Voodoo Fest

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Public Image Ltd begins a U.S. tour with snotty, loud set at 2015 Voodoo

Posted By on Sun, Nov 1, 2015 at 4:18 PM

Public Image Ltd performing at the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience on Oct. 31. - BARRY BRECHEISEN / LIVE NATION
  • Public Image Ltd performing at the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience on Oct. 31.

"Good evening. Let me see you."

John Lydon gently sneered at the crowd at the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, the first stop for Public Image Ltd on its North American tour following its 10th studio album, What the World Needs Now... Lydon — dressed in a striped black-and-white prisoner or cartoon psychiatric patient costume, with binder clips on the collar — assembled a mug, a bottle of water, a bottle of cognac, and a trashcan, into which he spit the booze throughout the set. In announcing the band's tour, Lydon had cheekily requested gas masks, as he had plans to "fart continuously (there was one gas-masked and HAZMAT-suited couple near the front of the stage). He also frequently shot snot from each nostril.

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Ozzy Osbourne, Jane's Addiction and giant inflatable pizza surfing at Voodoo

Posted By on Sun, Nov 1, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Ozzy Osbourne performs at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. - BARRY BRECHEISE / LIVE NATION
  • Ozzy Osbourne performs at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

With Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne claimed the title Prince of Darkness — "My name is Lucifer, come take my hand" Ozzy sings in "N.I.B.," though apparently the song is full of empathy for the devil, who falls in love and changes his ways. Osbourne is a great headliner for Halloween at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, and last night's show was his second appearance at Voodoo. But the Osbourne on stage seemed more like your crazy uncle than "Crazy Train" Osbourne, and he seemed to enjoy the show, even when he turned a hose on the audience, while rain was already pouring down on them.

On a day plagued with frequent hard rains, Osbourne and company turned in one of the few sets to go past its allotted time. Terence Blanchard and his E-Collective put up with heavy sound bleed and a hard deluge mid-set. Peaches turned in an abbreviated performance. But fans weathered the rain and mud, and sets by Jane's Addiction and Ozzy on the Altar stage rewarded them for it.

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Final day of the 2015 Voodoo Experience is canceled

Posted By on Sun, Nov 1, 2015 at 11:40 AM

The crowd endures the rain at the Le Plur stage on Oct. 31 at the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • The crowd endures the rain at the Le Plur stage on Oct. 31 at the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

Rain has overwhelmed City Park this Halloween weekend — and the ongoing rough weather has forced organizers of the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience to cancel the festival's final day, Sunday, Nov. 1. Here's the statement from the festival:
Due to dangerous weather conditions including forecasted persistent rain and flash flood warnings for Orleans Parish for Sunday, November 1, the final day of the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has been canceled. Fan safety is the top priority for the producers of the festival and current conditions at City Park do not meet our standards for maintaining a safe experience.
Organizers will offer full refunds to Sunday's ticketholders, and three-day pass holders will receive one-third of the posted price at time of purchase. Information on refunds is available on the Voodoo website. Organizers told Gambit that despite the bad weather, turnout this weekend was strong, and they're looking forward to next year's event.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Florence Welch demands sacrifices at Voodoo

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 1:53 PM

Florence Welch performs at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. - PATRICK AINSWORTH / LIVE NATION
  • Florence Welch performs at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

The Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, is scheduled to reign over Voodoo Music + Arts Experience on Halloween, but Friday featured a friendlier face headlining on the Altar stage. Florence Welch of British indie rockers Florence and the Machine was in the Halloween spirit with her face painted white with darkened eyes — which seemed Day of the Dead-ish. Her band members and backup singers also painted their faces. But her magenta power suit with long jacket made her look more like the president of darkness — at least at times, as when she teased the audience about needing "human sacrifices" before singing "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)."

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Jason Isbell, Joy Formidable and Ryan Bingham kick off Voodoo

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 9:33 AM


A windy, overcast day provided a comfortable start to the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience Friday. Mostly costumed crowds were still trickling in by 2:30 p.m., when Flow Tribe kicked things off on the Altar stage.

