Friday, June 07, 2019

Into the Maelstrom, with the Night Tripper

So a few years ago, Dr. John's set on the Main Stage at Crawfish Fest was called off because of high winds and threatening rain. It sucked, but we couldn't blame anyone... the weather was clearly gonna get nasty, and cutting the set kept him -- and the audience -- safe.
But then, as the rest of the fest went on, we got word -- after the show officially ended, Dr. John was going to play in the pavilion, a quasi-indoors stage. The sides of the place were open, but there was a roof over the stage and the audience area, so we were good to go.
Well, Dr. John took the stage directly from his tour bus, parked behind it -- and all hell broke loose. The skies opened. There was thunder. There was lightning. And there were heavier torrents of rain than anything I'd ever been outdoors for. All pounding around us at all sides...
...except there in front of us was Dr. John, the Night Tripper, absolutely in his element. All around us, Nature was flexing its terrifying muscle. And amid that thunder and dread, Dr. John played a piano festooned with skulls and juju bags, laying down down-and-dirty, voodoo-infused funk. And when he sang "I Walk on Gilded Splinters," you couldn't help but shiver.
"Put gris-gris on your doorstep
And soon you be in the gutter
Melt your heart like butter
And I-I-I can make you stutter."
Eventually, the show ended. The Doctor took his bows, and headed back into his tour bus and into a nice, warm hotel. The rest of us ran back to our cars through the unrelenting rain, fueled up by a powerful hex and ready to drive through anything.