Instruments A Comin' Review & Photos – Tipitina's Uptown – April 28, 2008

On the Monday after the 1st weekend of JazzFest for several years, Tipitina’s has hosted Instruments a Comin’ to raise money for the Tipitina’s Foundation. The Tipitina’s Foundation was formed as way to help the musicians of New Orleans with the business side of the musical world as well as assist the up and coming talent with internships, workshops and providing instruments. A worthy cause indeed…

Now with bands such as Little Feat, The Radiators, Galactic, Dumpstaphunk and many others gracing the stage, these tickets were a hot commodity. I opted for the VIP tickets a few months back and with an open bar, food and opportunity to see some of New Orleans finest, it was not that difficult a decision to make.

First up was Little Feat for a set with just the VIP’s attending and starting off with standards such as “Spanish Moon” and “Dixie Chicken”, I knew this was going to be one hell of a party.

While I was stuffing my face full of gumbo and pulled pork po-boys outside, Donald Harrison and the Tips Interns took the stage and from what I could hear through drifting through the doorways, these youngsters certainly have quite a future. On drums was Eric O’Neal, the young man who played with Rocking Dopsie on Sunday at JazzFest and also played a young Ray Charles in the movie Ray.

Next up was Dragon Smoke, a relatively new band with Ivan Neville on keys, Robert Mercurio on bass, Stanton Moore on drums and Eric Krasno on guitar. Although they only played for a short 30 minutes, I am hoping to catch another performance in the city before I depart. A huge collection of talent and these guys rock.. A must see if they come to your town.

Ivan then stepped outside for his induction into the Tipitana’s Walk of Fame and is being joined this year by drummer extraordinarre, Johnny Vidacovich. Who is Johnny V?? He has probably taught most of the young drummers in New Orleans, including Galactic’s own Stanton Moore. Two very deserving individuals…

Galactic was mid-set by the time I walked back in and Johnny Vidacovich even came in for a cameo on drums with Stanton. These guys were so smoking hot that the fire alarm went off. Did they stop??? No….

Little Feat came back for a delayed encore and then The Radiators went front and center and raised the bar to a whole new level. I have seen these guys numerous times over the years and they still have the stamina to delight the crowd just as well as they did 25 years ago. To top it off the man with the funkiest bass ever, George Porter Jr., even made an appearance.

Ivan Neville made another showing along with his band Dumpstaphunk and even had Uncle Cyril Neville and The Meters Zigaboo Modeliste providing a whole new dimension to how funky the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Napolean Ave. can get on a Monday night.

Even with a few more bands still left to go, I bailed at about 12:30 to head back to the hotel. A full belly, a slight buzz and satiated after hearing some New Orleans Royalty taking the pulpit at the Church of Tipitina’s. Yeah, my life really sucks….