The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is right around the corner, with three days of incredible music coming to City Park in New Orleans over Halloween weekend. We’ll be highlighting some of the can’t-miss aspects of the festival on Fuse throughout the week, and what better place to start with the 10 acts we (and you) absolutely must see?
From country to rap to dancehall to metal, these artists will be the heavyweights of the weekend, and should be treated as such. Check out our picks for the 10 artists you definitely do not want to miss at Voodoo this year.
Festival seasons don’t hand out MVP awards, but if they did, Florence Welch and co. would have that trophy locked up by now. Florence + The Machine have hit Coachella, Governors Ball, Lollapalooza and many other fests in support of third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, each time proving that they bring an enthralling experience to the main stage. Even if you’re already sick of “Ship to Wreck,” Florence’s onstage magic is not to be missed on Friday night.
You know that Ozzy Osbourne is headlining on Halloween night, right? And that he’s playing in New Orleans, where his onstage theatrics will probably be even more outlandish? And that he’s bringing Geezer Butler, Tom Morello and Slash out with him? Okay, good. With all that info, there’s no way you can excuse yourself from this show.
A Chance the Rapper show is no ordinary hip hop show: The Chicago native goes completely bonkers onstage, with a full band, dance company and visual display unmatched by most top-line rappers. With rumors of a new mixtape coming soon, expect a spectacular performance and cross your fingers for some fresh tunes to drop.
Deadmau5 is technically closing out Voodoo Fest on the main stage on Sunday night, but Zac Brown Band’s two-hour afternoon set feels like the perfect occasion to raise a glass and toast the end of a magnificent weekend. The country troupe has been plowing through stadiums and arenas in support of Jekyll + Hyde, and while the new music zooms, Brown has an impressive discography to pull from at Voodoo.
Settle in for a night of old-school rock on Saturday when Jane’s Addiction plays the main stage immediately prior to Ozzy Osbourne’s extravaganza. The 25th anniversary of Ritual de lo habitual was just a few months ago, and recent set lists have Perry Farrell and the guys playing all the hits. What’s there to debate?
Voodoo boasts an amazing array of dance artists this year—deadmau5, Alesso, Girl Talk and Steve Angello all promise high-octane performances—but the smart money’s on Jack Ü to deliver the most consistently dazzling set. Skrillex and Diplo’s joint project has already bestowed the world with one tremendous Top 10 hit (“Where Are Ü Now,” featuring Justin Bieber), and Bieber’s crashed the stage at past Jack Ü festival performances—but hey, even if he doesn’t grace us with his presence, the jams shall still be effectively pumped.
While we anxiously await Santi White’s next album (it’s been three-and-a-half years! That’s too long, Santi!), we can at least enjoy her at the few festival dates she’s taken on in 2015 (Made in America was sensational). The dance-centric performance often includes audience participation, and sometimes includes handing out free donuts to the front row. Arrive hungry!
Gerard Way will probably never escape the “Hey, when is My Chemical Romance reuniting?" questions, but such queries come from those who have never seen his scorching solo set. Plucking songs from his debut LP Hesitant Alien and much more, Way commands an audience even without his much-beloved former band behind him.
Fun fact about Metric: They’re perpetually underrated, and likely always will be, despite earning the long-standing respect of the modern rock community at large. New album Pagans in Vegas remains a blast, and for those arriving at Voodoo after work on Friday, Metric’s 6:25 set is an ideal way to kick off a marvelous weekend.
This year has been an absolute triumph for Jason Isbell, whose fifth (and arguably best) studio album, Something More Than Free, was supported by a string of well-received headline dates. Join the former Drive-By Truckers mainstay at Voodoo, and witness his well-deserved victory lap.
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