Voodoo Day 2 Review

City Park

October 29, 2006

This day was less crowded and a lot more relaxed than Saturday. Before the festival I thought Sunday would be the strongest day, but it turns out that Wu Tang dropping off of Sunday's lineup meant a lot. I ate and drank a lot more this day than Saturday. Cajun pasta, jambalaya(not so great), crab cakes, beer and more beer. I was mildly sunburnt from the day before, so my favorite place became under a tree in between the two main stages. You could hear the music fine.

First up Sunday was AM at 11. This guy is supposedly from New Orleans, but I've never seen him around. He's an acoustic singer-songwriter, and he was accompanied by a bassist and a bongo player. Bongos--not a good sign. Sure enough, the music was not only passion-less and plaintive but but boring in a songwriting sense. His songs weren't inventive or catchy at all, but I guess we were supposed to stand there and listen because he was whining.

Next up were The Whigs, who were the opposite of AM. They were a hooky, hard rockin' garage band from Athens. Sometimes they got subtle and artful on the keyboard, but most of the songs were balls-out and sometimes angry rockers. Their set was so much fun, and even though it was early in the day, they got the crowd into by the end of the set. No matter if you knew them or not, the stuff they were playing was undeniably good. And then the guitarist pulled out a crazy noise solo that floored everyone. I won't miss another Whigs show in New Orleans, that's for sure.

Most of the rest of the day I spent by the WWOZ stage. Kermit got the stage goin' and said he was dressing up for Halloween as Flavor Flav. I think this was actually from Saturday, but Troy Andrews had a killer set, whenever he played, just for the record. Big Sam was also great as usual on Sunday. I got a beer and got up close for Morning 40 Federation. I'm getting into them more and more, and even though they delivered for this set, there's nothing better than seeing them for free at Le Bon Temps. Or d.b.a. I saw them Halloween night, and the shit was INSANE. Pandemonium.

Ballzack played soon after, and even though his beats are solid and the music catchy, it boggles how starchly funny the lyrics are listen after listen. His wacky, Westbank and city-specific rhymes will always be his strength.

The Flaming LIps had the best set of both days, easy. After the hour long euphoria, I tried to watch Kings of Leon, but how do you follow The Flaming Lips. The simple answer: you don't.

I was in the photo pit when Wayne got in his bubble and rolled into the crowd. It was kinda cool being up close and seeing how they put him in there--some very simple yet effective flap technology. I barely noticed the cool jam the band was having as Wayne got in. The first real song was "Race for the Prize," and the second the song hit the confetti blasters went off and big blue balls were released into the crowd. It was so amazing, a wonderfully positive feeling, to have everyone be together in that awe-inspiring moment. Like, holy shit, the sky is covered in big bouncy balls. I have to note that everything--I mean everything except the cymbals--onstage was either colored orange or blue. I can't imagine how much time must have gone into making sure even the chairs they sat in were red. I never realized that keyboardist/guitarist Steven Drozd has such an awesome high voice when he wants it. I always assumed that was Wayne on record.

The crowd coulda been a whole lot more into it, but I was a ways back for most of the show. I'm sure it was awesome up front. Wayne wasn't happy with the amount of crowd singalong participation, but he never lost faith. Every song seemed drenched in sincerity, even if the lyrics were nonsensical. When everyone sang them together in such high spirits, they became something else altogether.

Slower song "Vein of Stars" was a nice change of pace, and "The WAND" was a nice, aggressive punch. I can't forget the dancing set of Santas and aliens onstage. From moment one, the band's performance was buffered. How could they not be confident and feel they've got it made when they were surrounded by such distractions? The band did very well, even though they had a lot to fall back on if they screwed up. Drummer Kliph did some difficult and disjunctive things.

I thought "She Don't Use Jelly" was a cop out, as I would have preferred more from one of the last three albums, but I understand including it in the festival atmosphere. "Do You Realize?" closed it all out amid endless blasts of confetti. It was quite a spectacle to watch how high up it got. It was magical. Now that his suggestions don't seem so crazy anymore, I can't wait to see what onstage craziness Wayne and Co. come up with in the next ten years. "You wanna shoot WHAT outta WHAT?!"

Bubble Music
Race for the Prize
Yoshimi Singalong
Yoshimi Pt 2
Vein of Stars
Yeah Yeah Yeah (with pre-song slow singalong)
She Don't Use Jelly
Do You Realize

The Secret Machines sounded awesome at the In the Round stage later. The music was a headtrip. So psychedelic yet hard rockin'. Muse is definetely a brother to the Secret Machines.

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