Photography was forbidden inside the Orpheum Theater’s tribute to Allen Toussaint. That didn’t stop hundreds of people from regularly snapping pictures during the event, but when we’re asked nicely to not take photos, we do just that.
Outside, after the nearly three hour affair, all bets were off as thousands of people swarmed all over Roosevelt Way as Mr Toussaint’s hearse sat parked in front of the theater.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band tore up the asphalt.
We danced with strangers.
People sobbed hysterically.
People gyrated like madmen.
Cops started waving truncheons around when it appeared as though the hearse was not going to be able to pierce the crowd.
It was a crazy scene.
Inside John Boutte was the highlight of the musical acts. He outshone everyone else; quite the accomplishment given the starpower on the stage which included Bozz Scaggs, Irma Thomas and Dr John.
Boutte is a superstar.
But this really speaks to the star power of Toussaint: at one point the movie screen flashing images of his life projected a closeup of his famous sandal clad feet, complete with socks and a huge wave of adulation coursed through the theater.
Over his feet.