Shorty Gras is one of my favorite activities during Mardi Gras each year. The show is the official after party of the Krewe of Freret after their official parade that takes place on the Uptown route the first big weekend of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The event takes place at Mardi Gras World and as attendees arrive they walk through a labyrinth of Mardi Gras float history as they make their way to the main hall where the live performances take place. Food trucks are outside and a bar is flowing inside for late night snack and drinks to maintain a full night of energy of music and revelry.
This year Krewe of Freret Grand Marshall Trombone Shorty didn’t headline the event instead opting to sit in with Rebirth Brass Band to play New Orleans classics. The 2023 headline spot was turned over to Flo Rida to provide one of the most energetic sets of the entire Mardi Gras season.
Queen Freret XI Jessica Lozano and King Freret XI David Demsey were in attendance at the event continuing to celebrate their reign as 2023 royalty all night at the ball.
The evening kicked off with New Orleans natives Flow Tribe brining the funk as the riders from the Krewe of Freret rolled into Mardi Gras World after completing the parade route.
Mardi Gras Indian Cha Wa was up next with Frontman Honey Bannister dressed in traditional Mardi Gras Indian clothing. The talented band played songs off their critically acclaimed, grammy nominated album My People and songs that celebrate New Orleans.
DJ Khris Royal played dance hits on top of a Mardi Gras float inside the venue between live sets to keep people dancing as they waited for the live entertainment on the main stage.
Around 9 PM, Rapper Hot Boy Ronald took the stage and for a short but fun set. He sang a new song called “Mardi Gras Bounce” that is sure to become a new carnival season classic.
Ronald also called up the Tulane Football team who was in the house after riding on their green wave themed float in the Krewe of Freret parade. The Cotton Bowl Champions took the stage by storm after clinching the bowl game against USC by a single point margin to celebrate with Ronald holding up the Cotton Bowl trophy and posing for photographers while dancing on stage with the rapper.
Grammy award winners Rebirth Brass Band took the stage next playing a two- part set over the course of an hour. The first half of the set Rebirth played their original songs. For the second half of the show Trombone Shorty joined the band on stage and played along with New Orleans hits including a highlight of “When The Saints Go Marching In.”
Flo Rida closed out the evening singing all of his dance grooves and hits. No one in the crowd could stand still as he sang “Low”, “Wild Ones”, “Whistle”, “Good Feeling”, and “Right Round” during his wild set.
He took the stage and immediately picked up Mradi Gras beads and a green cowboy hat from fans to get into the Mardi Gras spirit.
Many fans got to join the fun as Flo Rida called up the ladies from the crowd to dance and twerk with him on stage. The Tulane Football team once again took the stage having the “best night ever” to dance and sing “GDFR” with the rapper as the men in the audience were called up on stage to join the party.
Flo Rida even toasted with crowd with a Celsius energy drink after his recent $82 million win in a breach of contract lawsuit against the company.
A few songs into the set Flo Rida brought out giant clock wearing surprise guest Flavor Flav to join him on songs and stay on stage for the remainder of the set.
Trombone Shorty also made a brief appearance with Flav and Flo as they sprayed the crowd with celebratory champagne bottles toward the end of the set.
Flo Rida never disappoints in his live shows and he was the perfect performer for this Mardi Gras celebration.