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Defender Picks



October 13th

Home Free

The Civic, 7p.m.

Country vocal band and winner of The Sing-Off


The Creeping Garden

Zeitgeist, 9:30

Sci-fi documentary


It’s Your World

Octavia Books, 5:30p.m.

Chelsea Clinton teaches you to Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!


A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Recipes inspired by the novel


October 14th

Odd Man Out

Prytania, 10a.m.

Hold-ups in Belfast


Getting Off at Elysian Fields

Octavia Books, 6p.m.

Obituaries from the Times-Pic


Tony Joe White

Chickie Wah Wah, 9p.m.

Louisiana singer/songwriter


Cole Williams

Maple Leaf, 8p.m.

African Rock Wednesdays for Breast Cancer Awareness


Computer Magic

Hi-Ho Lounge, 9p.m.

Dance beats and relatable lyrics


October 15th

The Universe of Keith Haring

Freeman Auditorium, 7:30p.m.

Movie about New York artist Keith Haring


Saints v. Falcons

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 7:25p.m.

Saints coming off a loss to Eagles


Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 5:30p.m.

This week ft. Marc Stone Acoustic Band


Extraordinary People

Octavia Books, 5:30p.m.

A Semi-Comprehensive Guide to Some of the World’s Most Fascinating Individuals


Jackson Browne

Saenger, 8p.m.

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee


October 16th

Who’s Bad— Thriller Night

The Civic, 8p.m.

The Ultimate Michael Jackson Triubte


Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

Lafayette Square, 5p.m.

Southern food and music fest


Riff Raff

The Willow, 9p.m.

The Versace Python


Concerts in the Courtyard

533 Royal St., 6p.m.

This week ft. Banu Gibson


Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5p.m.

Movies in the Garden ft. Beetlejuice


The Thing

Prytania, 12:15a.m.

Classic 1982 horror movie


October 17th

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

Lafayette Square, 5p.m.

Southern food and music fest


Witchy Drag Brunch

The Country Club, 10a.m.

Drag, food and all-you-can-drink mimosas


Anba Dlo

New Orleans Healing Center, 1p.m.

Free Halloween fest and water symposium


Pelicans v. Kings

Smoothie King Center, 6p.m.

Pelicans take on Kings at home


Coton Jaune— Acadian Brown Cotton: A Cajun Love Story

WRC, 9:30a.m.

Documentary about Cajun women who handwove blankets


Mac Demarco

The Civic, 8p.m.

Old school indie music


October 18th

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

Lafayette Square, 5p.m.

Southern food and music fest


The Cut

Zeitgeist, 7:20p.m.

Epic about a man’s journey throught the Ottoman Empire


City on Fire

Garden District Book Shop, 3p.m.

Love, betrayal and art


Alvin and the Chipmunks

Saenger, 3p.m.;8p.m.

Chipmunks…live on stage


Polymnia Quartet

Marigny Opera House, 5p.m.

Weekly Sunday Musical Meditation

Jay-Z, Kanye Watch Throne

by Charlie Christian

After arriving early at the Watch the Throne Experience (presented by Swag Industries in collaboration with Coutour Lifestyle, LLC),a lap of the Superdome was in order to polish off some High Life. New Orleans looked tucked in for the night: cars sliding past on the expressway, Occupiers snuggled low in their tents, even abandoned hospitals stood complacent and resigned. The lights ringing the Dome shifted idly from purple to blue to gold. Except for the drunk couple fighting next to the broken open port-o-potty it felt like a scene from Sleepless in Seattle. That is all to say that what transpired in the Arena a short while later at the hands of Jay-Z and Kanye West was the complete, m***er f***ing opposite. 



Having lingered too long, we were rounding the upper hallway when the operatic A-bomb that is “H.A.M.” lashed from the speakers. The audience cracked open, letting out a collective roar rivaling any decibels heard in the Dome Sunday night. Good, God! There they were, out in the middle of the audience, each man on his own raised platform tag-teaming verses back and forth over bobbing flat-brims and raised cell phones. “Merry Christmas, Charlie,” spoke the cosmos. “Thank you, Universe. Thank you!!”



Kanye and Jay Z roamed around their stages in-the-round working the crowd to a foaming. delirium. Slowly, their platforms started to rise. Up, up, up. They stood what looked like two stories above the crowd, now working the edges noticeably less, as TV screens on the sides of the towers looped images of snarling dogs, menacing Great White sharks, and clawing falcons.   (The montage seemed prime for a Herzog commentary: “Uns de aboosed animal shelta dat iz de American urban laanscape is beneath dem now az dey rize triumphrant like Gods.”)


After “H.A.M.” and  “Who Gon Stop Me” the platforms lowered. The opening bars of “Try a Little Tenderness” rolled over the crowd, Otis Redding’s woefully croon giving the audience a brief reprieve from the frenetic bluster. With an American flag spread behind the main stage, Ye and J emerged side by side basking in grandeur of it all. They actually seemed as happy as I was, like even they couldn’t believe this was real. Then the hook caught, “Got-a got-a, na na na.” We were off again. Fire balls plumed up from behind them as lazers - so many lazers - shot out overhead. This is what the “Waiting for Tonight” video would have looked like if it had been directed by Michael Bay.



The dynamic duo then split up, trading off for tit-for-tat mini-sets of their respective hits. Jay ran through “Where I’m from,” “Nigga What? Nigga Who?,” “Hard Knock LIfe,” “Izzo,” “Dirt off Your Shoulders,” “Big Pimpin’,” and “99 Problems.” Kayne led us through his backpack days to his black Bowie phase with “Jesus Walks,” “Golddigger,” “Heartless,” “Touch the Sky,” “All the Lights,” and “Good Life.”  


Do they give out awards for concerts? Cause if so this should win Best Show of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award simultaneously. The show was truly the physical embodiment of the album’s excess and braggadocio. That excess seemed less self-congratulatory and more celebratory, cathartic even. Kayne and Jay Z owned the faces on the the big screen, we shouted for their songs and we live vicariously through them, not the other way around. But that didn’t seem to be the point. As silly as it sounsd, the concert was lless a show by them and more a show for us.



I felt all of this as the closer “Niggas in Paris” hit its final notes. I still felt it as they did “Paris” a second time. The luster started to fade on the third. I was going the down the escalator as they ran through it for the seventh time. (Honest. Cross my heart. Seven times.) Hubris seemed to have gotten the best of them. The entire night was about putting on a show for the little people who paid $60 for the nose-bleeds. In return they levied an ego-soothing seven-peat encore tax. So be it. Lady friend in tow, I walked back out in the same docile city I left a few hours before. It was unchanged. I, however, was better, fuller than before. Guess a little of the glitter rubbed off.  

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