The Night Mardi Gras Came To Boulder

Fox_rebirthbrassband.jpgI forget exactly how I got on Fox Theater‘s mailing list, but I have decided that it’s a good thing. Every once in a while they send you “golden tickets” (free admission to some upcoming show) for absolutely no reason at all, and that’s in addition to the regular newsletter, which arrived yesterday morning and told me, “Girl, you goin’ out tonight.”

I’d already planned to take my husband out for dinner, what with his birthday having arrived this week. I immediately updated those plans to Dinner And A Concert, especially considering that it was A) the New Orleans Rebirth Brass Band, which isn’t something you get much chance to see in Boulder all that often, and B) a whole $1 per head to get in.

I mean, dude! One dollar! To see the Rebirth Brass Band! And no cover charge! Totally going.

BJs_brew.jpgBut first: dinner. Dinner, by Birthday Boy’s request, at BJ’s. Hey, don’t look at me. I wanted to go somewhere fancy, like maybe The Kitchen, some place like that. But my husband wanted his birthday pizookie.

Pizookies, of course, are dessert items. Dinner comes first. With appetizers. The ritual Sharing Of The Fried Mozzarella sticks has to happen (oh my Gods we’re talking good, I mean the texture and thickness and seasoning of the breading and the creamy stringy goodness of the cheese, we’re talking perfection) and the haggling over drinks (“Diet Coke?” “We only have Pepsi and Dr. Pepper.” “How about Diet Dr. Pepper?” “No, we only have the regular. How about a Diet Pepsi?” “Sold!”) and the valiant attempts of two easily distracted lovebirds to pay attention to each other when sports TVs broadcast a relentless series of shiny moving objects over each other’s shoulders. And then there’s dinner itself, a small cheese-and-tomato pizza for him (which he pronounced disappointing as pizza but heavenly as bread with tomatoes and cheese on top) and a huge meatloaf sandwich for me (piled high with mashed potatoes, gravy, and string-fried onions). And of course the wait staff’s confusion in the face of gender stereotypes getting kicked in the face (“No, he’s the Diet Pepsi; mine’s the regular”; “No, he’s the vegetarian; mine’s the huge manly meat dish”). All this and painfully stuffed tummies must come before the goodness of the pizookie.

BJs_ex-pizookie.jpgAt right, you will see an emphatically ex-pizookie. Note how empty the pie pan is. That’s what happens to pizookies. The reason, of course, lies in the utter perfection of pie-style oven-hot chocolate chip cookie mixed together with cold vanilla ice cream in a single bite. You know you want one. Well, you can’t have this one. ‘Cause this one’s all gone. Go get your own.

We left BJ’s at 9:00 and headed down to the Fox, where the show supposedly started a half hour ago. And it had. There was an opener: Little Hercules. Electric funk. Lead singer with a voice like Dr. John. The total groovin’ goodness went on until 9:30, and I’d have been quite happy to groove with ’em longer if we hadn’t had an early morning ahead of us and a need to get home before eleven. Once, New Orleans’s Bonerama played the Fox with local act Grandpa Mojo on opening duty, and G.M. played right up until midnight. Not that anyone thought of leaving once the ‘bones took the stage, understand, but what that meant was no one left until milk delivery time. That, thankfully, did not happen last night. Rebirth began warming up right around 10:00.

I’ve seen them once before. Last year, I managed to go back home for Jazz Fest for the very first time–hey, no one would have been interested in taking me until Dad discovered what fun the Fest is, a discovery he didn’t make until I was in college. Dammit. Anyway, finally made it in ’05, and Dad was all about putting us in front of the right stage at the right time to hear Rebirth Brass funk it up street-band style. (If you missed it, no worries there. Buy a recording of the show over here.) So I knew we were in for a phenomenal show.

What I didn’t know was how much the Birthday Boy was gonna dig it. Oh, boy, did he dig it. He had originally said “Let’s leave at ten,” and then, when Rebirth only just began tuning up at ten, “Let’s just stay for the first two numbers.” Well, each of those first two numbers was easily ten minutes long, full of attitude and banter and fun and exhortations to the audience to clap and howl and yell and sing and lots of time for each of the eight band members to solo a good long time. And after the second one ended, my husband said, “Well, just one more, then,” and we stuck around while Rebirth busted out with “Shake Yo’ Titties” and boy, I done shook what I ain’t even got.

There are several ways to dance the night away. And while I like the goth music from Sunday night plenty to sit down and listen to at home, I think I prefer me the brassy jazzy stuff for movin’ and groovin’. It’s fun, it’s happy, everybody’s smiling, and ain’t nobody in that crowd going “Behold my angst,” y’got that? And there are several ways not to get enough sleep in a night, and it ain’t even a contest between towing a dead car from Lo-Do to Longmont and shakin’ my bootie nine ways to midnight with a down-home case of N’awlins funk. I mean, I’m going down there for Mardi Gras starting on Monday, yeah, but last night, Mardi Gras done come early and made a stop in the Rockies. And that’s just fine by me.

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