Loyola @ Voodoo
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 14:10
Amanda Wuerstlin, a 2006 Loyola graduate, plays violin and sings harmonies in Big History, a band that layers sultry, southern vocals on top of tinkling-pop noises and forceful backbeats. It’s modern-day Blondie, and if Florence Welch got a hold of a synthesizer, it might sound something like Big History.
Wuerstlin continues to credit Loyola for much of her success. She received a degree in music education and shortly after a professor recommended her for the position she now holds with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. But Wuerstlin has other memories of Loyola, too, like band practices in a Loyola practice room for shows at Carrollton Station.
Big History plays Voodoo for the first time this year, but it’s not Wuerstlin’s first time. “I played Voodoo in 2009 with The City Life, and in 2010 with Andrew Duhon,” she said. “It’s a really fun show, and it’s cool to hang out in the artist tent and look for some of my favorites — in past years, it has been Metric and Janelle Monae.
Christoph Andersson is a Voodoo veteran. It’ll be the third year that this music industry junior takes his DJ set to the festival, setting a careful pace with smooth, danceable tracks.
“In 2010, right after I released my first EP, my manager got an email asking if I was down to play. Of course, I immediately said yes,” Andersson said.
Because Andersson grew up in New Orleans, Voodoo takes on a special meaning. “It’s really fun to play a festival in my hometown,” he said. “I’ve always had a sentimental attachment to Voodoo. I’ve been going since I was a kid. It has a great atmosphere, and the weather here in late October is always the best.”
The Revivalists make a brand of soulful blues-rock that could only hail from New Orleans. Formed by several Loyola graduates while they were still in school, the band continues to play shows, record music (like their new record, “City of Sound”) and tour frequently.
Drummer Andrew Campanelli received a music industry studies degree in 2009 from Loyola and says that he still draws from his time at Loyola while his band is out on the road.
“I learned a lot in the program that I use every day — not really the class material, but the kind of stuff you soak up from living around people who are trying to figure out the music industry,” he said. “It also put me into situations that allowed me to meet the guys I spend every day in a van with.”
This weekend, he’ll play Voodoo with The Revivalists for the second time.
“Like a lot of Loyola students, I worked the festival while I was in college,” Campanelli said. “It was my first experience in the festival world. Now, we’ll be playing on the same stage as Metallica on Saturday. I didn’t think I’d ever get to do that, so that’s awesome.”
Former Loyola student Duz Mancini and current Loyola juniors Adam Stewart and Lukas Cox comprise Coyotes, a folk-rock band that combines subtle twang with grungier, distorted tones. They’ve become acquainted with the New Orleans music scene over the past three years and this year they caught the attention of Voodoo recruiters. “It was a show we did at Siberia; there were people who were looking for bands to play Voodoo there,” Mancini said. “They’d heard about us. Word of mouth is number one. You catch somebody’s attention, they’ll go check a band out. You never know when these people are coming to your shows, and if you’re not gigging at all, they’ll never come.”
Mancini said he’s looking forward to playing Voodoo, particularly because of the variety of music. “We get to see a hip-hop act before we play, and Crazy Horse right afterwards,” he said. “That’s what’s cool about this.”