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Voodoo Fest 07: Music Wrap-Up

October 30, 2007

Voodoo Fest 07: Music Wrap-Up
By
Louis Bedigian

Voodoo Fest, one of New Orleans’ premier music festivals, isn’t just about great music. It’s also an excuse to travel to one of world’s most popular places for food and drink. As someone who can’t get enough sweets, I can tell you that there are no desserts like New Orleans desserts.

Still, we figured that if we’re going to go all that way to Voodoo Fest to check out the PlayStation offerings, we might as well kick back and enjoy some of the performances. This year GameZone viewed Motion City Soundtrack, Coheed & Cambria, Spoon, and Trombone Shorty. We also sampled a bit of the odd (New Orleans Bingo! Parlour) and a bit of the scary (Land of Nod).


The PlayStation Stage

Motion City Soundtrack

With their catchy, upbeat sounds, deep lyrics, and partial Mark Hoppus production, Motion City Soundtrack is a consistent crowd-pleaser. They rocked the PlayStation stage, playing tracks from their new album and fan favorites like “This Is For Real,” “Make Out Kids,” the memory-jarring “Time Turned Fragile,” and “My Favorite Accident,” which appeared in the third Burnout game. “Attractive Today” always seems like an unlikely song for live shows – not because of its sound, but because of its short length and terse message. But the band has wisely kept it on their set list, opting for entertainment value over music industry trends.

Musically, there was no question that Motion City Soundtrack would be great. The most impressive thing, however, is how frontman Justin Pierre leads each tune with crisp vocals that surpass his album recordings. Rarities aside, that’s not something you can say about today’s punk rockers.


Coheed & Cambria

A mixture of punk rock, hard rock and – crazily enough – 80s metal, Coheed & Cambria put on a surprising performance at Voodoo Fest. Whereas the average listener may have expected something raw like their first hit, “A Favor House Atlantic” (or maybe that was just me?), we quickly learned that this was not an average band. The music was heavier, the vocals were lower (no helium-sounding music here) than on record, and the crowds grew with each song. Fans were singing and quickly fell into the vibe that Coheed had created.


Spoon

Often referred to as the “band from Stranger Than Fiction,” Spoon is literally a commercial band. Their music has appeared in TV ads, movies, and other mediums more frequently than radio. You’ve likely heard their music without even knowing who they are.

But it was obvious that the crowd at Voodoo Fest knew the band, as hits like “I Turn My Camera On” turned the show into a dance fest for some, and a chant-along for others. The 60-minute set was filled with the same obscure tracks you’d expect them to play, but also contained the Stranger Than Fiction tracks the band is most well known for.



New Orleans Bingo! Parlour

Quirky meets strange and creepy. This oddball collection of music, video, and Panic At the Disco!-style antics kept onlookers glued to the stage. But while some were smiling others were as baffled as I was. Worth watching for the curious or delirious.


Land of Nod

This drum-heavy performance immediately drew my attention. The visuals, however, were a little too Silent Hill for my tastes. I love the game series… But shouldn’t its dark and disturbing creatures remain in polygon form?


These guys had chains attached to their bodies. Strangely, there were no keys hidden in the port-a-potties.

Trombone Shorty

Before the GameZone jet took us 30,000 feet above New Orleans (yeah, I wish), Trombone Shorty took command of Voodoo Fest. The jazzy sounds and catchy, unrelenting vibe are enhanced with rock-infused guitar, bass and drums. It’s an unexpected combination – the show began with heads bobbing, quickly transitioned to a dancing crowd, and ended with us jumping and cheering.

The music sneaks up on you that way. Trombone Shorty is successful in starting a song with a killer intro (usually just one instrument – drums in many cases), and then brings it together for a complete sound. And what’s really impressive is that, while some bands’ quality varies from venue to venue, Trombone Shorty sounded just as amazing at Voodoo Fest as they did at Tipitina’s earlier in the week.


Voodoo Fest 07: The PlayStation Experience

Voodoo Fest 07: SingStar Stage

Photos and Story by Louis Bedigian.

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