A Night on the Town
As promised, a full report on the highly anticipated evening of Dennis Quaid & The Sharks.
We arrived around 7p.m., to find Spanish Plaza abuzz with life. A giant stage had been erected at the far corner of the Plaza near the Creole Queen steamboat. Caterers were positioned near the center of the plaza. A booth on the far end was giving away Netflix beach chairs. Opposite the stage, near the World Trade Center, a giant screen was set up. The daiquiri line at Fat Tuesday’s: 20 people deep. We endured it, thirsting for something frozen, orange, and full of chemicals.
After securing daiquiris, we turned to the Drago’s food table and purchased a dozen charbroiled oysters. Delicious as always. Conveniently, D. Quaid & The Sharks began playing shortly after we finished. The first song; a little known classic, Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right.” The second; the Buddy Holly / Bo Diddley classic “Not Fade Away.” I was bamboozled. Could I actually be witnessing something good? I had to make my way toward the stage to investigate further.
Alas, it was not to be. The following song was zydeco, a Clifton Chenier tune. I have no qualms with zydeco, but when some Hollywood schmuck is playing Clifton Chenier songs in New Orleans, it’s a little disingenuous to say the least. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. Quaid’s t-shirt: one of those $50 “throwback” New Orleans Saints shirts with the old timey big-chin-guy Saints logo (clearly just purchased at the adjoining Riverwalk mall). He cracked FEMA jokes onstage. The performance antics were the best. For most of the songs, Quaid had a guitar that was clearly not operational, he was pretending to play it. He humped the monitors. Signed autographs while playing. Jumped offstage and ran through the audience. This was what I went down there to see!
Criticize me if you will for being some kind of ironic hipster, but here’s my philosophy; if you go to an event expecting to see something good, you will be disappointed half the time. If you go somewhere expecting bad music, bad theatrics, bad daiquiris, you won’t be disappointed. And thus, I was quite satisfied. Bad is the new good.
But having a short attention span as I do, I began to lose interest at some point during the performance of the Doors’ “L.A. Woman.” By the time Quaid began screaming “Mr. Mojo Risin!” I was making a full retreat from the stage, and at that moment I realized that the Creole Queen was being used as some sort of VIP area. I had to get on that boat. Unfortunately, I had no VIP passes. Fortunately, I was flanked by two lovely ladies. Within seconds they were able to sweet-talk the ticketeers out of three wristbands, to which drink tickets were attached.
We stayed on the Creole Queen for almost an hour, partaking in the free food, free beverages, and free views of the river. We were also treated to free CDs of Dennis Quaid & The Sharks playing live. Great, another useless possession gleefully obtained while drunk. Into the box of mardi gras beads you go.
Stumbling off the boat, we realized we were missing the screening of The Big Easy. We also realized that hundreds of people were actually watching this movie, which I had always assumed that New Orleanians hated on account of its completely ridiculous portrayal of the city. This did not hold my attention long.
We proceeded on bicycle to the Circle Bar, which, despite rumors to the contrary, is very much open. The crowd was a little different, but all in all it was pleasant and familiar. It concluded one of the funnest nights I’ve had in recent months, so thanks to Netflix for thinking of us. I only wish I could be in Baltimore for the performance by the Bacon Brothers followed by the screening of “Diner.”