Live Review

Trombone Shorty's Voodoo Threauxdown Grand Summer Solstice Wrap-Up Concert in Taos

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on September 22, 2018

New Breed Brass Band kicks off the final show of the Trombone Shorty Voodoo Threauxdown Tour in Kit Carson Park, Taos, New Mexico. Photo by Bill Nevins

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and their many Louisiana musical friends brought their months-long national Voodoo Threauxdown Tour to a magnificent finale in Taos, New Mexico, on Sept. 22 in an AMP Concerts presentation. The show kicked off just before sunset that solstice evening with New Breed Brass Band bringing the brilliant sound of N'awlins youth to the Kit Carson Park outdoor stage. A near-perfect sound system gave audience members the freedom to rove about and still hear loud and clear while dancing, lounging, or lining up for gumbo, jambalaya, or libations. 

New Breed's set was like one long funky song, and they had the crowd up and roiling from note one. Then, after a short pause for the cause, the utterly rejuvenated Preservation Hall Jazz Band kept the dance going with a second-line-style set that blended traditional swing with Caribbean rhythms. Stunning bass and drum solos and the great song "Going to New Orleans" filled the high desert air.

Then Galactic stormed on stage with members of New Breed as a guest extra brass section, and dynamic vocalist Erica Falls grabbed all ears with her fiery renditions of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and other songs, like her smoldering "Heart of Steel" augmented by a guest appearance by 75-years-young singer/guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington and the relentless drive of Stanton Moore's virtuoso drums. 

A blazing light show and fanfare ushered Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews) and Orleans Avenue on stage for a long, blistering set of frenetic electric jazz that rattled the very mountain peaks surrounding the Taos downtown park. Shorty seamlessly switched from trombone to trumpet and also treated us to his signature funky vocals on songs like "The Craziest Things," "Where It At," and Allen Toussaint's beautiful "On Your Way Down." Cyril Neville also joined the onstage party and booted it up to a whole 'nother level. "It Ain't No Use" was a true highpoint of Shorty's not-short blazing set. And backing vocalists Chrishira Perrier and Tracy Lee deserve high praise for their grand work taking us even higher than we had climbed so far that night.

Such a night!