Scenes from yesterday’s Preservation Hall West march

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band second line yesterday was a great time. Marching through a crowded Mission street sidewalk seemed to make the cops nervous, but things went off without a hitch and there were nothing but smiles all around from drivers and locals alike. Some familiar local musicians joined in on the jam.

Here’s a quick video:

The parade ended inside the actual Preservation Hall West (AKA “the Chapel”) where we were greeted by some confused-looking construction workers. The bartenders served up some drinks and everyone walked around the venue, checking it out.

One of the employees said that this weekend is just a preview opening for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. The actual opening date is still up in the air. From the look of it, there was quite a bit of construction to go.

Still, the place looks great. The main concert hall is in the chapel (hence the AKA, “the Chapel”). There are at least 4 bars. One in the concert hall, one in the balcony, one in the front, and yet another in a side room.

Booking will be overseen by by the folks behind Slim’s, so you can expect that vibe to carry over to the Chapel.

15 Responses to “Scenes from yesterday’s Preservation Hall West march”

  1. ryan says:

    hey, it’s lumpen dude!

  2. Fakejoebiden says:

    I went to the show on Friday, and the crowd was a nightmare. As a mission resident, all I can say was that there were some seriously horrendous hipsters who completely drowned out the band. I was maybe six rows back from the stage, and there were fights breaking out in the crowd, mostly in reaction to a whole lot if people talking over the band. It was a real bummer. I love preservation hall in Nola, but this place has none of the original’s feel or good vibes. And, at least on Friday, the crowd was just the worst. Too bad.

    • invisiblemonkey says:

      I went to the show last night, and the crowd was pretty great. It’s obvious there’s still a lot of work to do, but the building has great potential.

    • Sfnola says:

      I went Thursday (opening) night, and there was nothing but good vibes all around. Sorry to hear about Friday night but not sure you can yet make a statement like “none of the original’s feel or good vibes”.

      • Fakejoebiden says:

        Yeah, maybe I’m just down after one bad experience, but Friday night’s how was just embarrassing. The artists kept asking the crowd to be quiet, and the crowd, even the people on the floor, wouldn’t shut up. There were some really antagonistic people in the crowd, too.

        I’ll give the venue another shot when it is actually concert-ready (some curtains on the walls would have really helped with all the noise reverberation), but, in my defense, the venue IS NOT anything like the original pres hall. This venue fits a few hundred with no seating, while pres hall NOLA might fit 100, and is generally a more inundate space.

        • Fakejoebiden says:

          Errr inundate=intimate

        • Sfnola says:

          I was told they specifically did not want to make it a “franchise” of Preservation Hall. They wanted a connection, but for this to be its own incarnation. Clearly they rushed to get it open for this weekend, and, yes, it should be much better when its completed. And I do think the main room is beautiful and it has the chance to be something really special.

    • FloydLaw says:

      Sorry to hear that, Joe. (Can I call you Joe?) We went to Sunday’s show and it was great.

      There were a bunch of folks talking in the back which was annoying–Why spend $30 cover to barchat–but they quieted down during smaller numbers. It could be the acoustics of the place that they still need to figure out.

      I’m happy they didn’t try to recreate the original on St. Peter’s. Good space. I hope it comes together I’d love an alternative to Yoshis which has always struck me cold.

  3. GG says:

    Am I the only one a bit concerned that bookings will be handled by Slim’s? I’m always a bit baffled why Slim’s is one of the few venues in the city that almost never manages to book acts I want to see. I think the last time I was there was to see X (BTW, they were still amazing, even at 50+ years old), and that was a few years ago.

    • Sfnola says:

      It is my understanding that PHJB will do 3-4 residencies a year, and then on top of that it will be a mix of idie rock (a al Slims, which I agree, never has anything I want to see) and artists with a more New Orleans flavor/connection. I’d hold off passing judgement- these people (I think) also book shows for the New Parrish in Oakland, which frequently has great shows. We’ll see.