Last week we made a last minute decision to go to New Orleans and catch the Voodoo Music Experience this year. We spent most of the trip on Bourbon Street and in the casino, but we did attend Voodoo last Saturday to catch Lil Wayne, The Mars Volta, and Nine Inch Nails consecutively on the main stage, and it was a ton of fun. We arrived a bit late for Lil Wayne‘s scheduled time, but luckily he was running behind too. I will say that I did enjoy hearing the songs live, but Lil Wayne was rather unimpressive in person. He seemed like he was stoned out of his gourd, it felt like most of the vocals were pre-recorded, and the set was filled with predictable events like a prayer session and a taking off of the shirt. I rarely enjoy hip-hop live, so I’ll chalk a lot of this up to that, but to sing a song sitting down holding a guitar, and then to never actually do anything with the guitar but let it sit in your lap seems pretty lame
It appeared most of the crowd was there on Saturday to see the hometown acts, and as soon Lil Wayne finally got his mic shut off, most of the crowd took off enabling us to get very close for The Mars Volta. TMV were their typical amazing selves playing mostly newer stuff, and in long, extended jam versions. Cedric seemed angry about something and was taking on-stage lights, his mic stands, and whatever else he could find and smashing them, and even tried to mess up Nine Inch Nails‘ lighting system that hung above the stage for the entire day. While that spectacle is fun to watch, I find myself being fascinated much more by Omar’s forceful conducting through the jam sections. I keep trying to decipher what all of his hand signals denote. It’s unbelievable to me that there are still so many people out there who hate this band because I can’t get enough of them:
Between them and NIN, we were able to advance even closer to the front, probably about 8 or 10 people back from the front rail by show time. Nine Inch Nails were nothing short of spectacular. They employed multiple LED screens and other powerful lighting, and utilized them brilliantly. It always baffles me that more bigger acts with the money to put together a big production like this don’t do it. Seeing this juggernaut of a visual assault pulled off so well has certainly earned even more respect from me for Trent Reznor. The Flaming Lips‘ live show has always sort of bothered me a little bit when things felt irrelevant, like it was purely about ridiculous sensory overload. In contrast, NIN uses their advanced technology to accentuate their music and nothing ever felt out of place. On an objective level, this was one of the most impressive live shows I have ever seen:
Here are some videos for you to check out. They are a bit shaky, but it was kind of rowdy in the crowd and the the eye candy is worth enduring it:
The crowd seemed smaller than I remembered from last year, but there were still plenty of folks. The festival setup was similar, but they were more prepared for the numbers of people as I never had any issues waiting in lines. The fest really felt more like an amphitheater show to me since we went in, watched three shows over 6 hours, and left, but all and all, it was yet another great year of Voodoo.
- Posted by Davy Minor on October 29, 2008 at 7:53 am