DC is a complicated place. It’s full of wonks, geeks, creatives, and technophiles. It’s a hodge podge of exceptionally smart people. Most of the time, it’s a lot of “wah wah wah” but every once in a while, it’s the perfect smorgasbord of awesome that makes me love this city.
Last weekend was the kick off festivities for the new African American Museum. There were free concerts on the Mall, speeches by the President and the who’s who of *important people* were in town.
On Friday night, there was a concert at Lincoln Theatre by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I bought the tickets at the last moment because I love jazz. I know nothing about jazz. I’d heard Preservation Hall was good. I had no expectations and it.blew.my.mind.
Unbeknownst to me, the concert was an official part of the kick off festivities for the new museum. There was a very cool intro from a Smithsonian staffer about how Preservation Hall set the standard for music in New Orleans during Jim Crow years and since then, has continued to provide outstanding music and entertainment.
The band began and it was an incredible, joyous show. They grooved. They rocked. They celebrated a birthday. They celebrated a couple of surprise guests like one of the Blind Boys of Alabama and Dave Grohl. Yes, you read that correctly. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, popped in for a jam session.
For the encore of the show, all the musicians gathered on the stage and started a song. Then they started walked off the stage and out of the Lincoln. As we exited out the doors in a second line and the entire audience followed the band down U St., my only thought was “I can’t believe this is happening in DC.” It was an epic evening celebrating a historic museum opening and I couldn’t be more excited I was part of the “moment”.