Highlights included singer/-songwriter Jason Isbell on the Flambeau Stage. Switching between electric and acoustic guitar, he played a mix of songs from his recent album Something More Than Free along with older material such as “Decoration Day” from his time with the Drive-By Truckers. For “Decoration Day,” Isbell began solo on stage with only his acoustic guitar, before the rest of his band joined in piece by piece, building Isbell’s lament into something loud, raucous and lovely. “What a beautiful night; what a beautiful place to play music,” said Isbell, who had dressed as Batman. His band, which Isbell referred to as The Alabama Bat Boys, also joined in the fun; everyone wore a Batman costume or a Batman T-shirt and cape. Throughout the set, the supportive crowd cheered for Isbell’s sobriety, which he addressed through song lyrics and personal anecdotes. Towards the end of his set, he thanked Voodoo for “not having us any closer to the EDM stage than we already are.” As it was, Isbell and his Bat Boys held their own, cranking up a big sound to carry their music to eager fans.

Rock trio The Joy Formidable debuted a new song, “Passerby,” which offered the crowd a hint of how the band’s sound has developed, even if it’s not on their untitled new album — due out this time next year. Weaving in bigger harmonies between lead singer Ritzy Bryan and backing vocalist Rhydian Dafydd, and an almost heavy metal guitar riff, the song felt sublime, like staring at something foreboding from a safe distance. “It’s fun playing new songs,” Bryan told the crowd after the band brought the extended jam to an end. It’s been some time since The Joy Formidable has performed in New Orleans, and upon hearing listeners’ enthusiastic responses to their old and new songs, Dafyyd promised the band wouldn’t be away for quite so long. The band will return to play as part of its upcoming tour.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 Voodoo Fest adds Public Image Ltd., Peaches, Metric and more

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM

John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of Public Image Ltd., which has been added to the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. - PAUL HEARTFIELD
  • John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of Public Image Ltd., which has been added to the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

English post-punks Public Image Ltd. will kick off a 20-date North American tour on Halloween at the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans. The festival also added provocative electronic artist Peaches, Canadian indie-pop band Metric, electronic producer Steve Angello, and singer-songwriter Ruby Amanfu. The festival is Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in City Park and features headliners Ozzy Osbourne, Florence + The Machine and many others — check the lineup here.

John Lydon — or Johnny Rotten, the Sex Pistol, butter salesman and would-be King Herod in a New Orleans revival of Jesus Christ Superstar — and his PiL released This Is PiL in 2012, the band's first release in nearly two decades. The band will release its follow-up, What the World Needs Now..., in September. Watch the NSFW video for the single "Double Trouble" below.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Voodoo Fest announces 2015 lineup: Ozzy, Florence + the Machine, Modest Mouse and more

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Ozzy Osbourne returns to Voodoo on Halloween with Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler and guitarists Tom Morello and Slash. - MSO
  • MSO
  • Ozzy Osbourne returns to Voodoo on Halloween with Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler and guitarists Tom Morello and Slash.
The 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience returns to City Park Oct. 30-Nov. 1, and headlining the Halloween slot is Ozzy Osbourne, who returns to the festival a second time after his 2010 performance. This time, Osbourne will perform with Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler as well as guitarists Tom Morello and Slash.

On opening Friday, art-pop outfit Florence + The Machine also makes a headlining return to the festival after a 2010 performance. Modest Mouse also performs Friday. Zac Brown Band will close out the festival on Sunday.

Electronic acts and EDM remain a growing force on the bill, including the Skrillex and Diplo collaboration Jack Ü, as well as Grammy-nominated electronic mouse-head king Deadmau5, singer and electronic pop producer Santigold, Swedish dance producer Alesso, and mash-up king Girl Talk.

And the electronic fleet gets its blessing from one of its creators: Giorgio Moroder. The Italian super-producer is in the middle of a comeback streak and has made infrequent trips to music festivals over the last few years. His Voodoo appearance is his only announced U.S. show for 2015.

The weekend's hip-hop lineup includes acid rap mixtape star Chance The Rapper, Shady Records rapper Yelawolf, and New York's underground up-and-comer Joey Bada$$, who performs with New Orleans' Soul Rebels Brass Band.

