Festival Guide

15 Must-See Artists at Voodoo Music Fest 2013

More than 100 acts will be down in New Orleans November 1 - 3. Here are 15 you can't miss while you scarf down jambalaya and po' boys
 / October 22, 2013

Big Easy Essentials

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So in a magical world where we're all filled with superpowers, we'd want to catch damn near everyone on this year's Voodoo Music Fest 2013 lineup. This year's festival, headlined by Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and the Cure, features more than 100 acts across myriad genres. If you're heading down to New Orleans (and why wouldn't you?), here are 15 acts you definitely want to catch. 

Pearl Jam

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Somewhere along their career arc, Seattle's alt-rock vets Pearl Jam transformed into a bonafide arena rock band on par with, say, Neil Young, Phish and even the Rolling Stones. At 48, Eddie Vedder isn't leaping from stage balconies, but his intensity and poetic passion are timeless. And with new album Lightning Bolt, the band have over two decades and 10 studio albums worth of material to play. Their two ace guitarists jam out, especially on tracks like "Yellow Ledbetter," and regularly help push the band's sets beyond the three-hour mark. Now that's bang for your buck.

Kid Rock

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In case your Voodoo lineup is missing some good, old-fashioned Americana, don’t worry, Kid Rock will be there. Show up to his stage with your biggest American flag and the largest bottle of Jim Beam you can find, and yell along to hits like “Bawitdaba” and “Rock N Roll Jesus” (hopefully). Here’s his latest, “Redneck Paradise,” featuring Hank Williams Jr. 

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

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This year belonged to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The Seattle hip hop duo dropped a pair of No. 1 singles with "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us," and their album The Heist sold 1.1 million copies. Their single "Same Love," featuring Mary Lambert, peaked at No. 11 and became a powerful cultural moment for gay rights in rap music. And Macklemore and Lewis' live show is on point, complete with backup dancers and brass sections, as Macklemore flies across the stage. See the zeitgeist in real life.

Paramore

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Tennessee pop-punk rockers Paramore have seen their share of ups and downs since forming in 2004. Josh and Zac Farro left the band in 2010,  but their first album since the brothers’ departure, 2013’s Paramore, was their first to debut at No. 1. The band’s latest single, “Still Into You,” is certified Gold in the U.S. 

Boys Noize

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The German producer/DJ is known for his live sets featuring equally impressive mixing and visuals. His remixes of David Lynch, Depeche Mode and Snoop Dogg put him on the map, making him a go-to producer for acts like Kelis, The Black Eyed Peas and K-Pop giants BIGBANG. Check out his latest, “Starwin,” off his 2013 album, Go Hard

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

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How often do you get to witness traditional New Orleans-styled jazz played by NOLA residents in the place where it was born? Not often, right? So don't be a fool: Be sure to see the timeless, indefatigable energy of vintage jazz at Voodoo. 

Cults

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New York City duo Cults broke out on the strength of their self-titled debut and catchy indie hit "Go Outside." The fact that the band's leaders, Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, were an adorable couple certainly helped. The time since its release, however, was rife with drama as the couple split ways... yet managed to preserve Cults, in part by shifting their approach from a duo to a five-piece band. The result is Static, a collection of more layered, experimental songs with ambient, atmospheric sounds. Check out LP gem "High Road" above for a taste. 

Hockey

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Hockey hail from Portland and meld the Killers, the Strokes and a little LCD Soundsystem into a danceable indie mixture presided over by Benjamin Grubin's half-rasp delivery. Listen to their breakthrough track "Too Fake" above. 

Royal Teeth

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With two singers—Nora Patterson and Gary Larsen—leading the melodic charge, NOLA sextet Royal Teeth deliver well-crafted and immaculately executed slices of uplifting indie pop. Listen to "Wild" above and get ready to hear more of them in the near future. 

Dr. John

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Dr. John is more than a living legend—he's one hell of a showman. Combining funk, jazz, blues and rock into an irresistible musical gumbo, the New Orleans native was hugely influential in the late '60s and still amazes on stage at age 72. Watch him performing live last year with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach in Brooklyn. 

Desaparecidos

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Disbanded in 2002 but reunited last year, Conor Oberst's post-hardcore outfit Desaparecidos bring their raw attack to Voodoo 2013. Check 'em out before they disappear back into indefinite hiatus-land again. Listen to "MariKKKopa," recorded after they got back together, above. 

Delta Rae

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On their debut album Carry the Fire, North Carolina folk rockers Delta Rae focus on love and loss, eschewing delusional romanticism for raw candor. The group has embarked on a seemingly never-ending tour, so expect them to be ready for their Voodoo set. Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham appears on the group’s song "If I Loved You." Will he appear with them onstage? We can dream.

Those Darlins

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Nashville quartet Those Darlins are a tricky band to pin down, as their modus operandi is changing genres with each albums. The group has drawn from alt-country, garage rock and straightahead rock n roll, though “Oh God,” the lead single from their latest album Blur the Line, dabbles in country and murder ballads. 

Skylar Grey

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Skylar Grey first made her mark as the featured artist on Fort Minor’s top ten 2006 single, “Where’d You Go.” Since then, the singer-songwriter has been keeping busy working with the likes of Eminem and MGK, as well as venturing out on her own. Check out her latest, “Back From the Dead,” featuring Big Sean and Travis Barker. 

Ruby Amanfu

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Rock fans will probably recognize Nashville singer Ruby Amanfu as Jack White’s favorite back-up singer; the sultry vocalist often seen sharing a mic with the former White Stripe and appearing on White’s solo album Blunderbuss. When she’s not touring with Jack, Amanfu is performing as one-half of pop/rock duo Sam & Ruby.

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