New Orleans • October 31st-November 2nd, 2002
There’s always something to do around New Orleans on Halloween and today proved no exception as I ventured towards the New Orleans City park for the weekend-long 5th annual Voodoo Music Festival. With well over forty local and national acts participating over the weekend the event featured a little something for everyone. Upon my arrival I headed over to the one of the huge fields where the New York-based band Mindless Self-Indulgence were just taking the stage. Their high energy set featured tons of flying debris that came from fans and non-fans. Singer Little Jimmy Urine was only fueled by the audience cheers and boos chatting heavily with the crowd between songs. The end of their set featured him walking off the stage into the audience wearing nothing but his underwear and a gigantic boom box on his shoulders that blared a woman singing.
I’m not a rap fan but with nothing appealing to me at the moment I headed over to the Southern Comfort Stage on the other side of the park. As I arrived I was greeted with the sight of rapper Ludacris making his way to the stage. Appealing to most, he seemed to have the crowd’s participation and attention as he sang cuts off his new album Chicken and Beer.”
Later that night Rabbit in The Moon performed on the other side of park, front-man Bunny and dancers provided some delightful visuals which included fire, screens and glow sticks that mesmerized the audience.
Closing out the other stage was George Clinton and the P-funk All-stars who showed no lack in energy and vibe.
Saturday I ventured into the Playstation 2 tent where DJ Swamp was taking to the stage. DJ Swamp, dressed in surgical scrubs and surrounded by two women in revealing nurses’ outfits, treated the crowd to his mix of wicked turntablism. Swamp pulled out all his classic DJ feats which included breathing fire, setting his hand on fire and scratching a record to a beat and also breaking a record into pieces and scratching the broken pieces to the beat. He knew what the audience wanted to see and hear and he didn’t disappoint.
Originally, the Donnas were scheduled to perform at the festival but I was excited to find out that they had bowed out of the festival and that Iggy and the Stooges would take their place. Shirtless and dressed in a pair of blue jeans, Iggy Pop showed up ready to rock. He was a ball of energy as he jumped across the stage, pointed to the audience, and performed “I Wanna be Your Dog”. At one point he jumped on the guitar amp and simulated like he was humping it. During another moment in the show Iggy flashed his penis while singing the classic tune “No Fun” It was rock and roll in its purest form.
Rocker Marilyn Manson followed Iggy and the Stooges set. He took the stage to the tune of his new single “The New Shit.” His hour-long set consisted of several classic Manson tunes, props and scantily clad girls. The band and the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves and at one point Manson mentioned that New Orleans was the city that got him hooked on drugs and alcohol to the delight of the crowd.
One act that caught the crowd’s attention was Cypress Hill. The group performed such classics as “How I Could Just Kill a Man” and “Insane in the Brain.” The smoke was in the air and the crowd were on their feet. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the moment.
Later that night the band A Perfect Circle performed. The supergroup consists of Maynard James Keenan (Tool’s singer), Jeordie White (ex-Marilyn Manson bassist), Josh Freese (drummer), James Iha (ex-Smashing Pumpkin guitarist) and Billy Howerdel (guitarist/founder). The band seemed to be in great spirits as they played a moody set that featured such crowd-pleasing songs as “Weak and Powerless” and “3 Libras.” At one point between songs singer Keenan even handed the mike over to guitarist James Iha who led the crowd in a sing-along rendition of the Backstreet Boys song “I Want It that Way.” They ended their show with their first single “Judith” off their Mer de Noms album.
The White Stripes took the stage next, launching into the song “Black Math” off their latest album Elephant. Jack White was all energy during such songs as “The Hardest Button to Button,” “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” and the crowd sing-along “Hotel Yorba.” Meg White even came out behind her drum set to perform vocals on the song “In a Cold Cold Night.” At the end of their set they thanked the audience before performing their huge radio hit, “Seven Nation Army.”
The 5th Annual Voodoofest proved to be a good time for everyone. It was estimated that over 100,000 people attended the festival. With the amount of entertainment you get for the low price admission I can only predict attendance growing in the future as it has in the past.