As the temperature pushed 100 degrees last Wednesday, my family and I made our way to the back alleys of New Orleans Square to find a shaded bench to rest and recoup. I've always loved that area of NOS and was hoping to find a bench near that little courtyard that also serves as a cast backstage passage. To my dismay, everything was walled off and covered in fabric (why, by the way?). We did find a nice bench, though, near the glass shop with nobody else around.
Just as I was lamenting the fact that everything is walled off, a roving pirate band walked into the alley and started playing and interacting with my small kids. People paused here and there as they walked through the area, but essentially this band played a 15-20 minute concert just for my family of 5.
The head pirate was a tall guy, booming bass voice. He'd pull tricks on the rare passer-by. He even swiped a woman's purse during a song. She walked a good 20 feet before she noticed. When my 5 year old started tapping a stick against the pavement in rhythm with the band, this pirate encouraged him and thanked him as their "guest percussionist." When my wife failed to clap during a certain song, the entire band stopped, walked close to her, and waited until she complied before continuing. The whole thing was hilarious and improvised. A lot like The Billy's used to be (and presumably still are, over at Knott's). In fact, I recognized at least one of them as Billy Bass from the majority of Hillbillies shows I've seen over the years.
The whole time I kept wondering why this band was taking so much time, in full character, to play for 5 people in a remote NOS corner. Not even onlookers would have seen them; just people walking from the shops to the bathrooms. It was our last day at DL. We've got small kids. It was hot and we were beat. That little performance perked us right up and set us up for a wonderful rest of the day. I'm sure the little ones won't soon forget it. Just one of those many little things that make DL so magical!
Anybody else seen this roving pirate band? Do they have a name (official or unofficial)? Can anybody identify their leader (guy with the booming bass voice)? Do more than one come from the Billy Hill rotation?