A Jazz Fest Diary: Final Day Blowout, Part 1

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Published on: May 12th, 2009

Neil YoungAs much as I enjoy a local-heavy Jazz Fest, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to see Neil Young performing at the Fairgrounds for the first time ever. When I heard the electric buzz of just the first few chords, I got goosebumps. It was a cool crowd to be in, getting to hear things like "this is the first song I learned on guitar" in response to "Heart of Gold". Many were puzzled by his choice to encore with a Beatles song, but Neil's tendency to do what he pleases regardless of opinion has a lot to do with why he's so loved.

Thankfully, Neil Young's set being two hours long, I could easily catch Bo Dollis, Jr. and the Wild Magnolias with ample time to enjoy the music at the Acura stage. What I saw there was easily the most touching thing I saw in all seven days (on a day packed with high points, too).

Bo (pictured below) has had a rough few years but took up vocal duties for the first few songs, clearly exactly where he wanted to be. Marva Wright came up for a cameo appearance, but her significance in the song was dwarfed as Bo sang "We have to say bye-bye" over and over, and interjecting to tell everybody in attendance how much he loved them. It was clear that these simple lyrics to a fun song were striking a deeper chord with Dollis and everybody around, as tears welled up in his, his son's and many others' eyes. Mine were no exception.

Bo Dollis, Jr.
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