Sunday, June 5, 2011
On to Watusi Rapture (after Trocadero)
I do have a lot more interview material but the overall impression one will get from it is how much this band of brothers cares for each other after decades of stress-filled coexistence. The magic of the music they conjure and the communion with the fans has given each member of the Radiators a life's reward that is beyond any known measure of computation. They are all aware of it and they all treasure it. We as listeners are also participants in the magic. The final New York shows took place on some supernatural parnassus of joy. I've never heard the Rads sound better than they did Friday night in their New York finale, when they lived up to the marquee billing and even played "On Broadway" after a magnificent "River Run." The way the crowd reacted to "Number Two Pencil" you might have though Pink Floyd had reformed to play Dark Side of the Moon. Like all the greatest New Orleans music, the show moved to some kind of secret, timeless rhythm that boiled up out of the interaction of these five conjurers and the crowd danced in unison -- old folks on crutches, canes waving in the air, danced with bouncing circles of squealing young women. The spirit of joy that suffused the crowd all night long was an emotion rarely, rarely seen from the usually tough and cynical New York audiences. There was a moment -- was it during "Suck the Head?" -- when Camile played one of those solos from a different dimension. The two guitar interchange between Dave and Camile remains an uncanny aspect of this band's brilliance and somehow seems more solid now than ever. This is one aspect of what we've come to know from the Radiators that is flourishing right now and certainly doesn't look like it's going to disappear anytime soon. Now it's back home to the burning crescent for a final weekend of Watusi Rapture. But somehow I know even if it's the end of the Last Watusi, the end of what these musicians have in store for us is not in sight.