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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

JazzFest review...and then some.

What a trip!!! I don’t know quite where to start. Guess the beginning?

My neighbor that lives behind me, Joy – the Jovi virgin, and I left St. Pete at 8:15 am. Well, that was the first time. When we really got underway it was 8:30. Okay, so I forgot to pack a second pair of shoes. The ride up was uneventful and fast. Ten and a half hours later we were at the hotel we were sharing with my friend Laura from Brandon and the Fiction Mistress. FM’s plans had changed, we were short a fourth for our room, so the four of us joined forces. And what fun we had!!!

Once we’d showered and had some adult beverages, appetizers from the club level lounge and relaxed, we met two more Jovi friends at Luke. What an experience that was. Thanks to FM knowing the chef, we were treated very, very well. The food was incredible and the service was top notch! Another bottle of wine and more adult beverages were on tap there along with amazing food, desserts and oh my god, the sheer SIZE of the burgers was mind-boggling....not that I ate one. I had some kind of fabulous stuffed shrimp. Although, I digress. We all had a wonderful dinner and when the bill came, they’d removed the adult beverages from the bill...and if I’m not mistaken, the desserts as well.

Since we were getting up before the crack of dawn to get ready to spend out day at JazzFest, rather than going out and painting the town, we all trudged back to our hotels with full stomachs and the excitement for the morning.

Saturday morning we arrived at JazzFest at 8 am, thinking that because it was Jovi and general admission that the place would be packed. It wasn’t. There were a handful of Jovi fans and another handful of JazzFest regulars there waiting to get in. One lady that was a JF regular served mimosas to everyone in line, saying it was a JF tradition for the second Saturday of every JazzFest and she’d been doing it for THIRTY years! They were delicious, but I quit at one knowing I’d be in the sun all day.



The first two acts were forgettable. Ouco(?) and I can’t even tell you the name of the second guy, although he had quite the following. Then it was Buckwheat Zydeco and they were great. I loved listening to their music and watching them play....well, in between sitting in the meager shade of the barricade. Oh yeah, after RUNNING towards the stage and setting up chairs and our blanket in the area reserved for them, Donna and I joined our new friends, the other Laura and the other Joy at the barricade. Our Joy and Laura opted for the chairs....and our other two, Gina and Barb were also at the barricade, but further down from us.

The sun was scorching, the sunscreen was SPF 50 or above and the bottles of water at $3 a crack were being consumed faster than they were coming out.....in fact, there was little need for bathrooms. Anyway, next to last was Dr. John and he was very, very good. Although by then the crowd had gotten seriously thick and getting out to get more water or food or even that rare bathroom break was difficult to say the least. At some point I had to get out of there, I think it was during Buckwheat. I found shade, water, food, bathroom, a misting tent and a big fan. Once I was cooled, fed and feeling better, I dove back in.

Fiction Mistress never left. She held her spot and even though we had formed a little ‘family’ around us, she wasn’t moving. I fetched water and brought her this mango freeze thing, but that’s it.



Then Bon Jovi hit the stage....well, after the New Orleans brass band came out and played ‘When the Saints Go Marching In”. I wasn’t in Vegas, so I didn’t know till afterwards they’d started that set with Livin’ on a Prayer too. Lost Highway followed that and then Born to Be My Baby. LOVED the break in BTBMB (see video). The guys looked rested and it was obvious from the gitgo that they were having a blast. It wasn’t long before Jon was wiping the sweat from his face and Richie’s pants were soaked in sweat. It was HOT! We’d talked before they took the stage about what songs they’d play. One of our girls said she wanted to hear In These Arms and we told her they didn’t play it that often. She was THRILLED when it came on. She wasn’t alone. Even though the set was vanilla, Richie’s solos were anything but standard. He WAILED on them and I was blown away.....although, he could .... never mind..... won’t go there.



The banter between Jon and Richie was funny. When Jon made the quip about the family, friends and people that had sex with various members of the band being in attendance and how now he knew what it took to get a backstage pass. Richie’s reply of “blow me” was priceless. I’ve heard the two of them exchange a lot of comments, but that one was new and FUNNY. They were both laughing.

Did I mention Jon got a haircut from Vegas to NOLA? It’s SHORT. Looks great and he looks younger because of it. Richie had a haircut too. I just wonder if David ever cuts his, never can tell.

Anyway, one hour and forty five minutes later they were done. Raise Your Hands, Shout AND Twist and Shout were all played. There wasn’t a slow song in the bunch and that includes ITA. They ROCKED the place.

Then we had to find a way back to the hotel. We’d cabbed it there, figuring that we could take the shuttle back to the hotel. Nearly an hour after Jovi was done, we got in line, waited a while and ten discovered we couldn’t buy the one way tickets back. So we walked towards the taxi stands and found another set of shuttles and caught a ride with them without waiting at all. Air conditioned school bus with Creedence Clearwater Revival piped through it was pure heaven after 12 hours of heat, dirt and sweat.

After showers and another cab ride, we ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and then it was back to the hotel and bed. We were exhausted. Here we were in the Big Easy, a twenty four hour party surrounding us and we went to bed. Next morning was a trip to Cafe Du Monde, beingets and chocolate milk and a carriage ride around the French Quarter. From there it was drop off the girls at the airport and start the drive home.

Fourteen and a half hours later, and several stops along the way for touristy visits, we were home. Tired, smiling and delighted that neither of us were working on Monday. Now it’s Wednesday night and I’m finally starting to feel semi-human again.

THE FAN FICTION DIRECTORY

The generous Goddess Hathor has compiled a Directory of FF for all of us devoted to the genre.

If you have a story that's not listed, she'd be happy to add it!

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