Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest In New Orleans For A Historic Performance

The Jazz & Heritage Fest in New Orleans kicked off this weekend for round two. Day one of weekend two was on Thursday May 2 with headliners The Rolling Stones on the Festival Stage and dozens of other artists showing fans the soul of New Orleans music. The Rolling Stones proved to be a show for the history books.

Jazz Fest has only changed the traditional backdrop for the main festival stage on one occasion in my memory of the festival before last Thursday. Katy Perry had a local artist create a custom painted pink background for her special headlining set in 2019. On Thursday, fans arrived to a main stage with a customized colorful backdrop with the band’ s Hot Lips Logo emblazoned in a multi-colored geometric print.

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Samantha Fish was our first stop at the main festival stage to see her tear up the guitar riffs while wearing a black leather bodysuit to get the crowd fired up for the Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Before the Stones on the Festival Stage we saw Dumpstaphunk, a local funk and jam band. The group dedicated their performance to their bassist and vocalist Nick Daniels III who passed away days before the festival performance. The band placed his bass guitar front and center on stage in remembrance. 

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Still spotlighting Colombian artists, on the Jazz & Heritage stage the Colombian group Enkele delivered a harmonious performance. The all-women group uses traditional Afro-Colombian music and dance to raise awareness of the conflict in Colombia. 

The eclectic Honey Island Swamp Band closed out performances on the Gentilly Stage. We’ve photographed them at Jazz Fest for years and always look forward to watching them perform. Just last year we interviewed lead singer Aaron Wilkinson on their new album, which you can check out here.

Eden Brent and CC Adcock brought the Blues Tent alive earlier in the afternoon as crowds took in more piano and blues tunes on the guitar.

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys took to the Fais Do-Do Stage playing their classic take on Zydeco and Creole tunes. Broussard delivered soulful vocals alongside his masterful accordion playing, donning his signature cowboy hat. 

The Rolling Stones finally got their chance to play Jazz Fest after two years of trying. The rock & roll band was scheduled for the 50th Jazz Fest in 2019 but had to cancel due to Mick Jagger’s heart surgery. Their next planned appearance in 2021 was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The crowd was absolutely packed, reaching from the stage all the way to the racetrack. The Stones came out on stage as the crowd roared and opened their set with “Start Me Up” from their 1981 album Tattoo You to give the crowd a taste of their latest Hackney Diamonds tour. 

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Jagger greeted the crowd in a sequin red shirt and blue jacket saying, “We’re so pleased to be in New Orleans, and we’re so pleased to be playing here, at Jazz Fest.” The band then performed “Out of Time” before bringing on Zydeco accordionist Dwayne Dopsie, who rocked out with them on “Let It Bleed.”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

They then brought out Irma Thomas to sing a duet of “Time Is On My Side,” the first time the song has been played live since 1998. Thomas had written the original version which inspired The Stones to write a cover which became their first top 10 hit in the US.

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

After performing “Can’t Always Get What You Want,” Jagger spoke on inclusion and mentioned that Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry was in the audience and said, “We want to include him too, even if he wants to take us back to the Stone Age.” The crowd delivered a mix of boos and cheers at Landry in response.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Gov. Landry has spent the first five months of his term enacting conservative policies, which has clearly hit a nerve in Jagger. Landry responded to Jagger’s comment on X. He said “You can’t always get what you want. The only person who might remember the Stone Age is Mick Jagger. Love you buddy, you’re always welcome in Louisiana! #LoveMyCountryMusic.”

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The band also gave fans high-energy performances of their hits “Honky Tonk Women,” “Miss You,” “Gimme Shelter,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” After saying goodbye and leaving the stage, fans chanted “Stones!” until they came back on stage to sing an encore of “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” and closed with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” their first No. 1 hit in the U.S.

The Rolling Stones Take Over Jazz Fest
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

We’re looking forward to the last days of Jazz Fest 2024. Stay tuned for more details on the following festival days! 

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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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