HBO dramas ‘Treme’ and ‘The Wire’ to battle at Tipitina’s

by Alexandra Fraioli on April 30, 2012

HBO’s Treme and The Wire will engage in a musical matchup of massive proportions on May 11 in a Battle of the Bands hosted by Tipitina’s Uptown.  Galactic and the Stooges Brass band will take on Baltimore’s Lafayette Gilchrist and Washington D.C.’s Anwan Glover & The Backyard Band in the charity fundraiser.

“Who brings music to New Orleans?” said producer of both series, David Simon.  “Who comes here and throws down against badass outfits like Galactic or the Stooges?”  Familiar with New Orleans’ music scene, Simon is convinced the evening will be an epic contest.  “I tried to warn them about New Orleans, I tried to hold ‘em back.  But Lafayette and Big G won’t be told.  They’re coming.  They’re ready to cut.”

New Orleans native Wendell Pierce will be the frontman for Treme’s side, while actor Michael K. Williams, formerly “Omar” on The Wire and currently “Chalky White” on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire will back their opposition.  “I’m predicting something epic, something with blood on the floor.  I’m just thankful that Michael can’t get his sawed-off shotty past the TSA,” said Pierce, who also played “Bunk Moreland” on The Wire.

The New Orleans performers are set as the favorites at a five-to-three line, however the east coast musicians and fans are optimistic for an upset.  “If Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers are the equivalent of the Dirty Dozen,” explains D.C. native George Pelecanos, a Treme and Wire writer-producer, “then Big G and the Backyard Band are the Rebirth.  These guys are go-go royalty.”

The event is set to take place at Tipitina’s Uptown on Friday, May 11.  Doors open at 8:00 p.m., and the show will last until 2:00 a.m.  General admission tickets are $20, with $100 VIP tickets available for fans who want an up close experience with the musicians and Treme and Wire actors in attendance.  All proceeds from the event will raise money for The Tipitina’s Foundation and The Roots of Music.

“It will not be pretty,” says Treme executive producer Eric Overmyer, greatly familiar with the New Orleans music community.  “The rules of engagement are no rules.  Prisoners will not be taken.  The wounded will be shot.”

Source:  David Simon