The Dirty Dozen Brass Band


ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Zilker Park, Sept. 24

Would the Dirty Dozen Brass Band eulogize its New Orleans birthplace the way it did its original tuba player Anthony Lacen on last year's Funeral for a Friend? The expectation for a transcendent set certainly worked itself into a frenzy as lifelong second-liners and weekend tourists alike crowded the Capital Metro stage in aggrieved anticipation. The analogy of Sammie Williams' trombone as pirogue, navigating floodwaters with a mentality born and raised in a toxic swamp, presented itself almost immediately as Dirty Dozen skipped rocks across sunken rooftops of past NOLA tradition. "When the Saints Go Marching In" never sounded so crucial, legitimizing every single repeated version of the song ever made. Preserving a culture as unique to the world as playoff wins are to the city's football team, trumpeter Efrem Towns' donning a Deuce McAllister jersey took on a whole new, loaded significance. Shedding all would-be voodoo tacklers in a swirl of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," the precedent of throbbing tuba for modern music's incorporation of bass guitar laid the foundation for an old-school well worth saving. As Julius McKee summoned bayou spirits with the guttural grunts of his sousaphone, the realization that New Orleans has always been able to swim its way through the muck became abundantly clear.

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