When Preservation Hall comes to Door Community Auditorium it’s as if you’ve stepped right out of Door County and fallen smack dab into the heart of New Orleans.
Two years ago, my husband and I were thrown head first into the essence of NOLA and our local friends there made sure we left with an experience that could never be replicated. We ate the local cuisine, fished the bayou, and soaked up the culture that one could not even begin to explain and do it justice. Just a few years before, we had been to the area after hurricane Katrina trying to pick up the pieces of a city that really shouldn’t be there. The city sits in a bowl and although natural disaster is inevitable, it’s people choose to stand by her no matter what scars she may bare.
Just one of the places that shows the soul and the strength of the New Orleans culture is found under a tiny sign and iron gate, practically hidden, on St. Peters Street in the French Quarter. It’s called Preservation Hall and although the name may make you think it’s a place with a big stage and lots of tiered seating it is anything but; its draw is not the setting but the musicians in it. You enter the gate and walk up to a weathered desk where only cash will grant you access. From there you enter a room that can’t be more than forty by forty and you instantly feel a vibe that makes your heart smile. A vibe that makes you understand why people stay and why this sometimes imperfect city will never go away.
I play a short snippet I caught on my phone from that day every once in a while just to take me back to that sense of clarity. It’s grainy and foggy from the humidity, but even a bad recording makes my arms tingle a bit and pulls me right back into that question I just can’t answer…what is it about New Orleans and how does this colorful group capture it all in a few songs? The second time I saw Preservation Hall was at Door Community Auditorium and it was a bit of a culture shock when you step out onto the streets of Fish Creek instead of the slate walkways of the French Quarter. It’s the closest I’ve been to New Orleans since that night on St Peters Street, and we’ll be right back there again this Thursday, June 26th when Preservation Hall brings their signature sound and all those great memories of NOLA back to Door County.