a new location within and yet another unique to boast (in keeping the ’s always veritable and bizarro break-from-a-growing-monotony-of-major--lineups), this year’s once again diverges from the norm to bring together a pack of artists that otherwise wouldn’t convene…anywhere. While there are far more reasons (both musical and non-musical) to make it down to , here are six acts we’re looking forward to at this year’s ritual.


Sky Over Voodoo 2011 | Photo by Jimmy Grotting
Sky Over Voodoo 2011 | Photo by Jimmy Grotting


Shovels &RopeThis high-energy, song-focused duo from Chucktown has already made quite an impact on Big Easy crowds at recent showings (and, looking ahead to 2014, will return for a headlining show at Tipitina’s on Feb. 19th). This early afternoon slot is well-placed and should be around the time much of the Friday crowd arrives and is thus seeing their first bit of at the festival’s generally thinner opening day. Expect an onslaught of simplistic and sweet tunes coming from a variety of well-aged instruments (and the entire kitchen sink). As folk’s answer to , Shovels & Rope should provide a refreshing set of good vibrations to get this festival moving in the right direction. If you happen to miss them at Voodoo, they’ll be doing a special “ show on Friday at the Jazz Band, tix for that are available here.

ESSENTIAL TRACKS: “Hail, Hail” and “Birmingham”


In addition to being long-time international icons and musical , over the last half-decade, Preservation Hall Jazz Band have become stalwarts at events like Bonnaroo and the . Moreover, PHJB counts the likes of , and most recently, as go-to collaborators and best buds in the biz. There’s a reason for it too: under the guidance of musical director , PHJB has modernized their approach while still maintaining a well-grounded respect for traditional . With an early evening slot just a couple hours before hits the main stage, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if Vedder & Co. invited this legendary collective up for one during the headliner’s set later on Friday night. But first, you’ll wanna see them do their on the big stage and there’s no telling who might come across the stage during ’s proper set. Expect to hear old classics and a healthy amount of tunes from 2013’s That’s It! (produced by ), PHJB’s first album of original compositions.

ESSENTIAL TRACKS: “Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine ”, That’s It!” and any number of New Orleans standards.


Crowd at Voodoo 2011 | Photo by Jimmy Grotting
Crowd at Voodoo 2011 | Photo by Jimmy Grotting


Cults (by Eric T) Having grown past their initial cycle of mega-hype surrounding ’ self-titled debut , this ’60s-styled girl-group pop duo offers much more stylistic depth than initally meets the eye and, in the live setting, expect the expansive lighter sounds to be met and seamlessly contrasted with darker hues – in keeping with a general theme of the night and weekend.

ESSENTIAL LIVE TRACKS: “Go Outside”, “Abducted” and “Keep Your Head Up”


NINHesitationMarksAlbumI’ve seen a lot of memorable shows in the headlining slot ( in ’09, on in 2010, in 2011 to name a few) and earlier sets ( in ’09, in 2010 and in 2011) at my three previous Voodoo Experiences but on Saturday night, there’s a growing and exciting expectation surrounding ’ set that we’re inching towards partaking in a complex and brain-frying audiovisual display that may just completely obliterate anything that has preceded it in City Park. Reznor and Co.’s attention to goes down to every facet of the show and this band’s constantly boundary-pushing sonics and complimenting visual aesthetics are bound to leave a massively impactful mark on all in attendance. With an excellent new album Hesitation Marks well-suited to the live setting (and perhaps ’s best new in over a decade), there’s zero question of the proverbial “place to be” on Saturday night.

ESSENTIAL LIVE TRACKS: “Copy of A”, “Head Like A ” and “Wish”

Nine Inch Nails - Tension2013, Pt. 1 ( Tour Exposed)


006 Moon Taxi at Tipitinas 5-16-13After several years of heavy touring, ’s prog/funk/jam/ rockers Moon Taxi have been riding a long overdue wave of success, critical acclaim and popularity these last couple of years and, with the release of this year’s polished Mountains Beaches Cities, they’ve got a studio record to match their sterling live reputation. Taking into account the fact that it’ll be Day Three after a long weekend, you can still expect this set to produce one of the highest-energy bands and crowds you’ll see all weekend in City Park.

ESSENTIAL LIVE TRACKS: “Mercury”, “Beaches” and “Cabaret”

Moon Taxi - "Mercury" - (Official Video) | Bonnaroo365


dr john ncaa big danceWith big-ticket acts on the main stage and at Le Plur, there’s bound to be ample space to see a New Orleans legend at work with a bevy of expected (and unexpected) special guests joining Mr. Rebennack. Announced guests include , , , Herlin Riley, Alfred “Uganda” Roberts, Smokey Johnson, Big D, Monk Boudreaux, , Roderick Paulin, Sarah Morrow, & Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony. Boogeyin’ down at the voodoo-charm-and-regalia accented Night Tripper set to close out this is about as ritualistic as this festival is gonna get. For these reasons, this is the right place at the right time.

ESSENTIAL LIVE TRACKS: “I Walk On Guilded Splinters”, “Big Shot” and “Mama Roux”


Writer + Photogger, LMB | Relix | CoS | NolaVie