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Though disappointed that the band was breaking up, he said he looked at it as inevitable.
“It’s an end of an era for a lot of people. A lot of fans were teenagers when they first discovered The Radiators. Now they’re grown, they have kids and mortgages. But that’s the evolution of life.”
“There’s some sadness,” said Erdmann, “but I wish them all the luck in the world.”
Malone said he planned to take at least a month off before moving to the next musical stage of his life. What that might include is still a mystery. “Maybe something with my brother, Tommy, a guitarist with the Subdudes,” he said.
Scanlon said one of his side projects _ New Orleans Suspects _ is scheduled to hit the road in July. “The idea of starting at the beginning again is cool and fun,” he said. “Being together 33 years is like a marriage and sometimes you have to work to get that spark back. But with a new romance, you’re all giddy and it’s fun to have that kind of atmosphere around a new project.”
Early Sunday, thousands who had staked out spots in front of the Gentilly Stage awaiting The Radiators’ performance also enjoyed sets by Playing for Change, Papa Grows Funk and Michael Franti & Spearhead, who blends hip-hop with a variety of styles, including reggae, rock, folk, jazz and rock.
Franti’s high energy show included a special appearance by Amanda Shaw, a young Cajun fiddler who joined him on a version of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” to the delight of fans.
“It was a sweet, sweet opener and they rocked it all the way through,” said Valerie Bressman, of Portland, Ore., who was hula-hooping on the fringe of the crowd that stretched at least a quarter-mile.
Her husband, Eric, said he loves Franti’s spirit and optimism that shines during his performances.
“He’s a great songwriter and his lyrics really speak to me,” he said.
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