Music » Music Special Issue

Voodoo 2017 picks for Saturday, Oct. 28

Whitney, RL Grime and Foo Fighters

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  • Photo bay Dominique Gonclaves

5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. // Saturday, Oct. 28 // SOUTH COURSE

Whitney made a big splash in 2016 with its debut Light on the Lake (Secretly Canadian), an album marked by drummer Julien Ehrlich's soul-tinged falsetto vocals over a sometimes melancholy, lilting indie folk vibe on songs like "No Woman" and "Polly." There also are violin flourishes and energized jolts when the whole septet kicks in. Ehrlich (formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) and guitarist Max Kakacek had written much of the material during a hard winter in Chicago, after their previous band, Smith Westerns, broke up in 2014. After touring heavily in support of Light on the Lake, the band is going back to the well. On Nov. 10, it releases an album comprised of the early demo recordings for Light along with a cover of "Southern Nights," by one of their favorites, Allen Toussaint. —WILL COVIELLO

8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. // Saturday, Oct. 28 // LE PLUR

Electronic dance artist RL Grime has teased only a few songs from his upcoming album NOVA, his first full-length release following his buzz-building 2014 debut Void, mirroring the dramatic tension and release on his gritty, cinematic tracks. Henry Alfred Steinway's alien visions are full of goosebump textures and mammoth beat drops, embracing drum and bass, deep club and house music, all warped by his sci-fi palette. NOVA single "Era" barks a distorted horn riff through its chorus before it twists into a frenzied house track, and "Reims" is a dramatic military march poured into a cosmic funnel. R&B artist Miguel (who also performs at Voodoo this year) adds necessary human drama and raw vocal power to "Stay For It," with the singer competing with RL Grime's thunderous, planet-crashing keystrokes. — ALEX WOODWARD

  • Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

9:30 p.m.-11 p.m. // Saturday, Oct. 28 // ALTAR

It would be easy to hate on Dave Grohl. When the tousled 21-year-old jumped behind the drum kit to join Nirvana 27 years ago, he was virtually unknown. Within a couple years, he was a sweating, shirtless frenetic rock monster, propelling a rhythm that helped drive the star-crossed band into punk immortality. Today, Grohl is rock's ubiquitous face of contentment — and perhaps it's a bit much with his mom writing memoirs and his opinion gracing subjects from politics to Preservation Hall — courtesy of his HBO series Sonic Highways, a follow-up to his 2013 documentary film Sound City. He's appeared on The Muppets for a drum-off with Animal. Yet the dude abides. Grohl has lent his voice to global protests via Foo Fighters' 1999 anthem "Learn to Fly," and continues to crank out albums and tour with the band, seemingly unencumbered by ego. Most important, however, is the fact that the Foo Fighters put on the type of all-consuming, powerhouse performance that will save rock and roll. — FRANK ETHERIDGE

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