Saturday, May 25, 2024

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap With Big Freedia, Fantasia And A Surprise Appearance By Arcade Fire

Day 3 of the Jazz & Heritage Fest in New Orleans brought out huge crowds to see country music star Chris Stapleton and rock band Vampire Weekend. The weather started out sunny but got cloudy as the day went on, providing some shade for festival-goers. 

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap

Boyfriend performed on the Gentilly Stage in a gray body armor costume. She always brings the performance art moments to the stage every year at the festival. Coining the genre “rap-cabaret,” Boyfriend brings life to every aspect of the words. During her set she brought out artists Denisia and 504icygrl to perform with her. The up-beat rap tunes were a refreshing twist for the afternoon crowd.  

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Molly Tuttle is one of the most exciting acts on festival stages. Her brand of bluegrass brings the traditional music to a modern audience. She wore a hot pink dress to join her stylish band of talented musicians on the main stage. We even got to see some of her award-winning guitar skills as she strummed away.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Big Freedia knows how to put on a show and she never ever disappoints with her dancers on stage at Jazz Fest or anywhere for that matter. Saturday was the day of hot pink fuschia stage outfits and Freedia continued that trend with a hot pink and purple flowing suit. Each dancer was highlighted as they performed their famous wiggle and signature bounce moves across the stage as she cheered them on. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The celebration of Colombia continued as Bomba Estereo dazzled on the Congo stage. The band had one of the biggest surprises of the weekend when they brought out Win Butler and Regine Chassagne from Arcade Fire to join them for a rendition of their hit “Everything Now.” The trio all stayed with the unspoken theme of hot pink outfits, standing out with accents of gold.

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Next on the Congo Stage was The Batiste Brothers Tribute to Russell Batiste. In September of 2023 Russell, New Orleans based drummer for multiple funk bands throughout his career, passed away, leaving his family and friends to live out his memory through music. Singing was Andrew Joseph accompanied by Russell’s father David Batiste on his keytar. The group also included Paul Batiste on guitar, Peter Batiste on keys and vocals, and his daughter Quanna Batiste.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Vampire Weekend closed out the Gentilly Stage playing songs off their new record to mixed reviews. The band sounded great but not everyone is loving the new album, which features more punk and jazz sounds versus their usual indie-pop sounds. The band did a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s The River song “Hungry Heart” after an audience member requested it as well as a cover of Bob Dylan’s “When He Returns.”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The band members all wore what they told the audience were thrift store finds of old Jazz Fest merch. They also announced that their bassist was sick with the flu, so the members would be taking turns switching instruments to make up for the lost band member. Despite these difficulties, Vampire Weekend got through their entire hour and half set with happy fans. 

Fantasia was the winner of the day. She strutted on stage in an outfit that featured tan leather chaps and told the crowd they were going to get their money’s worth. She told fans to take pictures as she posed for the shots and then told them to put the phones away so they got their money’s worth and if people want to see the show they should have bought tickets. She then proceeded to dance and give us all her energy singing a playful cover of “Lady Marmalade.”

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

We escaped the heat by heading to the Rhythmpourium Tent to see Michael “The Sheik” O’Hara. The accomplished pianist and singer wore a snazzy black suit trimmed with gold zig-zag accents. In just the past decade, The Sheik decided to come out of retirement to continue sharing his music with the world. 

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was a treat to see as I was leaving the festival for the day on the Sheraton Fais Do-Do Stage. The band is about to begin their Farewell Tour, so it was a bittersweet moment to finally experience them live. I love this band and I have seen almost every country band cover their songs for decades but I had never seen them live so it was a great way to close out Day 3 at the fest.

New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 3 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Stay tuned for our look Weekend 2 of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Words by Emily Cigan @emily.cigan and Amy Harris @thetraveladdictig

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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