During 30STM's set, Jared Leto told the crowd that Voodoo 2014 would be the band's "last show in America for a very, very, very long time." The announcement probably already had fans' feeling emotional, but the #feelz were kicked into overdrive when Leto began an acoustic version of "The Kill," the band's first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. With just himself and his guitar, the singer/actor busted out the 2006 single's lyrics while letting the audience handle the entire chorus. It was an incredible moment to hear the massive crowd collectively sing each word, prompting Leto to proclaim, "You guys are f*cking great, you know that?!?"
Even though Jack Antonoff told us weeks ago that he was "looking for two friends so we can be Weekend at Bernie's" for Halloween this year, the Bleachers star busted out a completely different costume during his set at Voodoo Music Experience 2014. Before he and his four band members finished performing, they all ran offstage. Moments later, they returned wearing the exact same costume of Little Orphan Annie's classic red dress and curly red hair. We should add that each individual onstage was a grown (typically hairy) male.
It was hilarious to watch the band rip through "I Wanna Get Better" in the getups and even better to see them then throw the costumes into the crowd. When Antonoff hurled off his dress and wig, it left him in nothing but his jean cutoffs.
Though Lauryn Hill's set started 40 minutes late, the singer/rapper wasted no time powering through her high-energy set, which included an awesome reggae/ska-inspired take on Fugees classic "Killing Me Softly With His Song." Her timeslot was supposed to end at 7:00pm, and as that time came and went, Hill did her best to make up for her tardiness by moving through cuts as fast as possible. Then her sound was completely cut at 7:14pm. When she didn't stop performing even then, her stage was blacked out a minute later. We appreciate the effort, Laur.
In the two-and-a-half hour closing set to Voodoo 2014, the Foo Fighters roared through two dozen songs that included old hits ("This Is a Call," "Learn to Fly," "Everlong"), but also showcased their new love for horns by bringing Trombone Shorty onstage for a live collaboration.
Read our full review of the band's epic performance here.
Despite announcing his name at the start of the set, Zedd's wig tricked one festivalgoer in the front row who called his friend to yell, "Bro, you gotta come here! Skrillex is playing...Yeah, Skrillex! ...I know!!!"
New Orleans' very own Trombone Shorty pulled out the big brass by showcasing both his trombone and trumpet skills, but his set felt more like a rock 'n' roll show than a jazz-inspired set. The 28-year-old jumped all around his stage, got the crowd's fists pumping and gave a few hair-raising yips and yelps like a true rock frontman.
Among the different stages hosting the eclectic Voodoo 2014 artist lineup, the Flambeau stage saw everything from jazz and brass bands to hardcore rock 'n rollers, so you know its sound system had to be A+. That attention to detail was never more clear than when Manchester Orchestra performed as one of stage's biggest rock names. Every word from singer Andy Hull was crystal clear amid the band's intense shredding as they moved through alt-rock chart hits like "I've Got Friends" and "Shake It Out" along with album cuts like "The Ocean," from 2014's Cope, all of which garnered big crowd cheers.
While Action Bronson is famous for his unpredictable sets, fans were likely delighted when the MC treated them to snippets of two new songs. The new material seemed to show a deeper and more self-reflective side of Bronson, with the first tack featuring lines like, "All my life I've been a f*ckup" and "Why you think I'm out here actin' crazy?" over a knocking hip hop production.
Meanwhile the second song (which Bronson admitted, "I don't know about this one...") included the line, "I got no soul / It was taken a long time ago" over a racing rocky, dance-y beat.
While Gogol Bordello's set had a slight delay due to equipment difficulties (frontman Eugene Hütz kept requesting "more bass," but actually pronouncing it like "bass" instead of "base"), the Gypsy-punk band ended up beginning on a sentimental note when Hütz opened with an acoustic ballad dedicated to New Orleans.
"I met someone from [Hurricane] Katrina who said 'Illumination' got them them through it," he told the crowd ahead of performing a stripped-down version of their song, which had come out just months before the tragic storm. "I think we're going to start with it because equipment keeps failing like it did to them."
It was a heartfelt kickoff before the tech glitches resolved, and the set turned into a rock-out affair featuring loads of accordions, fiddles and dancing.
As the final date of Big Freedia's Just Be Free tour, the NOLA diva's performance proved to be a homecoming fit for a queen. Big Freedia's Voodoo set was her freshest, most polished showcase to date, but it still honored her roots by incorporating a former backup dancer onstage and a collaboration with two of bounce music's pioneer producers.
Read our full review of the epic performance here.
Royal Teeth knew their early set time wasn't exactly ideal for the young crowd. Frontman Gary Larsen empathized, "I know it's the first act, it's bright and you might have just woken up." Yet the New Orleans indie-pop outfit successfully hyped up the audience and premiered some new music, including their self-described "sexy, slow dance" of a song called "Rich." Larsen told the crowd that the woozy, synthy spectacular hadn't even been properly recorded yet.
For the set that most embodied the spooky nature of the holiday, the trash-metal vets howled their way through fan favorites like "Disciple," "Hate Worldwide" and "Dead Skin Mask" as horrid images flashed on the screens behind them.
From dragons and devils to bloody skulls and burning people, it all made for good Halloween fun.
Twenty One Pilots brought their signature, schizophrenic performance style to Voodoo, while moving through everything from their original tracks to a ukulele-led cover of Beyonce's "Drunk in Love." In perfect Halloween fashion, TOP kept their outfits in a state of constant change as well. The duo opened their set in skeleton T-shirts and skull masks before donning floral shirts, white sunglasses, baseball caps, beanies and more.
Le Youth started his set in a festive mood with a slow-building remix of Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Like any good DJ, the LED visuals in the background were on point, flashing skeletons, skulls, blood and other Halloween-y graphics.
Alt-rock veterans Fuel drew one of the biggest crowds to Voodoo's Carnival stage, packing in an audience that extended all the way to the food stands in the middle of the park. One couldn't tell if someone was actually watching the show or in line for a funnel cake. The tell-tale sign, though? Watching who started singing along to the band's 1998 debut single "Shimmer" in the middle of the set.
For the final show of their 20th anniversary reunion tour, OutKast performed a no-frills set that acted as the perfect tribute to their legacy. Focusing on the music, Andre 3000 and Big Boi made their appreciation for each other known throughout the set, with constant exchanged smiles and even a hug at the end, proving their friendship remains strong even after 20 years together.
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