Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Voodoo Experience Review - Part 2 -

For the first part of the review click here...

There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem.
-Bob Dylan, Chronicles Volume 1 
Bob Dylan is one of my hero's, sure I love his songs, but even if I hated them his description of New Orleans in his book Chronicles is the best I have ever read.  I agree 100% with him on all of it, and just reading those lines makes me want to buy a return ticket...Jazzfest can't come soon enough...but let's not get ahead of ourselves, Voodoo Experience still has plenty to offer.
 Mid way through Saturday, heading over to the main stage one had to get roped into the multi-genre-multi-cultural offerings of Ozomatli who combined everything from hip-hop to salsa in their set, fitting in beautifully amongst the musical blending pot of New Orleans.  This LA band brings the party live every time,

 check out some high quality videos of their performance here.   

What is better under the mid day delta sun then a bit of metal?  Mastodon took to the main stage and under pristine skies thrashed out a set worthy of the main stage bashing and blasting notes all across gorgeous City Park.  Groups of fans headbanging or even laid down to enjoy the madness surrounding as costume clad revelers (lots of Sexy Native Americans flocking around this year) drank and gabbed behind the metal curtain being lowered over the stage.

Next up was suppose to be the fantastic Azztravaganza, showcasing the best in NOLA bounce, but sound issues and a bit of Diva-ness seemed to delay things for waaay too long.  One of the problems of any festival is booking and scheduling and while Cheeky Blakk and the others would have been great to catch for more then just a few songs of, Social Distortion called back on the main-stage.

While I will never doubt the absolute coolness of Mike Ness, this set at Voodoo was not one of the bands best.  They played all of the hits and had the crowd pogo-ing, but the overall sound, either from the venue itself or the band, was not up to snuff.  There was a tin sound that was high pitched and distracting through much of their set.  It didn't distract the fans though from crooning along with the punk legends.  

Saturday had to end early at this point, but Sunday came on strong like a stiff Sazerac.  The Sheepdogs woke up some sleepy eyes via their straight up blues rock riffing.

Fishbone brought their freaky style-ee sense to the stage just afternoon, but again scheduling became an issue as Dr John and Preservation Hall with Del McCoury were all scheduled at the same time causing lots of walks back and fourth from stage to stage...thankfully they were real close.   Then a rare treat occurred as the Morning 40 Federation was resurrected and reunited for a special Voodoo Experience show.
Blowing a Baritone and playing on a Slide trombone the group washed the crowd in its sludge water party music causing even the most hungover revelers to raise a cocktail towards the stage.  The group ran through it's drunk classics's like "Gin Instead of Whiskey" and "Dumpster Juice" while closing the daytime shenanigans with the classic "Corkscrew".  For professional videos from their set click on over here!

The Holy Voodoo Last Day continued over on the main stage with Odd Future, who can safely be called the worst band to grace any stage that RtBE caught this weekend.  Their recycled hip-hop beats sounded tiny and weak on the huge stage, their rhymes mixed "fuck" in so much it just sounded lazy.  The group had little charisma and even people who went in want to catch them live were walking around disappointed post set.

Thankfully after them TV On The Radio took over and while things were instantly rectified the group built and built a layered set.  While at times the nuances of their studio recordings were lost over the vast field the group managed to pull things off in the end.  
The band played a combo from their albums and was more intellectual and textured then groovy causing most fans just to watch as opposed to dance, which was a distinct difference then most of the crowds through out the festival.

While semi on the fence during the set the bands final number put the playing over the edge as they threw down a surprise cover. "Waiting Room" by Fugazi is a direct ticket to RtBE's heart and these Brooklyn boys did it swimmingly.  Here is a version of their cover from this summer:

Then the final schedule conflict of the festival, The Meters or Cheap TrickGeorge Porter Jr's bass lines were so tasty we just had to chew on them for a while, but we couldn't pass up the Trick when it came to some classic 70's rocking:

That also made the transition easier to the finale and highlight of a weekend of highlights with The Raconteurs closing out an amazing weekend of music.  Jack and the boys were a steam engine driving south from Memphis straight through to the mouth of the Mississippi, rolling the whole dam way.  The group is exactly what a rock and roll band is all about, power, texture, kick ass-riffs, engaging verses and sing-along chorus' gotta give it up for one of the best bands in America.  Opening their headlining set with "Consolers of The Lonely" the band never looked back.  They played almost all of their back catalog and never let down for an instant, truly a set for the ages and a perfect way to wrap things up on this weekend:

Epic "Blue Veins" Solo:

Until next year when the Voodoo Dawn calls once again, and RtBE tries to chase it down...

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