The return of New Orleans’ Prodigal Son was marked by song, dance, and traffic violations.
“We’re coming into this show hot, y’all!” exclaimed Christopher Richard, better known as Crash, describing an altercation with the law that had occurred on the way to the show.
Crash was playing from his new solo album “Hardly Criminal” at the “This is NOLA” monthly free concert showcase. “This is NOLA” aims to celebrate everything that makes New Orleans “the Big Easy”— from music to food, visual arts to craft drinks, and most importantly, the people who fill the city’s streets. The lineup featured a dynamite ensemble of New Orleans locals, including Bent Denim, the word-crafting, soul-binding and dance-inducing styling’s of Tank and the Bangas, and finally, the gospel-gone-to-L.A.-and-back Crash Dang Doodle.
Crash’s set featured a whirlwind of New Orleans style “Laissez les bon temps rouler!”— from songs like “If God Was a Cajun” to a surprise guest appearance by the famous Treme Brass Band, who joined Crash in playing “Do You Know What it means to Miss New Orleans.”
The entire set was brimming with soul, at points slow and heartfelt, at times rampant and celebratory. Backed by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros members Josh Collazo on drums, Seth Ford-Young on bass, Mark Noseworthy on guitar, Mitchell Yoshida on keys, and Stewart Cole on trumpet, each song was delivered as an epic wall of sound that can only come from musicians who have been playing together for years. Songs they performed from Crash’s “Hardly Criminal” included “Mine Always, Lioness,” “Song for the Birds,” “High Wall,” “Hardly Criminal,” “All My Friends,” “Mad At The Clouds,” and fan favorite “Motion Animal,” among others.
At the end of the set, the Treme Brass Band led a second line procession out of the venue and onto the street, where fans danced along and even drew passers-by to stop their cars in the middle of Canal street to get out and dance with the group. Crash described the show as “sort of like a homecoming” following his move to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina, and the revelry was a perfect snapshot of a good ol’ time down in New Orleans.
Welcome home, Crash!