Moonlight Benjamin's an Earlier Contender for Most Exciting Jazz Fest Set This Year

Bands have been trying for years to do what Moonlight Benjamin made seem effortless. Starting with The Gun Club, countless American bands have tried to find the place where the blues and Voodoo-inflected spirituality meet. In fact, Moonlight Benjamin do more than that, but the Haitian singer and the rock band accompanying her started there with “Papa Legba” in the Blues Tent Friday at Jazz Fest.

Broadsides, Boyfriend Best at Jazz Fest Thursday, and Friday Highlights

Think of Thursday at a test drive for this year’s Jazz Fest. The lineup was a Locals Thursday lineup and lacked the firepower to get a lot of people out to the Fair Grounds, and the morning rains further discouraged attendance. For that reason, the first day of this year’s festival didn’t feel like much of an event, but there were still some impressive shows. 

An Intimate Night With Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco stood alone in a rusted gazebo in the center of the Music Box with a wide, lopsided stance, cigarette dangling at the corner of his gap-toothed grin. The sharp November wind rustled the trees around him. “Everyone remembers where they were when Michael Jackson died,” DeMarco reminisced, out of the blue. “I was in the shower, had a good cry.” Hordes of jean jacket-clad Millennials surrounded him, giggling. After the brief anecdote, he digressed: “Anyway, this one is called ‘This Old Dog.’”

Arctic Monkeys Are Overrated Performers But Underrated Musicians at Voodoo

Arctic Monkeys were the band everyone was supposed to know in 2013, but festival crowds today don’t seem to know what to do with them. They catapulted to mainstream fame with their fifth studio album, AM, which made them headliners on the summer rock festival circuit. They headlined one night of Voodoo in 2014, when they performed to a much more lively, engaged crowd than their 2018 audience.

An Unplanned Ending the Only Blemish on Janelle Monae's Voodoo Set

[Updated] The last time Janelle Monae played Voodoo, it was located in City Park’s Marconi Meadows in 2010, She was touring behind her debut album, The ArchAndroid, and when she performed “Tightrope” to close the show, she tipped the tightrope on the ground in front of 50 or so people who supportively gave her room to move. 

Voodoo News: Travis Scott Serves as a Cultural Curator at Voodoo

Travis Scott is a cultural curator. In the age of Instagram-famous rich kids and Spotify playlists, Scott has consistently identified what will be popular among Millennials. Because of that, it wasn’t surprising when Voodoo goers weren’t disappointed that he was chosen to replace the injured Childish Gambino at the last minute. Scott is as plugged into the moment in one way as Gambino is in another

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