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Voodoo 2017 picks for Sunday, Oct. 29 

Ron Gallo, Aminé, Miguel and The Killers

click to enlarge PHOTO BY TOM BEJGOWICZ

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. // Sunday, Oct. 29 // ALTAR

A constant electric buzz throughout Ron Gallo's set at the Civic Theatre shook the vented shirt- and sandals-wearing post-Jazz Fest crowd to its core. As the opener for Hurray for the Riff Raff in May, Gallo showcased the MC5 urgency and full-body exorcisms on 2017's Heavy Meta, which follows his work with roots-rock outfit Toy Soldiers, sounding docile in comparison to the frenetic garage punk and grimy street poetry on his version of a "Dylan goes electric" or a 21st-century John Cooper Clarke. The Philadelphia-Nashville songwriter's Heavy Meta rages against machines and thrives within them — there's all the feedback and power of his predecessors ringing throughout his reverb-filtered howling. The band also performs at Gasa Gasa with Pope at 11 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. — ALEX WOODWARD

4:30–5:30 PM // Sunday, Oct. 29 // WISNER

On his 2017 debut Good For You, XXL Freshman MC Adam Daniel (hailing from hip-hop cornerstone ... Portland, Oregon) alternates from sleepy slurs to excitable bursts of earnest energy, sometimes in the same breath. As Aminé, Daniel uses his charming, self-aware sense of humor to wrestle with his thoughts — a goofy line showing love for his partner ("great scenes might be great but I love your bloopers" on megahit "Caroline"), a diss disguised as a toast ("This is dedicated to my ex-lovers / Hope that you hear this / never find another" over a Rugrats-inspired sample on "Wedding Crashers"). Album centerpiece "Sundays" is the after-party crash, dragged through a woozy snare hit and blurry piano riff, but he can't help firing off a few one-liners with a wink through his pain (and yes, this rhymes): "F—k a Monday / I love my Sundays / I head to Costco and get a smoothie." — ALEX WOODWARD

  • Photo by Daniel Sannwald

5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. // Sunday, Oct. 29 // SOUTH COURSE

Miguel's acclaimed 2015 album Wildheart — nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album, with single "Coffee" getting a nomination for Best R&B Song — feels especially relevant in 2017, from the opening sirens warning of "police in pursuit" through its reflection of Hollywood shams and sex as both pleasure and pain through sharp, wiry rock guitar and bedroom-tested R&B. Its exploration of sex and sexuality (and consent) is romantic, celebratory, and, often, tragic, either as unfulfilled desires realized as mere wishes or a source of judgment. But Miguel frames it explicitly after those sirens ring out: "Don't ever sell yourself short for acceptance / Accept the new, don't linger on the past / Believe yourself, trust your intuition / You're here for a reason, you know." — ALEX WOODWARD

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ERIK WEISS

7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. // Sunday, Oct. 29 // ALTAR

Do The Killers have something to prove at their set closing Voodoo? The core of the Las Vegas-bred quartet formed in 2001 and hit an early peak with the 2006 release Sam's Town, an album full of pop-rock singalongs that enjoyed a 42-week run on Billboard's Top 200 chart. The band had enough material (including fan favorites "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me") to merit a greatest-hits release, Direct Hits (2013), just a decade into the band's career. Yet The Killers' set at Lollapalooza this summer was widely panned as a snore-fest, with particular disdain aimed at "The Man," (deemed "flaccid" by Consequence of Sound), the new single from the band's fifth studio album, Wonderful Wonderful. The band stands by its September release, calling the effort "the closest thing we've done to Sam's Town" in multiple interviews. Yet, how this plays out live will be a curious sight to see, as The Killers arrive at Voodoo at half-staff: both bassist Mark Stoermer and guitarist Dave Keuning have announced breaks from touring with the band (both contributed to Wonderful Wonderful). Frontman Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. will be joined by hired guns Ted Sablay (guitar) and Jake Blanton (bass). We'll see what kind of wonder The Killers provide. — FRANK ETHERIDGE


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