Voodoo Fest 2015: Top 10 Performances
Unicorns and skeletons abounded at this year's Voodoo Fest in New Orleans City Park. The clouds on Friday blackened on Saturday, turning the park into a giant slush of mud, which festivalgoers took as invitation to jump on an inflatable pizza floatie, sliding on the slippery ground ahead of Santigold's performance.
Voodoo's always-eclectic mix of music was just as varied this year at the festival's four stages, featuring electronic dance music, rock, country and more. Despite the rain, people still rode the lit-up Ferris wheel and other carnival rides, stopping into Likuid Art and Pepsi's 40-foot dome to watch a stellar digital art show.
Ozzy Osbourne headlined Halloween night following a tornado watch, on what ended up being the final day of Voodoo when Day 3 was canceled. Zac Brown Band and Deadmau5 fans were disappointed in the weather-related cancellation, however there were still many great performances during the shortened festival.
Here is a look at the top highlights from the performances Billboard watched:
10. Jauz — Friday at Le Plur Stage
"New Orleans are you ready to start a f---ing riot?" Jauz (Sam Vogel) asked his fans, prompting them to jump up fervently. A man dressed as a pineapple, and holding the fruit, spun a woman in a pink wig as the sizable audience danced to a "Bad Boys" remix. The Los Angeles-based artist played his "Rock the Party" collaboration with Ephwurd and earned cheers from the young, costumed crowd.
9. The Struts — Saturday at Toyota Music Den
Lead singer Luke Spiller thrilled fans by coming down into the crowd to sing during the band's performance at the Carnival stage. However, their stripped-down acoustic set at the Toyota Music Den later in the evening was the real treat. The Struts sang "Put Your Money on Me" and did a cover of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" as the rain poured fiercely outside of the tent.
8. Peaches — Saturday at Carnival Stage
Peaches gave quite the performance in her bathing suit during her set. While singing her new "Dick in the Air" single, she told the crowd, "I've been singing this song for three minutes, I don't see any dicks in the air. Those are hands, I know the difference." During her finale, she and her two male and female backup dancers took turns simulating sexual positions before Peaches chugged champagne and spit it into the crowd.
7. Fantastic Negrito — Saturday at Altar Stage
Fantastic Negrito's raw, dark, soulful music was a nice setting for Halloween afternoon. He opened with "Scary Woman" and later played a moving rendition of "In the Pines." A couple dressed up as rainbows swayed to his "Lost in a Crowd" song as many others lay on their blankets, soaking in his tunes. "There's only one Fantastic Negrito in the world and right now he's in New Orleans," said the Oakland musician.
6. Joey Bada$$ and the Soul Rebels — Friday at Carnival Stage
The Soul Rebels played for 30 minutes before introducing rapper Joey Bada$$ to the stage. "We're gonna do it like Kanye West, y'all," said Bada$$, before singing West's "Touch the Sky," the brass band adding rich texture behind him. A nun danced with two skeletons in Day of the Dead makeup during "Paper Trail$" and the crowd held up cigarette lighters for "Waves," upon the rapper's request.
5. Santigold — Saturday at Altar Stage
Santigold had her backup dancers pass out boxes of donuts to the soaked crowd below a few songs into her set. "Alright now you guys feel energized?" she said. "Do you feel like dancing with me?" She invited a large group of costumed fans to dance on stage with her to "Creator." She added, "No pictures up here, just a party," and then complimented everyone as they joined her for a Halloween dance celebration.
4. Ryan Bingham — Friday at Flambeau Stage
"Do you feel like clapping your hands and stomping your feet a little bit? Alright, let's get down to it," said Ryan Bingham as he started off his show with "Dollar a Day," "Top Shelf Drug," and "Tell My Mother I Miss Her So," the last of which featured a rousing fiddle solo. Bingham played an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar and a mandolin during his set, fusing country, bluegrass and rock.
3. Django Django — Saturday at Flambeau Stage
Django Django infused the crowd with energy on Saturday evening. A dinosaur and bear jumped up and down while a girl twirled around with her hula hoop to the upbeat tunes. "Reflections" was a crowd favorite and people were running up at the end of the set to catch the final songs. "Time marches on, time is against us," said singer Vincent Neff. "We will return to you in the future, I swear to you."
2. Ozzy Osbourne — Saturday at Altar Stage
Ozzy Osbourne told the crowd to "have fun in the rain" and the obliged with enthusiasm; a drenched Jesus belted out the lyrics to "Crazy Train" while holding a beer in one hand and his glowstick halo in the other. Slash, Tom Morello and Geezer Butler all graced the stage throughout the night, coming together for "Iron Man." Even though everybody was already soaked, Osbourne dumped buckets of water on his head and sprayed the crowd with a fire hose. "Thank you so much for sticking it out in this f---ing dreadful weather," he said at the end of the night, getting on his knees and bowing to the crowd. "I love you all."
1. Jack Ü — Friday at Le Plur Stage
"I have a feeling this is going to be an epic night Skrillex," said Diplo at the beginning of their set. They shot streamers out into the costumed youth who were dancing, hula-hooping and making out to songs like Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" and Beyonce's "7/11." The Jack Ü duo wove in treats like The Lion King's "Circle of Life," Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." Someone dressed up as a giant Febreze bottle and danced with the two DJs to their "Febreze" song. Their finale had Skrillex jumping around the stage, wrapped up in blue steamers dancing to their "Where Are Ü Now" single with Justin Bieber.