HITS Daily Double


The second weekend of the 2023 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival took place at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Friday (5/5) through Sunday (5/7).

Though thunderstorms plagued part of the event, Jon Batiste was able to get through his entire opening-night closing set without a drop of rain. Officials were forced to delay Saturday's start (5/6), however, due to inclement weather; with heavy rain and 60mph winds moving through the region, the planned 11am opening was moved to 12:15pm. Consequently, the first acts of the day on each stage were canceled, the start times for many of each stage's second acts were delayed and many of the set times were shortened.

Fans were in luck, though, when the sun decided to shine a little light on Dead & Company, who made it through its two-and-a-half-hour evening set without a hitch. Bob Weir, John Mayer and, um, company ran through a stack of Grateful Dead classics, including "Truckin,'" "Shakedown Street," "Uncle John's Band"and "Playing in the Band."

Other performers included H.E.R., The Lumineers, John Hiatt & The Goners and Keb' Mo'. The festival wrapped on Sunday with sets by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Melissa Etheridge, Tom Jones, Herbie Hancock, Mumford & Sons and Ne-Yo, among others. We're also told that event producer Quint Davis played a swingin' set on the spoons.

The seven-day AEG and FPI-presented event, which kicked off 4/28, featured virtually every style of American music and welcomed more than 5,000 musicians to 14 stages. Rain or shine, the fans showed up in NOLA and, thankfully, weren't too drunk off Hurricanes and Absinthe Frappes to enjoy the festivities. We, on the other hand, plead the fifth.