It's Times like these we learn to love again( Or my top 10 must see bands at the Voodoo Music Fest 2014)
So Voodoo Fest in New Orleans is only a few weeks away, and frankly, I'm slightly excited. I've been many times before, and if you're a fan of the city and a crazy mix of music, you should have fun. Obviously, much has been made of the declining quality of recent lineups, but this year is a bit better than most. Still nowhere near what they could be doing in my opinion, but for a somewhat major festival 5 miles from my house, it's pretty good. Just as a warning, on this list you're not going to find any of the big name dance acts, or even just big names. Honestly, I picked the ten that are the most fun for me, and ran with it. These bands are all good in their own way, and if you haven't heard of any of these, you should check them out. It's a pretty diverse group, but so is this festival. Anyway, here are my top 10 must see acts of Voodoo weekend!
10. Flow Tribe, 3:00, Ritual Stage, Saturday November 1st
So I saw these funky New Orleanians at the festival last year (not to mention a show a few months later at a club that was just as much fun) and they absolutely blew me away. Just tons of fun, amazing energy, and a great mid afternoon set. The singer, K.C., even used to come through where I formerly worked and we would chat about shows and music. This year, they open the Main Stage, and if they bring the same amount of energy as they've displayed previously, that stage is going to be full of swagger and smiling faces once these fella's get moving. One of the best known local bands in town, they deserve to be bigger, and hopefully after you see them, you'll agree.
9. The Revivalists, 3:30, Flambeau Stage, Sunday November 2nd
I first saw these guys at Jazz Fest a few years ago and was totally taken off guard. They have a ton of talent and a pretty good following around the city. The sound is slightly funk, some indie rock, and a voice vaguely reminiscent of Alice in Chains' Layne Staley. If you like any of what I just mentioned, take a walk over and see them. This will be my third time seeing them, and if you are looking for new bands to check out, I highly suggest you make it to their set. The timing of their set is also really ideal. It's a great time of the day to watch a band, have a few drinks, and start dancing. If that's your sort of thing, get there.
8. Big Freedia, 9:00, Carnival Stage, Saturday November 1st
Ass everywhere. Basically that's all you need to know. This originator of NOLA Bounce is well known in the area and is one of the pioneer's of the genre. I've seen her quite a few times, and it's both the most energetic and surreal show you'll see. You might think I'm being fucked up, but it's awesome and ridiculous and will have everyone shaking their asses the whole time. Even if the crowd isn't initially getting their ass shaking on, the dancers on stage will be. You're likely not even going to see their faces because of ass. Bounce music at it's core here, so be aware of what you're getting yourself into.
7. Givers, 7:00, Flambeau Stage, Saturday November 1st
Another great band from the state, Givers come two hours west from Lafayette and bring with them a pretty unique and fun take on the local indie scene around the state. A little bit pop, a little folkly, they've been around for awhile now, and have steadily gotten better and more well known. They even played Coachella and Bonnaroo, so they have a little national cred going for them. The second album isn't out yet, but expect them to share plenty from the upcoming record at their set on Day two of the festival.
6. Rise Against, 6:00, Ritual Stage, Friday October 31st
One of the best, most energetic shows I've seen, these guys really know how to bring the A game for shows, and I'm incredibly pumped to see them for a second them. Some people might not consider the music punk rock or not, but the tone of the message is without a doubt in line with other well known punk bands. Something about the anthematic qualities of the music, and the optimism they have in their message really drive the point home. Seeing them in a club was fantastic, so hopefully they can win the crowd over and make a lasting impact. You'll be able to find me somewhere, singing and pumping my fists in the air, because well, that's what you do at a Rise Against show.
5. 30 Seconds to Mars, 7:45, Ritual Stage, Saturday November 1st
I'm sorry, they're a guilty pleasure, and not all of their music is great, but Jared Leto is the one person who did a good job at both music and acting. That being said, I was surprised to see them on the lineup because I wasn't even aware they made music anymore, but it should be a cool show. I'm aware they have quite a large fanbase, so it should be interesting to see how big the turnout is. It's been a bit since I have listened to them, but the first album is still pretty amazing, so i'm looking forward to seeing the 30 Seconds to Mars brand of sci-fi futuristic rock hard as the night fills the sky.
4. Slayer, 7:30, Ritual Stage, HALLOWEEN FUCKING NIGHT.
As a kid growing up, Slayer was one of my favorite bands, and to this day, I'll still throw on some “Reign in Blood” when the mood strikes. Seriously, one of my favorite items I own is a pair of limited edition of Slayer shoes, that still look good even after 12 years or so. Easily the most brutal band on the bill, and wouldn't you know it, they're unleashing hell on All Hallow's Eve. I've seen them a number of times, and it's always loud, in your face, and chaotic. Also, they're direct support to Outkast, so that should make for a very intriguing crowd mix. How are hip hop fans going to deal with one of the most unabahsedly evil bands of all time? Only time will tell, but even if you aren't a fan of old school demonic thrash metal, it's worth it just to say you've seen Slayer.
3. Outkast, 9:20, Ritual Stage, Friday October 31st
Finally, I get to see one of the best, most original hip hop acts of the last 30 years. These legends have done so much for modern music it's absurd. A few of the early shows had subpar reviews, but it seems Andre and Big Boi have found their groove and the shows have gotten progressively better. It's going to be right after Slayer, so hopefully everyone still has energy because I'm sure these ATLiens plan to make the asses move and to close out the first day of the festival in utter happiness.
2. Death From Above 1979, 4:30, Ritual Stage. Saturday November 1st
Just two days ago I wrote about these guys, so you know I'm stoked for them. They will lay waste to the park when they walk on stage. A different type of heavy from Slayer, but they might actually cause more destruction. For a two man band, they're going to bring enough ammo to make sure everyone is gasping for air once they exit the grounds. As you can see from their placement on this list, they're one of the main reasons I'm going to the festival, and I plan to bring my dancing shoes and thrashing about in a state of panicked jubilation for the duration of their set. Cheers, there is “Blood on our Hands” again.
1. Foo Fighters. 6:30, Ritual Stage, Sunday November 2nd
Whether or not you're fan of this band, the show itself is worth checking out. However, if you are a fan and haven't seen them before, you're in for one hell of a show. Two and half hours of amazing songs, a metric shit ton of energy and mulitple sing a longs sounds like the exact way to end a great weekend. The new album won't be out until later that week, but i'm sure we'll hear plenty of new tracks, along with plenty of other songs from their previous albums. I can't even decide which songs I want to hear the most, but whether or not they play any of them doesn't really concern me. Oh, as you may or may not know, a few songs off the new record were recorded here in New Orleans, so there's a pretty good chance the Foo's will have some surprises up their sleeves for us. These guys were made to create music, and on the last day they're gonna show us why they continue to be one of the best working bands in music.
Hope you enjoyed the list, See you in two weeks!!
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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