NEW ORLEANS — Rapper Eminem performs along with KISS this weekend at Voodoo Experience, the punk and rock music festival to be held amid the live oaks and lagoons at New Orleans City Park.
"This is the only concert Eminem is doing all year," said Voodoo producer Steven Rehage. "We're really excited to have him back."
Eminem headlined Voodoo in 2000 when his career began to soar with his Grammy-winning debut album "Slim Shady."
The rapper went on hiatus after touring in 2005 and it wasn't until this year that he released "Relapse," his first album since 2004. Eminem is expected to perform songs from "Relapse" when he opens Voodoo on Friday. Other opening day acts include Ween, The Black Keys and Fischerspooner.
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On Saturday, KISS, Jane's Addiction, Wolfmother, Black Lips and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are the headliners. Closing acts Sunday include Lenny Kravitz, the Flaming Lips and Meat Puppets.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," said Pepper Keenan, guitarist for the heavy metal band Down, which performs Saturday. "Mardi Gras is one thing, but this city is set up for a crazy holiday like Halloween."
In all, Voodoo will have more than 100 music acts. Rehage said the "musical gumbo" will also include word artist-slash-political activist Jello Biafra and K'Naan, a Somali-Canadian poet-rapper-musician.
The festival has grown steadily in attendance, drawing more than 100,000 fans in recent years.
Widespread Panic, which performs Sunday, is one of the groups that has been active in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Lead singer and guitarist John Bell said the group plans to tour a New Orleans neighborhood where it donated $150,000 to build a house for victims of the 2005 storm.
"It's still kind of eery because you see a lot of places where houses used to be, some of the foundations and pillars that look like grave stones. But the community is really coming together," he said.
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