Travel Betty

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Don’t Miss Seeing A Show At Preservation Hall In New Orleans

August 21st, 2007 · 1 Comment

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For some dumb reason, last time I was in New Orleans, I passed up the chance to see a show at Preservation Hall. I don’t think I understood the concept. I guess I thought it was a venue for current rock bands or something. Anyway, it just so happened that last night right after our dinner at the Gumbo Shop (yum! chicken gumbo) we walked passed P-Hall and they were having their only show of the evening. So we paid our $8 and went in. What a treat!

Preservation Hall

It’s just a little room with benches and a stage. That’s it. Like a puppet show theater, except with oil paintings of jazz musicians on the wall and no puppets. When we got there, the musicians were already on stage and just about to bust out with their Dixieland stylings. Once they started, I felt angry that I was never exposed to this as a child. I used to play in my high school jazz band. At one point, I and my posse had even considered procuring a recording studio contract when we were in high school. We played “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “In the Mood” and all sorts of jazzy ditties like that, but to me it was all about playing the notes right. I don’t think I ever felt the soul. At Preservation Hall you feeeeeeeel the soul. It exudes.

Preservation Hall Facade

And it wasn’t even that the performers played perfectly. In fact, sometimes it sounded a bit sloppy, but you could see the passion for jazz in their faces. Their instruments looked like natural extensions of their bodies. And the audience seemed like an afterthought. These guys were going to play no matter what or who showed up, making me feel even more grateful to be there. And don’t think enjoying the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is limited to humans. Halfway through the show, a cream-colored cat sauntered in for a better listen. He stayed through the set and then as the crowd cleared out, hopped up and laid on one of the benches with his paws hanging lazily over the edge. Like, “See ya, suckers. I’ve got a backstage pass.”

If you go, know that the shows are short (ours lasted about a half hour). Also, they don’t serve drinks (although you can bring your own in—gotta love New Orleans!). And there’s no bathrooms (PB4UC ). And sometimes there’s a long wait. But it’s all worth it.

If you can’t make it down South, but still need your Dixieland fix, try these:

The Best of Preservation Hall Jazz Band The Best of Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Marching Down Bourbon Street Marching Down Bourbon Street

Travel Betty Basics

Preservation Hall
$8 cover charge (a steal!)
726 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter
New Orleans, LA

Other Betties Blogging About Preservation Hall

Made In New Orleans: A Preservation Hall Blog
The AALL Second Line Blog
Aisle Be Seeing You…

I didn’t have my video camera on me during the show, but I grabbed this off of YouTube so you can get the vibe:

Tags: Music · New Orleans · Pop Culture · USA

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  • 1 response so far ↓

    • 1 Mickey // Aug 22, 2007 at 9:33 am

      Way cool, travel-betty.

      I guess I was under the impression that it was all old guys. I saw a pic once somewhere. I dont get vids 2 well so I didnt watch yours.

      MyAvatars 0.2

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