All 50 States Day 18:
I first set foot in Louisiana after a show at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR, but that trip didn’t include a show or an overnight stay in Louisiana so according to my rules it doesn’t count! Which means my official first visit to the state was done in style when I performed in the New Orleans Comedy Festival in 2000!
I did a couple of sets in that festival, one at a cafe called True Brew, which I don’t think is there anymore, and another set at the House of Blues. It was so cool to be on the stage at the House of Blues, and even more cool to be able to hang out backstage. Aside from the funky decor the wall in the green room is filed with tiles bearing the names of bands that have performed there, and slashes for how many times they had.
My friend Cayne, who’s from New Orleans and whom I met when we were both doing comedy in Chicago, was there for the fest as well and he showed me around a bit. He took me to a great spot for a gospel brunch buffet where I had my first authentic gumbo experience. I also tried raw oysters and a bunch of other great food on that trip.
I went back to New Orleans for a recreational trip the next year, meeting my sister, brother-in-law, mom and step dad, where I saw more of the city, had more great food, and heard a ton of great music.
My only other Louisiana experience was in Dec. 2001 when I played Louisiana Tech up in Ruston, LA, flying into Monroe for the gig. Flying in those months after 9/11 was pretty intense, but I remember the show being fun and well worth the trip.
- Backstage rockin’ with with tiles from Foo Fighters and Cheap Trick. The Creed tile photobombed, 2000
- Couching backstage at House of Blues with funky decor, 2000
- On stage at House of Blues in the New Orleans Comedy Festival, 2000
- Kickin’ it in the French Quarter, 2001
- Hot Dog vendor, 2001