Last Friday night at Tipitina's, down on that corner of Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas known so well, a group of musicians got together for a good cause. Tank & The Bangas, Social Set, Paul Sanchez & Minimum Rage, and headliner Sweet Crude shared the Tipitina's stage in riotous summer fashion.
The night not only sported great music, but also aided a topical and personal cause to the musicians. All the proceeds were donated to the benefit the Tipitina's Foundation's Instrument Repair Initiative (tipitinasfoundation.org). Sponsored by The New Orleans Academy of Music, Thibodeaux School of Music, Carl Mack Presents and Marigny Recording Studio, the foundation and the night's sponsors set a great example of giving back to a community that has given lots of New Orleans musicians their starts. The brainchild of Kathryn Rose (Social Set) and Sam Craft (Sweet Crude), the night will hopefully not be the last supporting this cause.
Bursting with energy and an enviable shock of hair, Tarriona Tank Ball of Tank & The Bangas started off the evening with zestful set. Fun and explosive, the music set the mood for the rest of the evening. Next was Social Set, with lead singer Kathryn Rose's ghostly vocal leading her mostly brass filled band. Although there wasn't a specific memorable moment in their set, Social Set feels young enough to still be able to find their footing.
Next up, playing original and favorites of his former band, Cowboy Mouth, Paul Sanchez & Minimum Rage grounded the evening with local history and experience. Sanchez' personal and musical journey appear so interwoven on stage, but at the same time his band and him appear free and open when they play. Sachez's set felt like a celebration of moving on, yet loving the past. Maybe a good cause brings out the best vibrations in people?
The highlight of the night was certainly Sweet Crude. What this band has going for them is that they are an infectious combination of talent and party. The crowd at Tipitina's was simultaneously enthralled by the beat of their drums and vocals, while also letting go and dancing in the moment. Sweet Crude performs with so much energy and precision it is hard for it not to be contagious. Their seamless fusion of French and English lyrics only adds to their rock star Cajun infused aura. It's with shows like this that artists can remind their audiences of the liberating communal experience music can be—and when it's done right, what an audible antidote it will be to whatever ails you.