”That first year, we had it in Blake’s living room, and everyone just had an amazing time” says Rotary Downs drummer Zack Smith. “The next year, we had it in Blake’s backyard, and we had people sliding on the ground and partying their asses off.”
Along with co-creator Blake Haney of Dirty Coast and others, Smith threw the initial Not-So-Super, Super Hero party to provide an alternative to the Saturday night Mom’s Ball during Mardi Gras. “We had been going to Mom’s Ball for the last 10-11 years and had decided it was not as much fun, and that we were going to throw another kind of costume party” says Smith.
Eventually, the party moved to the Hi Ho Lounge, but last year’s crowd grew to over 300 people, so many that “people didn’t have a chance to see everyone’s costume, because it was so packed,” Smith says. He and Haney decided to move the party to d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street. Its space and sidewalk windows will give people chance to show off their not-so-super costumes.
This year, a costume and semi-super power are required. Recalling some favorite costumes from previous years, Smith cites “The SuperVisor, who had a gigantic visor, oxford shirt, and coffee cup, and bothered the bands all night to keep on schedule. The World’s Greatest Grandpa, who had the super power to be able to find a quarter behind anyone’s ear, and his nemesis Captain Vulgar, who would just scream obscenities at everyone.” Last year, a friend of Smith’s attended as “Captain Safety, who had orange cones and would put them around anyone who spilled a beer or was dancing too crazy.” In response, Smith went as Captain Safety Compromiser, wearing a belt with banana peels on it.
This year’s music line-up includes Rotary Downs, The Not-So- Super, Superhero All-stars, (featuring Simon Lott, Mike Gamble, FRESH Justin Peake and James Singleton) sandwiched between sets by the Brian Coogan Band, and concluding with what Smith promises to be a sweaty, hip-shaking performance by the Not So Elvis. “We usually have to cut him off for fear for his health,” Smith says. “His costume starts out white and by the end, it’s a wet, grayish color.”
Rotary Downs has been in the studio laying down tracks for its upcoming album, scheduled to be out in New Orleans March 5, and nationwide on March 25. “The band has been putting in no less than 14-hour days with producer Ivan Klisanin at every major recording studio in New Orleans,” says Smith.
Rotary Downs will hold a CD release party with the Givers at One Eyed Jacks on March 5.