Recently reunited punk rock trio Babes In Toyland joins nostalgia heavyweights Jane's Addiction, Third Eye Blind and The Cult.

There are several bands on the bill who'll make a return trip to New Orleans for a second time this year, including Hundred Waters, The Suffers and The Growlers (and rapper Yelawolf performs at the House of Blues June 21). Also on the 2015 Voodoo lineup are country singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way, Welsh rock band The Joy Formidable, rockers Clutch, punk trio Title Fight and Oakland roots singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito.

Local acts include Dumpstaphunk, Flow Tribe, Mike Dillon's Punk Rock Percussion Consortium, Mississippi Rail Company, Quickie Mart, Tysson, Baby Bee, Carmine P. Filthy & A Boy Named Ruth, Kompression with Unicorn Fukr and Herb Christopher, and St. Cecilia's Asylum Chorus.

Tickets go on sale at noon Tuesday, June 23 via the Voodoo website. Three-day general admission is $150, and three-day Loa VIP passes are $500. Pre-sales (through Citi, Fuse TV, Zippo and Live Nation) are open now (with password) and offer $25 off general admission and $150 off Loa.

See the full lineup below (there will likely be some more additions):

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Y@ Speak: tricks and treats

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM

If you're reading this, you survived another Saints victory, a Voodoo Music + Arts Experience and a Halloween weekend, or you're a ghost... who can read. Among last week's highlights: the New Orleans Pelicans got a win in their sophomore season opener, Jimmy Graham like make big boom boom with helmet (and Outkast's Big Boi loves Mark Ingram), Lauryn Hill doesn't care much for the concept of time, and local comics open for Louis CK while Foo Fighters finish the 2014 Voodoo Fest.

And will someone please check on @moosedenied's car.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Foo Fighters close out the 2014 Voodoo Fest

Posted By on Sun, Nov 2, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters performing at the 2014 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters performing at the 2014 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

In May, Foo Fighters opened the doors at Preservation Hall and blasted amplifiers into the street. For its New Orleans pitstop on the band's countrywide road trip hitting music landmarks, the band — whose self-titled debut was released nearly 20 years ago — recorded at the intimate off-Bourbon concert hall, and once word got out that the band would play (a carefully orchestrated gig for HBO), the street filled with fans hoping to get a glimpse. 

If that was the teaser, the band's closing set at the 2014 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, at nearly two and a half hours with 24 songs, was the main feature. (It also dwarfed the band's performance at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.)

Sonic Highways, the band's eighth studio album out Nov. 10, is the result of that coast-to-coast tour — its accompanying HBO series is a history lesson in each city's music scenes. (The New Orleans episode airs Nov. 21.) At Voodoo, however, the band stuck to its career-spanning catalog, except for the new single "Something From Nothing," and a preview of the New Orleans-inspired song on the album. Singer and guitarist Dave Grohl gushed freely about the city.

"We have a rule, to never have a day off in this band before you play New Orleans," he said, adding that a few hours before the band's set, "three old ladies" in a French Quarter bar asked him to drink a mind eraser. The bar booed him when he declined. Then he changed his mind. "F— it," he said. "I walked in tonight feeling all right."

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Benjamin Booker performs a homecoming show at Voodoo

Posted By on Sun, Nov 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Benjamin Booker with drummer Max Norton. - PHOTO COURTESY VOODOO
  • Benjamin Booker with drummer Max Norton.

Back in August, Benjamin Booker was sitting at his new home in New Orleans and about to tour for the remainder of the fall. That respite followed a tour with Jack White and a string of dates after signing with ATO Records, who came calling at a Florida gig where he signed the deal in the parking lot. Booker's Nov. 1 set at the 2014 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience was his first New Orleans show as the newly signed new New Orleanian with a self-titled debut and critical acclaim. That Booker — the "everything happening all at once" 25-year-old rookie songwriter from Florida who fell hard into a press and tour circus seemingly overnight — was a mere shadow of the confident, feedback-wielding rock 'n' roll frontman on the intimate Flambeau stage. 

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