French Quarter Fest Day One
April 11, 2008
BY JASON SONGE
The main reason I went out to the river, besides the food(jambalaya from Barreca's!), was The Tin Men. Thankfully, they shyed away from their slower, ballady, bluesy songs for their hour and a fifteen minute set. Someone told me the festival extended the sets this year, making it more difficult for groups to get on the schedule. This seems right, but it's still heresay.
The Tin Men won the crowd over little by little with their occasionally funny lyrics and obvious joie de vivre. No disrespect to Chaz, who's awesome, but Friday was the first Tin Men gig when I thought, "If these guys had a drummer, they'd kill." When they were rockin' just on the cusp of overdrive, I wanted overdrive, but without a drummer it's hard to get there. Chaz's song about big feet was great, but I was really waiting for "Blackbird Special" and "Immigrant Song," and sure enough, those were the songs they closed with, in that order. They do "Blackbird Special" so well, and "Immigrant Song" is just a gem of joy. How can you not smile when a washboard, sousaphone, and guitar band plays Zeppelin, especially one of their most bombastic songs. McMurray took his vocals over the top, and it was hilariously awesome. He WORKED that drama--"VALHALLA, I AM COMING!" I'm surprised his hat didn't fall off.