Heaven is Noizefest on a hot 9th Ward afternoon in a big sultry warehouse with a few hundred like-minded freaks of nature who are determined to tear the eardrums clean out your head.
If Juke Savages on the Brazos ever come lurching back to life Noizefest is where they’ll play their reunion gig.
Is somebody playing a Wet Willie cover? We’re in the upper part of the warehouse where the party’s going down and a group of kids who look like the torpor of their lives is about to get the best of them are jamming.
There’s a kid downstairs playing a shuffling beat that reminds me of seeing Bo Diddley in Tuscaloosa; after a long set on the guitar Mr Bo sat down on the drums, and played the Hell out them holding the drumsticks wrong-ended.
One outfit looks like a gang of hoodlums until you pass the time with them and learn they’re really a bunch of pussycats.
The fuzztones are glorious. Every musician at the party has a cardboard box filled with wah wah pedals and superfuzz contraptions. I’m glad I remembered my earplugs.
Noizefest is all ages. By that we mean really all ages. There are six year olds, and folks born during the Eisenhower administration. The best parties we’ve ever attended had just such an age range.
There’s tons of food, plenty drink, good conversations; the whole shebang. There’s not a better festival in New Orleans, a city filled with excuses for people to gather as one and have a good time.
I keep expecting somebody to bust out Wooly Bully but sadly there’s no one willing to tackle the classic.
Somebody’s on the patio blasting out what sounds like a pack of hyenas having group sex.
Back inside I’m offered a shot out of an earthenware jug filled with wormwood juice.
I hope this doesn’t turn me into a gibbering freak.
I stare at the graffiti covered building fantasizing about a big platter of Tex Mex. I make my way to the hot food section and ask after some hot sausage on a bun. It comes quick and free.
There’s a really nice big plush side yard at the warehouse and nobody’s taking advantage of it. It’s big and loamy enough to afford someone a good farming gig if they were ambitious. I’m surprised none of the local community gardens have set down stakes here.
Upstairs some freak is honking out Roland Kirk notes and tones. It’s beautiful.
Downstairs some kid is approximating a Creole beatbox on the mic. He’ll go far if he can get a break or two.
I wish I had a copy of Astral Weeks that I could smash over the top of my head.
There’s a brace of cold kegs of pale ale on ice and it’s flowing so freely that I have to excuse myself to the curb store to buy some Miller Lite. It’s essentially water, and is perfect when you’re dancing in a heated warehouse on a hot spring day. I’ll finish off the night with a Vlad the Impaler Russian Imperial Stout once I’m safe on the Broyhill sofa.
I meet a sweetheart named Easter whose little kids attend a nearby grammar school. She’s curious about the frequency of Noizefest and is crestfallen when I tell here it’s only once a year. “We all had a real good time my baby” she announces as she walks towards her car.
Too soon, it’s time to go home, blast some Grand Funk Railroad and start pointing towards Noizefest 2020.