Above: Jon Batiste exalts during Saturday’s final act. Notice the smoker onstage behind him – they cooked up chicken to serve to (some of) the audience during the final song of the set – When the Saints Come Marching In. Photo by Adam Kissick
Jon Batiste, a musician of prodigious talent in everything from composing and songwriting to playing piano, guitar, melodica, even saxophone, as well as vocals, brought the love Saturday evening at the Fort Stage for Day 2 of the Newport Folk Fest.
“We are all loved,” he said during a rousing version of “Tell the Truth.” The show, which started with joyous Native American chanting from the trio Native Soul, was a bit of a revival meeting. Lauren Daigle, a fellow Louisianan, joined Batiste for “Saint Ferdinand. With thunderstorms forecast and dark clouds starting to menace the sky, festival producer Jay Sweet called the show around 15 minutes early. An hour or so later I was driving home to East Greenwich with lightening strikes coursing the sky.
Earlier in the day, Goose took to the Fort Stage, with a fun set that included a fantastic rendition of “Baby Don’t You Do It.” Aimee Mann and John Oates both played the Harbor Stage at different times. Mann, in beautiful voice, was full of gratitude and honest reflection. Oates, who is still touring with Daryl Hall in addition to a solo career, performed Saturday with Guthrie Trapp.
Other Saturday highlights included Indigo De Souza, with her brutally honest lyrics (“I’d like to think you got a good heart, and your dad was just an a****** growing up. But I don’t see you trying that hard to be better than he is. When will it ever get any bеtter?”), Backseat Lovers (“Why does the wall insist I have my back against it?” from Growing/Dying) and Hold Steady, in its first time at Newport FF.