This was my fifth trip to New Orleans for Halloween and The Voodoo Experience Festival.
I'd picked up the tickets during pre-sale before any bands were announced and I was relatively underwhelmed when this year's lineup came out a few months ago. The headliners were some favorites (Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails) that I'd seen many times before and a few other bands I was interested in checking out live (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in particular always seemed to put on a good live performance in their TV appearances and Those Darlins who I haven't seen in a few tours) and even a somewhat surprising old fave who I haven't seen live in 24 years (Billy Squier). The rest of the 100 or so bands I'd either heard of and didn't know anything by or just never heard of at all.
But Voodoo is always a blast, the grounds of the park are beautiful, there's some amazing food and always the possibility of discovering a new favorite band.
So I spent a couple of days pulling up all the bands online and started making a list of the ones I would potentially check out when I finally got Reignwolf.
and in the words of the great Lou Reed "and then my mind split open!"
This was music...this was performance! Luckily there was no shortage of youtube clips of this amazing band made up of Jordan Cook, David "Stitch" Rapaport and Joseph Braley.
A goddamn true blue monster of a power trio who put every ounce of blood (in a literal sense during the next day's afternoon gig - which we'll talk about in another post), sweat and energy into every performance I watched.
Reignwolf became the band I was going to Voodoo to see, then a week before the gig, it happened.
Deja Voodoo Friday night aftershow with Reignwolf at the Parish in the House of Blues in New Orleans!
Oh I was a happy boy.
I spread the Reignwolf gospel to all those in our crew. Told them how not only were they going to be the gig to see on Saturday afternoon, but there was a damn good chance that this lil gig was going to be even better than anything at the city park that weekend.
Oh how right I was.
In the end, two of our crew were too beat to make it to this gig, but I was there front row with about maybe 40 other folks (and numerous new friends) who witnessed a band tear the roof off the joint! (and what a cool room by the way and TINY...just what I was hoping for)
I had high hopes and honestly wondered if the band could live up to them, well they surpassed them. They played just about everything I had heard (although not their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" - which they would bust out the next day) and I can honestly say I know I witnessed something very special here.
I've been to well over 1000 shows since my first in 1985 and this gig (paired with the following day's) were up there with the best of them...it was like catching the White Stripes in a NJ club or Nirvana at Roseland or the Stooges anytime I've seen the Stooges.
Reignwolf are all that is good about music - especially live music.
This band is going to be big soon and in a tour or two, when they come to New York and I'm seeing them with thousands of other folks instead of a few dozen like on this night, I will always remember this show but enjoy the boys rocking the bigger stages because this band is meant to rock the masses.
So Jordan, David or Joseph...if any of you are reading this...please come back to New York soon before everyone catches on...give me one more chance for the up close and personal sonic fury you gave us this night.
I'll let these pictures tell the rest of the story:
When I first saw there was an opening band I wasn't all that thrilled either as a full day at Voodoo does wear you down, but when the brothers that make up Baby Bee hit the stage - the thrill was not gone. The boys did a fine opening set of great catchy straight ahead rock n roll songs. I think half the audience knew them and I was glad to make their acquaintance. I hope to see them again and would suggest checking them out as well.
Me and Jordan - super cool and friendly dude. Rock on!