Live Review

Voodoo Experience 2010 (Day Three)

As opposed to Day Two, Day Three is pretty damn amazing.

As opposed to Day Two, Day Three is pretty damn amazing. Flipping back and forth between the two main stages is enthralling; starting with Minus The Bear, then The Airborne Toxic Event, Interpol, and MGMT. Not to mention Deadmau5 and Trombone Shorty at two of the other tents. It’s a perfect end to the festival. The sun is shining intensely, the alcohol and food is flowing freely, and people seem incredibly happy to just be in the park listening to some incredible music on Halloween.

Minus The Bear are compelling live. They don’t sound polished but it works for them, giving the near perfectness of their studio stuff a newness. You might not be able to hear the delicate intricacies in this setting but the overall feeling is a rawness that is very exciting. It also displays what good musicians they are. This seems to be a theme for Day Three, pop-esque bands showing exactly how talented they are as exemplary musicians.

Some bands sound epically classic, even though you might not be able to quite put your finger on what kind of classic. The Airborne Toxic Event are a little bit country, a little bit punk rock, a little bit rock’n’roll. They also have this Irish Folk song feeling to them, weirdly enough. Though, probably that is what most people mean by Southern Rock - a blend of influences that sound handily like rock’n’roll, but with a backwoods feel. They cover the Johnny Cash classic ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, incorporated into one of their own tunes, and it flows like honey.

Interpol sound surprisingly like their albums, though that cannot be difficult - Paul Bank’s voice is singular and distinct. They are incredibly polished, like seasoned dancers who know when they reach out their partner is going to be there. They have a solid and enthusiastic fan base, and are highly respected by those who aren’t fans as well.

Then begins the mad dash to the front of the stage for MGMT. For the hour prior to the set, fans start to pile up, waiting for them to come on. It turns out that the wait is well worth it. They pull no punches for this performance, playing all the hits: ‘Kids’, ‘Electric Feel’, ‘Time To Pretend’, as well as their twelve-minute ‘Siberian Breaks’, which is brilliant live. The thing that’s so impressive about this performance is that it not only shows off what outstanding musicians they are, but how they’re able to combine the differing styles of their albums flawlessly. They strike a balance between the 1960’s psychedelic pop of ‘Congratulations’, and the electronic indie pop of ‘Oracular Spectacular’, and turn their sound into something completely new, proving once again why they are so unbelievably popular.

My Morning Jacket are less interesting. They come out in costume and attempt to capture the drama of Halloween in New Orleans, but it falls flat. Over on one of the smaller stages, however, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue Band headline and are a revelation. Trombone Shorty is a New Orleans native, who plays not only the trombone but the trumpet as well. He uses hip-hop influences in a brass band set up, adding urgency and excitement to something that could be a bit boring and repetitive. He truly is a consummate musician who loves his audience and his craft.

At the end of this three day festival, one is exhausted and satisfied. There have been ups and downs, and moments of boredom and inspiration - a real and beautiful and fascinating festival experience. They wanted us to worship the music and we did so in abundance.

Tags: MGMT, Features

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