At long last, Voodoo week is here and although my costume status is still TBD, I’ve navigated through the Voodoo schedule to pick out a few shows that you don’t want to miss if you’re going to be in City Park this weekend.
The closer Voodoo gets, the more intrigued I am by its extremely eclectic lineup, the chance to see Soundgarden, Blink-182 and Fatboy Slim for the first time, and some very interesting collaborations.
Here are six sets in particular that will be commanding my full attention.
Friday, October 28
Peelander-Z – 3:45 p.m. – Le Carnival Bingo! Parlour
It is ultra fitting that this super-action hero punk band is playing on a stage billed as “Le Carnival.” That is exactly the atmosphere that will unfold on Friday afternoon when these guys hit the stage. It will be hilarious, rowdy, possibly a little dangerous and I can promise if you attend this show you won’t be able to get the words to catchy songs like “Mad Tiger” out of your head. This has my bet for the most unforgettable set of the weekend.
Major Lazer – 6 p.m. – Le Plur Red Bulletin Stage
Speaking of carnival atmospheres (see video below), the DJ duo of Switch and Diplo known as Major Lazer should be another wild set on Day One. Not quite sure what to expect from this one, but having enjoyed a great deal of Diplo’s work with artists like M.I.A. and Santigold over the past few years, this one gets the nod over Band of Horses.
Late Nights Picks: Either Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk & Pimps of Joytime at Tipitina’s Uptown or Toubab Krewe and Earphunk at the Maison. Decisions, decisions…
Saturday, October 29
Mastodon – 4:15 p.m. – Le Ritual Voodoo Stage
Coming in hot from a handful of dates with Friday night’s headliners Soundgarden, this band is riding a great amount of buzz around its stratospherically-sprawling new record The Hunter (out this Tuesday – in the running for coolest album cover of the year). This Atlanta metal outfit delivers a unique brand of pioneering, hyper-literate hybrid of prog rock, sludge metal, and driving hardcore riffage, helping the band ascend to the throne as one of the paramount metal acts of the early 21st century. If the cute lyrics of the opening song on The Hunter (I Burned Out My Eyes/I Cut Off My Tongue) are any indication, Mastodon hasn’t gone soft. Should be one of the best, most aggressive shows of the weekend. Check out the video below that shows how the sculpture featured on the album cover of The Hunter was constructed – very cool.
New Orleans Bounce Azztravaganza Feat. Katey Red, Vockah Redu, Cheeky Blakk, D.J. D Lefty Parker, and Special Guests – 5:00 p.m. – Le Carnival Bingo! Parlour
The name pretty much speaks for itself here. Just gotta wonder if Big Freedia will turn up as one of the special guests.
Late Night Pick: “Daft Phunk” – Earphunk takes on Daft Punk at One Eyed Jacks
Sunday, October 30
The Raconteurs – 7:00 p.m. – Le Ritual Voodoo Stage
With The Dead Weather, Jack White’s Third Man Records responsibilities and the excellent new ROME spaghetti western soundtrack project with Norah Jones, Danger Mouse & Daniel Liuppi, it seemed like it would be a long time before we got to see The Raconteurs surface once again on the festival circuit. With apologies to Sister/ex-wife Meg White, The Raconteurs are my personal favorite Jack White project and the announcement that they’ll be playing on a stacked Sunday with The Meters, Fatboy Slim and TVOTR has us very much excited to get out there for yet another epic closing day in City Park (remember last year (Pres Hall > Janelle Monae > MGMT > MMJ) or ’09 (Pogues > WSP > Flaming Lips)?). Just a rock solid, Zepp-ed up garage rock band of buddies closing it out on a Sunday night; can’t beat that.
The Original Meters – 6:15 p.m. – Le Flambeau WWOZ Stage
The announcement that the Meters would be re-forming for an extra special set at Bonnaroo alongside Dr. John (where they performed his classic album Desitively Bonnaroo) got me hoping that the quintessential funk quartet would have enough fun to get together for a few shows and possibly be in the mix at Jazz Fest. It turns out we don’t have to wait ’til May to see these guys return to their hometown. The Meters performance on Sunday is definitely one of the biggest pieces of live music news to hit the Big Easy music scene all year and this will mark the band’s third festival appearance this year (Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and now Voodoo). The seminal NOLA funk band hasn’t appeared in New Orleans since headlining Jazz Fest in back-to-back years in 2005-06, so a big applause to Voodoo for making this happen. Just hoping the WWOZ Stage area is big enough to handle what should be a very large Sunday crowd.