Magic In The VooDoo Mud

00:00 January 01, 1970

There must be magic in the mud. Voodoo Fest was a wet and wild event this year thanks to some mid-week rain. Much of the grounds were giant mud pits that one had to very carefully slosh through. Friday night was particularly rough, and strolling through the deepest mud pits almost became a sport with spectators gleefully watching and cheering others on once they made it through.

Despite the soft, entrapping terrain, we carried on.

I got a sinking feeling when trying to stop and watch bands for any length of time (pun totally intended), but I was able to catch a good portion of The Revivalists. Voodoo Fest used to have far more local acts on their roster which has sadly fallen by the wayside in lieu of having more trendy acts that attract teenage and young adult tourists. The Revivalists have grown over the last few years from local boys to nationwide household names. They were a great fit for this festival for the newbies and the regulars. One of the great things about The Revivalists is that you know they’re always going to put on a fantastic, energetic, and engaging show that makes you move your body. The guys stuck to their crowd-pleasing, happier-toned favorites, and it showed in the swaying bodies.

After several rounds of visiting The Mortuary’s set-up, the Le Plur Stage, the food vendors, and the sponsor tents, we settled for a time at A Perfect Circle. The sound was right on, some of the best sound I’ve heard at VooDoo Fest. The brooding music paired with slow-moving, menacing lightwork cast a dour spell on the crowd. It was a good close to the evening for me as I dredged through the muck and back through the park.

The ground had lost some of its moisture by Saturday, but it was still pretty gummy and difficult to traverse. I believe that I would have been compelled to watch sets longer if I didn’t feel the need to “get out of the mud” all the time, honestly.

I accidentally caught The Wallows who looked like your typical college boys making music in a dorm room or dad’s garage. They certainly had elements of 80s new wave mixed with that 90s don’t-care pop.

Janelle Monae could probably play a larger venue in the city or at least play later on the bill, but everyone was happy to see her during the daylight hours. She looked amazing with her popping outfits that could be seen from clear across the grounds and her different stageshow with backup dancers doing yoga. Janelle’s positive message came through in her performance and put rose-colored glasses on all those listening

Sofi Tukker was a treat while most people were entranced by Odesza who kept their fans hypnotized with occasional fireworks. The duo consisting of the axe-wielding Sophie Hawley-Weld and the hype man Tucker Halpern. Sofi Tukker hasn’t been on the scene for long at all, but the colorful and intriguing pair have had several songs featured in commercials which led people to look up their songs on digital streaming services and YouTube (I am one of them). Both Sophie and Tucker commanded the stage taking turns running back and forth to their perches located on either side of the stage. I find their sound to be cool in the classic sense with a singular, groovy guitar rhythm and Tucker’s inhumanely deep voice. It’s retro without a precedent. But they didn’t let their coolness get in the way of really getting the crowd involved and excited, repeatedly asking them to join them in a chant or jumping to the beat.

Marilyn Manson was the man I came to see this year, though I knew that I would prefer his stageshow and low-key vocals in a more intimate setting. His voice held up well despite swirling rumors that he just can’t hack it anymore, but, as I already knew, the nuance of his vocals don’t transcend outdoor venues as well as smaller indoor ones. The band pumped on playing his hits like “The Beautiful People;” I was hit with nostalgia wishing I had seen this even ten years before. Marilyn did seem to take gaps between songs to recuperate, but it was still a good spectacle to see.  

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