November 27, 2006

Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans, Oct. 28th-29th 2006

Day 1:
Local four-piece band Ellipsis rocked the WWOZ stage on Saturday morning playing uptempo rock "mom rock". Unfortunately, nothing impressive...

In the afternoon, this young four-peice indie rock band from Glasgow, Scotland really impressed me. They're called Terra Diablo, and played a blend of alt-rock that would be right at home on any college radio station. I really dig their music, so they get a thumbs up.

Joseph Arthur put on perhaps the most interesting show of the day. He came on stage wearing thin white slacks and a blazer. For his song "Fly Away", he led the crowd with a falsetto sing-along with turned into screeching. Midway through the song he removed his jacket, and took a moment during another song to frolic with his guitarist and play bongos. This is when things start getting freaky! He proceeded to sit down, during the song, eventually succumbing to gravity and falling. But fear not! He jerked up quickly and continued the song sitting on the ground. During some point later the in concert, he appeared on stage with several rolls of toilet paper attached and a leaf blower.

In the afternoon, many parents with their children came out to see the Imagination Movers. The Movers are a local band that plays children music. That band has gotten exposure in the Times-Picayune and receives airplay on Playhouse Disney. This band is fun for all ages, their playful tunes keeps the kids and the adult happy. At the concert there was also a group of over-enthusiastic teen girls, one of which attemped to throw her bra on stage, kinda killing the "wholesome family entertainment" aspect…

Rockie Charles provided an alternative to rock bands by playing down home blues in the Preservation Hall Tent.

MuteMath are local up-and-comers who have been getting exposure on XM satellite radio. Their ambient rock jams are reminiscent of early U2 and Radiohead. They show great potential: drawing a sizable crowd and a kick-ass high energy performance featuring a keytar, acrobatic jumping over keyboards, and homemade instruments. The highlight was the cameo from lead singer Paul Meany's grandfather. Adorable.

Broken Social Scene drew a large groups of fans, many of which looked like Urban Outfitters threw up on them. The 11-piece Canadian art rock group came complete with three guitarists, bassist, drummer, back up singers, and a horn section. Their lush harmonies and elaborate instrumentation give their performance an electrifying quality. It is also important to note that Joseph Arthur made an appearance onstage during their set, swaggering shortly before being pulled offstage by his handlers.

The Zydepunks put on a heck of a show at the NooMoon stage. Their music can be described as raucous "Cajun Gypsy rock." There were plenty of kids moshing to their tune. They are playing a show Halloween night in the French Quarter. Check them out, you will be in for a wild ride.

Following the Zydepunks, acoustic duo My Graveyard Jaw took the stage. Dressed in their Bohemian garb they would be right at home in a French Quarter coffee shop. The highlight of their set (which was relatively short) was "New Orleans Goin' Under" which featured raspy jazz vocals and punchy guitar chords. Their performance should have been tighter...

The NOOMOON Tribe with Pain Tribe came next, and it was not for the faint of heart. It featured people being pulled with meathooks in their skin, live blowtorch art, a gothic pirate mistress, and all the sludgy downstroked power chords you'd ever want to hear.

If meathooks and bleeding were not your thing, alt-country rocker Shooter Jennings put on a rockin' show at the Voodoo Stage. Shooter looks more alt than country with his wild chest-length hair and electric guitar. His more electrified tunes are enough to win over non-country fans, and his acoustic material is enough to keep the diehard country listeners in tow.

Keeping on the country music track the Drive By Truckers played "Wash Away", an ode to a post-Katrina New Orleans. "Louisiana, they're trying to wash us away," the group sang, but concert-goers were there front and center proving Katrina "didn't wash them away."

Hey ho, Let's go! The most pit was a-rockin' for Social Distortion. The band has been on the punk scene over 25 years and they played an amazing set that included crowd favorites, such as "Ring of Fire" ,"Story of My Life.", and "Sick Boy" (awesome!).

One of the last, but certainly not least, acts of the day was Red Hot Chilli Peppers who played a phenomenal show featuring material from their latest album Stadium Arcadium, There was plenty of crowd surfing during the show, which ended with a collaboration from the Meters who also played a show at Voodoo.

Day 2:
Kermit Ruffins' BBQ Bunch
provided nice Sunday morning jazz at the WWOZ stage. Their infectious grooves inspired concertgoers to shake a tailfeather. They closed out their set playing New Orleans' favorite, "When The Saints Go Marching In."

The Hot 8 Brass Band picked where Ruffins left off, pumping up the audience with jazzy secondline tunes.

Scruffy-haired singer/songwriter Pete Yorn drew a large crowd at Voodoo Stage performing upbeat acoustic ballads. His lyrics are introspective and have a quality that is reminiscent of John Mayer with an alt-rock edge. His performance wasn't mind-blowing, but he is nice to look at.

Jack's Mannequin provided audience members with high-energy piano rock. Lead singer Andrew McMahon pounded out piano chords as fans sang along. His passionate performance insighted quite a few squeals from female audience members. To be honest, I wasn't really impressed with what I saw, just seemed like a lot histrionics and sappy piano-laden emo ballads.

Ballzack put on a short, high-energy performance at the 2006 Voodoo Music Festival, keeping audience members laughing and grooving with his beats and innovative rhymes, like "You can't punch a baby / You can't eat a planet / But, girl I never took you for granted." During his set he also played a bounce-style called "Wine Candy" from his upcoming album, in which he rapped, "I'm Ballzack and I'm back on the scene / I got a gold vibrator and some Blue Runner Beans." Read more here about Ballzack here.

Get your eyeliner out! One of the afternoon's biggest crowds was for New Jersey emo-quartet My Chemical Romance. The band was outfitted in skin tight black pants and matching Sgt-Pepper-Gone-To-Hell miltary jackets. They put on a high-energy show, and singer Gerard Way dedicated the song "Cancer" to the citizens of New Orleans. (Thanks?)

Local rap star Juvenile dominated the Sony Playstation stage in front of a large crowd. Juvenile had the crowd grooving and grinding to his hits "Get Ya Hustle On", "Slow Motion", and "Back That Azz Up."

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