Monday, November 3, 2014
October 25, 2014 The Power of Music at Life Is Beautiful Festival (Concert #42)
George and I had breakfast on the street in front of my hotel this morning. It is another absolutely perfect day. Marcy met up with us and we spent the morning gambling on horse races at Hawthorne in Chicago and Keeneland in Lexington, KY. I think we both did pretty good considering we know nothing about betting on horses. It was a chance to relax and hang out for a few minutes. I headed to the festival afterwards to see Catfish and the Bottlemen. Today was all about the music for me and this band was a great start.
I love music for the wide range of emotions listening to it can produce...rage, love, hate, thoughtfulness, questions, answers, laughter, tears...it can get you excited and it can calm you down...it can remind you of good times and bad times...it can cause you to remember certain moments and help you forget other moments...it can bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eyes...there really aren't too many things that can cause such a visceral reaction in a person. I love music for all of those reasons and today brought on quite a few of those reactions.
Catfish and The Bottlemen are a very polite group of young Brits that play rock'n'roll. The band was really tight and played as though they were much older. They sound like a British version of The Strokes or Kings Of Leon.
I enjoyed their set and laughed at the cutout on the drum kit even though I am not in on the joke.
More photos of the artwork on my way across the festival grounds.
The Fit Mob at work.
This wire mesh man looked different every time you walked by it depending on the light or lack of light at night.
The next band to really impress me today is Paper Route. A band from Nashville that crafts songs with earnest lyrics and a mix of pop and Americana music. Things are really looking good for me today as I wait to see two of my favorite bands that I've never seen live...The Roots and The Flaming Lips and another great live band Fitz & The Tantrums that I've seen several times.
Paper Route on the Huntridge stage.
Geo showing Marcy some much deserved love...
....then acting like Easter vacation...No Class.
Not exactly sure what this sign is advertising? After all, this is Las Vegas.
These signs were plastered all over the place today. I wasn't planning on seeing Lionel Richie but Georgie talked me into it.
Back to the music and Chicago's own OKGO. I love power pop bands and Chicago has produced quite a few over the years...Cheap trick, The Shoes, Material Issue, The Insiders and Off Broadway just to name a few. OKGO was a lot of fun. Sure I love music with a little more meat on the bone...but I can enjoy a set of catchy pop songs & hook heavy tunes as much as the next guy and OKGO was having fun on stage and we were having fun in the crowd.
Geo & Marcy ran into more people that they knew. Actually they met them at dinner the other night and ran into them again at LIB.
Fitz & The Tantrums sounded great and had the crowd dancing throughout their set.
I loved them but Georgie decided to head to his hotel after a few songs. I came to LIB to see some live music and hang out with my brother...at least the music didn't disappoint me. And neither did the kids around me because the group pictured below started doing semi choreographed dances to the hit songs....
....which caused more people to join in every time a new song started...
...it is spontaneous reactions like this that make me love being in the crowd listening to live music. A big thanks to these kids for giving me hope that I still listen to cool bands.
Who can pass by a ferris wheel and not take a picture?
On my own again...I headed over to check out DJ Cassidy. Actually I was heading that direction to get a pulled pork wrap and heard DJ Cassidy playing old skool classics. He had a guitarist playing along with him. I loved the party going on in front of the Huntridge stage but I've been waiting all day to see The Roots so I headed over to the Downtown Stage. I got pretty close to the huge stage. I took pictures but none were worth posting. The opening act for The Roots was a spoken word artist named IN Q. He was incredible. I am pretty sure he performed a version of this inspirational poem...
Then The Roots hit the stage and just blew me away. Hey, I am old and tired...my feet hurt and I did not grow up listening to hip hop music...I forgot all that after one song. I was completely transformed while one of the most talented group of musicians I have ever seen performed their songs. Their songs incorporated all the music that influenced them growing up or music they choose to love as adults...it was a master class in how to put on a show...after their blistering set as I floated away from the stage full of the energy that flowed over the crowd, I found George and Marcy and just started screaming "That was amazing!" Even a week later I said The Roots were worth the cost of a three day festival pass, a round trip airline ticket and four nights in a hotel.
M & G walking toward the light.
The three of us watched Lionel Richie perform. He was pretty good and I knew most of the songs. Georgie knew them all. I liked the Commodores songs better than the solo stuff. He made me laugh when he introduced "Endless Love" and said he couldn't sing this duet by himself. So he called...long hesitation...Diana Ross....long hesitation while the crowd went crazy...but she couldn't make it! So we had to be Diana Ross for him. The crowd did their best Diana Ross for him.
Afterwards George and Marcy left again and I headed across the festival to see the late night set by The Flaming Lips. Once again I was in music bliss...the alcohol and other substances I may or may not have taken probably had something to do with my perfect state of mind to see the psychedelic show put on by Wayne Coyne and his incredible band. They played my favorite song by them "Do You Realize" and brought out all the strange stage props and acid trip special effects that compliment the music so well. It was long after midnight but I was feeling fine. I had one last beer at the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas, Atomic Liquors and headed back to my hotel with music playing in my head and a huge smile on my face.