The vibrant colors, the synchopated rhythms, the pulsating brass of a Mardi Gras celebration were all transported to the Bayou last night. It was a club concert like no other.
The Neville Brothers, their 10-piece band, and the dancing Wild Tchoupitoulas Indians somehow all managed to find room on the stage, and once there they captivated the capacity crowd with the infectious beat of the Crescent City.
Even though Aaron Neville had a million-seller nearly 20 years ago, and even though his brothers -- Art, Cyril and Charles -- are all fine musicians, commercial success has eluded the group. Nonetheless, they stage the kind of show that would put most platinum rockers to shame.
For over an hour and a half the brothers kept the dance floor jammed, mostly with a long succession of steamy, Caribbean-flavored R&B tunes. The best of the lot were the familiar numbers: Willie John's "Fever," Hank Williams' "Jambalaya," and especially the Meters' "Hey Pocky Way" were all powered by an irresistible combination of offbeat rhythms and surging brass.
The picture of Mardi Gras in the summertime seemed complete when the Wild Tchoupitoulas Indians, in their full, enormously festive regalia, danced across the stage to the beat of Dr. John's "Iko Iko." It's a shame that the concert marked the end of the Nevilles' current tour.