Westin Peachtree Hotel, Atlanta, GA • December 31, 2000
Roi J. Tamkin
The Westin Peachtree Hotel in downtown Atlanta played host to one of the largest New Year•s Eve parties in the area. 95.5 The Beat and Lindy Promotions sponsored the National Millennium Party, a night of DJs spinning dance tunes, free food, free booze, and casino gambling. Hundreds of young Atlantans dressed to the nines enjoyed the festivities that were spread out among four floors of the elegant high-rise hotel. The live band hired to herald in the New Year was Buckwheat Zydeco and his band, Ils Sont Partis.
It•s always good to see Buckwheat back in Atlanta. His is the only zydeco band that consistently plays the city. His blend of French Cajun sounds with American blues and rock makes for the happiest music around, and he was absolutely fitting for a millennium ball. Backed by legendary guitarist Paul Senegal and Atlantan Curtis Watson on trumpet, Buckwheat was ready to put an end to this century.
They opened with a rousing number that had both young and old immediately dancing and bouncing on the dance floor. Men couldn•t help but splash their drinks on their dates as the band played a real jumper of a tune, •Ma •Tit Fille.• The instrumental break featured a dual between Buckwheat on accordion and his son on rubboard. He followed with another popular cover, •Marie Marie,• and then Clifton Chenier•s •Hot Tamale Baby.• There was some hot and heavy dancing going on the floor, so much so that Buck invited a dozen or so ladies to join him up on stage. These four songs ended the first hour.
After a short break, the band started back up with •Put it in the Pocket.• At midnight, the crowd screamed, whooped and kissed, but apparently, it wasn•t enough to make the balloons drop. They fell during the interactive •Hey Baby,• where the audience was invited to sing the chorus. The classic songs •Beast Of Burden• and •Hey Joe• closed out the second hour of music.
Eight songs in two hours. The band left the stage sweating and in desperate need of a shower, but they brought in the New Year with a happy sound that will play in their ears good for the whole year. ◼