco Benvento, who joined the group for the entire set.
While the boys from Vermont were doing their thing on the other side of the festival, Robert Plant was busy headlining the Samsung Galaxy Stage with his band The Sensational Space Shifters. The legendary singer devoted much of his set to his solo material, though the show also featured interesting takes on a a number of Led Zeppelin classics like “What Is And What Should Never Be,” “Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp” and “Whole Lotta Love.” “Black Dog” got a bit of a makeover, as riti virtuoso Juldeh Camara worked his traditional West African string instrument into the tune, while “Going to California” featured an appropriate change in lyrics (“Going to Louisiana with an aching in my heart”). Meanwhile, the Branford Marsalis Quartet set that closed out the festival’s Jazz Tent became something of a family affair, as Marsalis welcomed his father Ellis and brother Jason out for a rendition of “St. James Infirmary.”
With the festival proper coming to a close around 7:30, fans moved on to a variety of late night events across town. Osborne took the stage with his band (and Benevento) at the Howlin’ Wolf for a set that featured a sit-in from Phish bassist Mike Gordon, who went toe-to-toe with Benevento on the keys. A few blocks away at the Civic Theatre, Mike Dillon joined moe. on percussion for their first “Suck The Head” since September of 2001.
On the other side of town, things were just getting started at the Maple Leaf as the New Orleans Suspects got some help from Fred Tackett, Eric McFadden, Roosevelt Collier, Jennifer Hartswick and Marco Benevento. The eclectic show was then followed by 3am-til-sunrise set from Benevento, Mike Dillon, legendary New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich and surprise guest Oteil Burbridge.