Voodoo Fest 2006

November 03, 2006

Last weekend, we got to New Orleans on Saturday afternoon. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny and I sat in a bar talking to the tourists from Baltimore and keeping an eye on the football games while we waited for our friends to arrive. We walked around the French Quarter in the evening, and once it was dark, went on one of those haunted house walking tours.

Our tour guide was a chipper octogenarian in a witch costume who called herself "Scary Mary." She was knowledgeable about the history of the town and of its old houses, but she wasn't at all scary. She is probably a good guide for the walking tours most of the year, but she wasn't too good for the haunted tour.

For example, at the LaLaurie house, she gave us the story -- which I had heard -- where Madame LaLaurie was seen chasing a slave girl off the roof, and how the society people looked the other way to get into her lavish parties. One day her house caught fire, and in trying to save her stuff, her friends and neighbors found an attic where she tortured the slaves.

I was picturing a room where she administered beatings and maybe subjected the slaves to intense attic heat or food deprivation. That would be bad enough, but Jodie had done a similar tour before, and she knew of the more gruesome details. I came back to the plugged in world this week, and found that the Wikipedia article had the graphic details. I recommend the read.

There was another spooky topic that kept recurring during the weekend. There was this guy a few weeks ago who couldn't deal with the stresses in his life any more. One such stress was his nagging girlfriend (who also looks crazy in the pictures), and he ended up killing her. Not content to stop there, he chopped her into pieces, and tried to cook her up for a meal. Then, he checked into a hotel, partied like a rock star until his money ran out, and capped it off by committing suicide from the roof. It's obviously an intriguing story, which is best described in the 2nd and 3rd stories on this page.

The French Quarter isn't that big, but we kept finding ourselves in the setting for this story. We ducked into a bar after the tour and found ourselves -- quite by coincidence -- in the Royal Omni, where he took the dive off of the roof. We also spotted the house where they lived while driving to the Voodoo Fest on Sunday morning. And I had no idea until I googled Buffa's (see previous post) after I returned home, that this is where they guy hung out and worked.

My Chemical Romance performs at Voodoo Fest

Perv mentioned that in a comment on that post, and there was one other comment that made me remember something else about that place:

the picture reminds me of how Greg Brady (of Brady Bunch fame) decorated his room when he got to move into his dad’s old office! Was there a lava lamp?

Awesome observation there. I had mentioned the caution tape meant to keep you out of the kitchen, but I forgot to provide the fact that it was hanging down vertically, just like those beads that you had to walk through to get into the main part of Greg Brady's attic room.

Getting back to the New Orleans trip, we had just a perfect day on Sunday. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny and I started our morning by splitting a bottle of champagne in a courtyard. The weather was beautiful: cool in the shade, warm in the sun, not a cloud in the sky. We paid up, and I left the restaurant with a satisfying buzz.

After our champagne breakfast, we moved down the road for a brunch. I stuck with champagne as I chowed on a big plate of french toast.

After that, we got cash and headed out to the Voodoo Fest. I managed to maintain a buzz without sobering up, running out of gas, or getting schnockered through the entire day. It's a rare feat to be able to balance one's drinking that perfectly from 10:00 AM to midnight.

Champagne breakfast

Over the course of the day, we saw a lot of good to very good music, but nothing that just blew my socks off. This gets kind of boring, so I'll be quick.

Pete Yorn:

Played all of his songs that you know, sounded very good. The afternoon sun was in our face, and the crowd quite small at this point, but I liked it a lot.

Jack's Mannequin:

I had never heard of this band, but got drawn in as I went to look to buy a $4 beer. They weren't super talented, but they were enthusiastic, and I enjoyed the band a lot.

My Chemical Romance:

This is who I wanted to see most, and musically, it was definitely the pinnacle of the day for me. The sun was behind the stage by then, and they played straight through for an excellent hour. The crowd was still sparse, and Mrs. theskinnyonbenny and I seemed to be the only old people with enough liquor in us to jump around and enjoy it a lot.

The Flaming Lips:

They put on a weird show, with lots of confetti and balloons and effects. One side of the stage had a bunch of dancing chicks who were dressed up like space aliens and one side had a bunch of people dancing who were dressed like Santa Claus. Unfortunately, the aliens never fought the Santas. The music was so-so. It turns out I'm not a huge fan. But they did have a couple of songs I had heard before, although they saved those for the very end of the set.

Duran Duran asked the crowd to open their cell phones during a slower song, in order to "Give us some starlight." This is a shot of the starlight.
Duran Duran:

By the time Duran Duran started, there was a pretty good and enthusiastic crowd. They sounded just like they do on their recordings, but they are starting to look a bit old and fat. They played for over an hour and were pretty entertaining. It was fun to see that the young kids had no familiarity with these songs, as opposed to the songs that they knew pretty well on the earlier acts.

Cowboy Mouth:

We stopped by the last stage still playing for local band Cowboy Mouth, who shared their stage with lots of older New Orleans funk players. It was the same old stuff that Baton Rougeans have heard them play many times. I wonder how tired the band must be of their two local hits, as I'm pretty tired of them too.

So after that, we made a long walk to the car, then to Buffa's. You know the story from there.