Kicking off with some Sacred Steel were The Lee Boys. The Miami natives set the tone for the day, with fairies frolicking and demons dancing under a near-cloudless sky. Kofi and Oteil Burbridge joined The Lee Boys on jams “Testify” and “Lovelight,” an early afternoon highlight.
Next up Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk brought Big Easy flavor down to the swamp, with deep bass thumpin’ underneath everyone’s ruby reds and Neville’s call-and-response catching on like a fever.
After we “put it in the dumpsta,” it was time to strut down Bourbon Street with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (closer to a half-dozen, really). The NoLa love fest continued, even though we were secretly yearning for more of the Dumpsta.
With the first note of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the frontman’s sax transformed the amphitheatre into an all-out dance party. The funk resonated and reverberated while a not-so-Tiny Universe produced a larger-than-life sound, with Kofi Burbridge sounding out sweet notes on the flute.
Last up was birthday boy JJ Grey, who was winding down tour. Backed by MOFRO, Grey’s storytelling made for an intimate set. Crooning “Seems like everything good is bad/And everything bad is good,” a sea of heads nodded as if to say ‘Amen!’ As Grey gushed about sunsets, sweaty fun in the sack, and true love, it became apparent that no bucket of mini chocolate treats could ever compare to the sweetest reward: live music.
Here are some photos from the event.
Tracy Block is a Miami native and RumBum.com contributor who writes about South Florida lifestyle and entertainment. You can read more of her work HERE.