How could I describe the sunset to a blind man or a passionate kiss to one who has never known love? I had seen aerial photos showing the beauty of the clouds stretching across the blue horizon before I had ever flown and thought I knew what to expect the first time I broke through the clouds in an airplane. As I looked across the clouds I let out a loud and shaky, “WOW!” to the amusement of the more seasoned travelors. For the next few minutes, “WOW!” was all I could utter.
Captain Brian has been telling me for a couple years about how great the French Quarter Festival is and about his friends in the band Bonerama, but his words failed to truly convey that feeling of “WOW!” that I experienced this weekend.
If you want to hear wonderful music on any day of the year, go to the French Quarter in New Orleans and you can go to most any venue and hear a wide variety of amazing sets but you won’t have touched the French Quarter Festival experience.
The French Quarter Festival 2011 had over 500,000 people in attendance and this year will have topped that by far, they had 20 stages that they filled with amazing performers, and the French Quarter was filled with music to the point you almost couldn’t walk without tripping over a performer but that still is just numbers and words.
Bonerama was one of the featured bands in this mix. That they rose to the main stage as the final performers of the night last Friday implies they are among the best of the best. Craig Klein and Mark Mullins formed Bonerama while playing with Harry Connick Jr., have been written up in Rolling Stone Magazine, and have been on David Letterman’s show so again, a no brainer that they are good. I had listened to their music online on the tinny speakers on my laptop and thought, “Yeah, Brian’s right. These guys are good!” Still it doesn’t touch the feeling of power that flows as they commit their all to their music.
I have heard trombone solos but have always thought of it as more of an accompaniment type instrument but Bonerama dances, sings, and plays other instruments in accompaniment to the trombone. You can see the joy that they pour into their trombones and feel the energy as it flows and floods around and through you.
Before the concert I met the band and thought they were just plain nice folks but after the concert I was truly blown away. It is one thing to know that they are part of the cream of the New Orleans music scene but to truly know what I am talking about you have to see them dance with their instruments, watch as they breathe life into them, feel the music vibrate through your flesh and reverberate through your soul.
After the concert I was still shaken by their music and awed to be in their presence, so please forgive the shakey quality of the video as they sat for an interview and just catch the last breath of energy I caught before they ran off to the House of Blues.