Saturday, November 8, 2014
October 26, 2014 The Art & Music of the Life Is Beautiful Festival (Concert #43)
My day started off with the Bears against the Patriots at 10am. Great, I can watch my Bears and relax before the festival. The Bears were so fucking awful that I had to leave my room to avoid them. If I was coaching that team, I would have made them play the second half wearing skirts because they looked like women playing football in the first half. So I headed down the street to my favorite Vegas pizza place...
...unfortunately the Bears game was on the TV inside...so I sat outside...unfortunately the audio was playing outside...it was hard to enjoy my two slices and Mexican Coke...but I managed.
Since my brother texted me that they were going to watch football, I walked over to the festival taking pictures along the way. It was another perfect weather day.
Since it was still early, I decided to head inside the festival grounds and check out the art exhibits before enjoying more music.
The Dos Equis girls.
Several food trucks inside the LIB Festival.
Last year this closed hotel had different artists in each room. This year it was painted for an interesting walk through the courtyard. I spent some time having fun with my camera in here.
This message carries more weight back home in Chicago than it does here in Las Vegas.
No one seemed to know what to do with this big fuzzy pink wall.
Inside the closed Western Hotel, several artists had exhibits...I talked with Linda Alterwitz, an artist from Gary, Indiana, about her moving photo exhibit that used Neil Young's "Philadelphia" so beautifully it brought tears to my eyes.
There were a couple of interactive exhibits...I thought the young people at this festival had a lot of interesting messages.
More outdoor artwork as I made my way to the Downtown stage to see The Orwells.
The first band of the day was Chicago's very own punk band...The Orwells. Last year at Lollapalooza they played an early set and really impressed me. It wasn't just the music. It was the completely unhinged lead singer, Mario Cuomo. By the time they left the stage, he was singing in his underwear. Then they came back out, probably against the rigid set times Lolla imposes on all the bands. When they launched into The Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog", I was ecstatic. I loved that they knew their musical history. When Mario announced "We'll see you next year Lollapalooza....as the headliners!" then dropped the mic and walked off stage...I was telling Christy..."that's how you do it. No one will forget seeing that performance!" That said, the yellow smiling face balloons were about to be blown away.
It was very hard to tell if lead singer, Mario Cuomo was even happy to be on stage. The band sounded really good...
...but evil thoughts seemed to be lurking.
I was enjoying the music even though Mario seemed to be disinterested as he shouted out the lyrics.
At different times during their set, Mario stalked around the stage looking for something...first he sat behind the band in a chair set up for the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra later today...then he dragged the chair to the front of the stage and after several attempts finally broke the chair and threw it into the crowd....he did the same with a couple bottles of beer...then he pushed over a stack of speakers on the side of the stage that caused roadies to appear out of nowhere to repair the damage and Mario laughed into the mic as he flipped them off...the band kept playing though one of the guitarists seemed pissed at his band mate and walked off the stage as soon as they were done.
Again it was a performance I will not forget. I'm just not sure the antics are helping promote the band. This is a very good band. And I am all for music and performances that are dangerous...punk music is supposed to fucking piss people off...that is the point of it all. I guess I can't tell if it is an act or truly how they feel about their shows. I'm guessing at least the singer is legit in his anger or he is just an asshole...either way this was a damn good show.
Like Monty Python used to say...and now for something completely different...Las Vegas band...Moksha. This band plays long funky jams with talented musicians on every instrument.
I loved the stuffed tigers next to the drum kit...
...and I love a good horn section.
Check this band out...it is why I come to festivals like this...to discover bands I've never heard of...and fall in love with them....Moksha.
Waiting for the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Beatles songs with The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil.
This was very entertaining and somewhat strange at the same time.
Sorry, I saw this in the crowd and loved the shirt..now back to The Beatles...
One thing I must add to this...The Beatles and their music still holds up 50 years later...a show like this made me realize how powerful those songs really were and still are today.
The images of The Beatles on the big screen were just as powerful as the music. I have always loved their music but this show brought on a greater appreciation of just how amazing The Beatles' music still is today.
I'm glad I stayed to see this performance. It made me think and smile...love seeing music played live.
I also love pork...yes I'll take some.
I really like Mayer Hawthorne and his band. There are a few white boy soul singers out there lately. This set was pretty good but there was something about his new polished look that distracted me...minor issue but I enjoyed his set at Lolla a few years ago more than today.
I had to hustle to get over to the Western Stage to meet Geo & Marcy for Trampled By Turtles. This was a great performance...the songs, the harmonies, the incredible musicians...loved every minute...I described it as punk folk. I checked out A-Trak while enjoying dinner and waiting for St. Paul & the Broken Bones. I love their single "Call Me" and am very excited to see them tonight.
Grit, elemental rhythm, tight-as-a-drumhead playing, and a profound depth of feeling: these are the promises of a great soul band. And St. Paul & The Broken Bones deliver on those promises."
This is what the LIB app says about St. Paul & the Broken Bones...a perfect description. This was the kind of performance that makes you feel the depth of the music and happy to be in the audience. Once again, everyone in the band was incredible. The lead singer Paul Janeway knows how to entertain the crowd. When he announced their last song would be their favorite soul classic, the young lady next to me said "this is gonna be fucking great" to her friends. It was Otis Redding's "Try A Little Tenderness". After a masterful version of a great song, the lead singer said thank you and goodnight and walked toward the drum kit to wipe away the sweat as the band kept playing...then he ran back to the mic and sang the chorus again...said goodnight and walked off stage...then charged back and sang the chorus so powerful that he dropped to his knees...sang the chorus again and collapsed on stage, the guitar player stood over him as the band kept playing...St. Paul rose up and belted out the chorus with so much emotion the crowd was still cheering five minutes after the band left the stage. That young girl was right.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
The crowd still cheering for St. Paul & The Broken Bones.
More art on my way across the festival to see Arctic Monkeys.
I caught the last few songs of the Arctic Monkeys then watched St. Lucia with George & Marcy.
We all watched the Foo Fighters first few songs, and I was surprised when George called it a night. I stayed for about another hour...now I was really enjoying the show but I ran out of gas standing in the middle of a huge crowd but feeling alone. They played "Something From Nothing" which is their new song from Sonic Highways. If you have not seen any of the HBO shows by the same name, you must watch them. It is a musical history of the eight cities the Foos recorded their new record. Dave Grohl interviews musicians from each city and then writes and records a new song influenced by that city. It's a great fucking show about music and how it is made and how it influences musicians.
A few shots on my way out.
Fremont Street Experience
Been to Vegas twice, both times to see this festival. They do a good job putting this on considering they have to block off city streets to do it. I had a great time, saw lots of great bands and probably missed a few that I would have enjoyed...next time I promise. LOL. Hey Vegas, thanks for the great weather, those sunny 85 degree days will have to last me for the next 6 months...at least have some more great music to enjoy this winter.