After the first and second electric days at Voodoo, the concluding chapter of the New Orleans festival was decidedly quieter. Comparatively speaking, the festival’s nights don’t go nearly as late as other music festivals do, but New Orleans on Halloween weekend offers its own amusements beyond the park grounds. As a result, crowds didn’t start arriving until later Sunday afternoon. But that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; the entire day felt relaxed, helped by the powerful sun and high temperatures that made things feel closer to summer than fall. It was the best day of the entire weekend, and that’s saying a lot for a festival packed with strong acts.
Even though Preservation Hall Jazz Band marked the second show on the Altar stage, they brought life to the lazy Sunday afternoon. The band played a buoyant set, touching on classics like Professor Longhair’s “Go to the Mardi Gras” alongside the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” And they did it in full black suits. Bless you, boys.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band at The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, Day Three
As dapper as Pres Hall looked, they may have been one of the few bands that didn’t dress up in costumes. Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals played as a hair metal band, Band of Horses came out wearing animal masks and Maynard James Keenan got in the spirit (again) by donning a luchador costume.
It was easily the hottest day of the festival, but that didn’t wipe out .Paak’s spirit (even if, as he explained, it marked his third show in a row as part of a Halloween tour). He delivered a performance and a half, using the stage as his own personal gymnastics routine. The band played several of his big numbers off Malibu, including personal favorite “Am I Wrong.”
Anderson .Paak at The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, Day Three
Band of Horses arrived fresh from their world tour, and while the band tried to play with their animal masks—with lead singer Ben Bridwell looking especially eerie when he sang—they eventually removed the hot headwear. They played a mixture of hits like “Is There a Ghost” and “NW Apt,” alongside songs off latest album Why Are You OK. The music was made all the more enjoyable by a setting sun, which calmed the blazing heat and ushered in cooler temperatures for the evening.
Band of Horses at The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, Day Three
Maynard James Keenan, fresh off his performance with Tool on Saturday, returned with his other project, Puscifer. He and female vocalist Carina Round sang at opposite ends of the stage before entering a wrestling ring built behind the band.
Sunday ended earlier than previous nights with the last sets beginning at 7:30pm. The Chainsmokers and Arcade Fire closed out Voodoo, and ended up competing for sound. Over by The Chainsmokers stage, Arcade Fire’s set could be heard clearly (well…until the bass drop). Considering Voodoo dedicates one stage to EDM each year, it seemed strange that arguably one of the biggest names of the entire weekend would have been drowned out by a stage all the way across the field. I’m not complaining, though; Arcade Fire played and played big. Even though the crowd wasn’t nearly the size that turned up for The Weeknd and Tool (a point that had less to do with Arcade Fire as a band and more with everyone being genuinely exhausted after Halloween weekend), they pulled out all the stops. They played an extended set of material off Reflektor as well as singles like “Intervention.” Win Butler said they’d originally written it during the fear mongering that took place during the 2000 presidential election, and it seemed appropriate once more.
Arcade Fire at The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, Day Three
Even if it wasn’t as packed with attendees as the previous two nights, Sunday ended on a pretty spectacular note. Next year can’t come soon enough.