Voodoo Music + Arts Experience 2019: Spooky and Soggy in the Big Easy

Feature Photo Credit:  Katrina Barber Photos

If you thought a little bit of rain was going to stop the people of New Orleans from having a blast at Voodoo, then you severely underestimate the spirit of the Big Easy. 

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience took place last weekend and we couldn’t have chosen a better location to celebrate Halloween. Between the daily costume parties, incredible Lousianna cooking, and diverse lineup of artists performing, Voodoo did an incredible job of curating a delightfully spooky atmosphere, despite the muddy conditions of a rain-soaked City Park.

Credit: Charles Reagan Studios

Friday

The weekend started off with a smooth and relaxed vibe as acts like Pink Sweat$, Bea Miller, and Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers entertained hoards of fans in soggy shoes who were desperate for a distraction from the rain. As the night progressed and the sun went down, it felt as though everyone on the festival grounds was ready to kick the party up a notch. 

Starting with Big Gigantic, the electronic jazz duo threw down a heart-thumping set on Le Plur stage that featured a healthy dose of saxophone and felt right at home in the city of New Orleans. If it were any other day, we would have had no problem staying put for the rest of the night, but there was one act on the bill who made it impossible to not change stages so abruptly.

Rock legends, Guns N’ Roses took Voodoo to a whole different level as they played a three-hour set to close out the night. Weaving through classic hits like Welcome to the Jungle and Sweet Child of Mine, the band exceeded all expectations. Axl can still hit the notes and you’ll struggle to find a guitarist more cool and consistent than Slash after all this time.

Credit: Katrina Benzova Photography

Saturday

The sun returned on Saturday but, due to the heavy rains on Friday, the festival grounds were still a bit difficult to navigate with all the mud and standing water. We did our best though, even going to the extent of purchasing duck boots to fully embrace the conditions.  Thankfully, the artists performing on Saturday made it all worth it. The second day of Voodoo featured a handful of standout performances from the up and coming artists still looking to make a name for themselves.

Shaed and Elohim started the afternoon off on the right foot as both completely stunned the crowd with their high-energy and captivating stage presence. Shaed showed that the band has way more hits than just Trampolines and Elohim is quickly paving her way to the top of the EDM charts. As the night progressed, Denzel Curry, Young the Giant, and Beck all put on strong shows (with Beck’s perhaps being the strangest of them all), but the clear winner of the night was Zhu.

Zhu has been building a name for himself since 2016 and with each and every performance he just seems to get better. Despite competing against EDM’s demi-god, Bassnectar, who was headlining the same night, it was Zhu who managed to outperform everyone on Saturday. His ability to combine classic DJ’ing with live instrumentals is something worth appreciating and if you haven’t caught a Zhu show before, we highly recommend that you put it on your list.

Sunday

By the time Sunday came around, the spirit of Halloween had completely taken over the festival and fans were ready to go out with a bang. And with that bang, came a very difficult decision to make between two of the festival’s headliners. 

Credit: Charles Reagan Studios

As fans of both EDM and Hip-Hop, we ultimately had to split our time between Rezz and Post Malone, knowing full-well that both performances were worth seeing from start to finish. And in the end, neither artist disappointed. Rezz provided the much needed dark techno sounds that fit perfectly with the spooky atmosphere of the festival while Post Malone proved that his talents extend well beyond just hip-hop. It was a fitting end to an exciting weekend and really demonstrated the effort that Voodoo made to ensure that the lineup was diverse and unique.

Credit: Charles Reagan Studios

Having never been to Voodoo or the city of New Orleans before, it is safe to say that we will definitely be back soon. The city has so much more to offer beyond just great music and if you’ve never been before then you owe it yourself to plan a trip down to the bayou.

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