Friday, June 6, 2014

Conservation Preservation

When I'm planning a trip, I always love to look into concerts or theatre shows.  I knew that New Orleans had a great music scene, so hearing some jazz seemed like a no brainer.  Most of the guidebooks I read said that Preservation Hall was the best place to hear New Orleans jazz.  The one downside is that the line to get into Preservation Hall is unbelievable.  Everything I read warned me to grab some snacks and camp out for at least an hour before showtime to guarantee that I would get into the concert.

Here's how it works.  Every night there are three concerts at Preservation Hall.  I believe the show times are 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.  A line forms outside the concert hall and right before the show (like literally 2 minutes before) the doors are unlocked and they pack people into this tiny little room.  There is limited seating available, so it's likely that you will be standing for the concert.

That is unless you purchase yourself one of these:

I read about the "VIP" ticket that you could purchase for the concert.  The tickets are about $30 (don't quote me on that price) and allow you to enter the concert hall before everyone else and get a seat right in front of the band.  It is an amazing deal.  Especially if you are short and claustrophobic like me.  Mike and I were able to see the musicians up close (we were probably a foot from the saxophonist) and we were able to have a somewhat comfortable seat for the entire show.

Whether you just stand in line or get the VIP ticket, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is not to be missed.  In all of my travels, this is maybe one of my most favorite experiences.  There are no words that can describe the music.  It's not just the music, but it's the feeling that jazz gives you from the tip of your hair all the way down to your toes.  Hearing it live in this hot, old, cramped room just amplified the experience.

A couple of tips if you do purchase the VIP ticket.  Number one is that you can totally bypass the line and just wait right at the front door.  My Midwestern values told me that cutting in front of this long line was super rude even if we had bought the ticket, so we actually stood in the line for awhile because the front door is totally locked up until right before the show.  The second tip is that once you are seated, make sure to really take up your entire seats.  Mike and I were being all cute and cuddly and then a man decided that we had enough room on our bench to seat another person and he just sat down.  I would have been all hey, the more the merrier, except we actually paid for that seat and this man got in for free.  We had to enjoy the concert on a bench made for two with three grown ass people.  It wasn't all that VIP.