Saturday, September 18, 2010

Neon Reverb #5

Las Vegas’ local organization, Neon Reverb successfully threw their 5th annual Neon Reverb Festival this weekend at several venues downtown and in the UNLV area. This non-profit community driven team is dedicated to help promote local artists and musicians through events, most notably their semi-annual festivals. Improved from last year’s festivities, Neon Reverb was backed by some big and local sponsors, helping make this massive 100+ artist 5 day extravaganza. Although though organization and timeliness were still issues, the more support we give Neon Reverb, the more we can expect to see in the future. For more information, check out Stardust Fallout

Friday, September 17, 2010 - Fremont St. - Downtown Las Vegas
The Entrance Band [Beauty Bar] – A big favorite of this festival, this psychedelic rock band did not fall short, taking the crowd to another level. The female bassist was heavily into it, twisting her body and smacking the bass intensely. The intense drumming was lightly covered by a melodic guitar and vocals. The Entrance Band lived up to their hype, however I think a few others outshined their performance.

Sweethead [Beauty Bar] – Lead by a sexy blonde that gave the audience quite a show, Sweethead is a 5pc L.A. band of ‘rockstars.’ Each had a distinct image and talent. The guitar player often switched from his guitar and to a keyboard in the same song. Of all the performances I had seen, this was the only band to add any lights/visuals. (fog machine and green laser) Sweethead’s heavy rock sound is well written and executed, I think they are ready for bigger things.

Casxio [Beauty Bar] – From the moment I heard Casxio's sound I fell in love. Their music was like classic disco/funk mixed to a crunchy beat, all live and on the fly. Not only was it a mix of the old and new dance music, but each of the four members were able to harmonize together while each playing their own intricate beat. Producing a voluminous sound carried by popping basslines and high male vocals I was dancing in no time. I’m thinking Ratatat meets Jamiroquai.

Tinglerz [LV Country Saloon] – A great follow-up to 400 Blows, Tinglerz had a similar punk rock energy, only more reminiscent of early Green Day. Both guitar and bass player were both very talented and active on stage. The bassist once jumped so high, he fell flat on the stage but didn't miss a beat. The Tingler put on a great display of pure punk rock.

Mini Mansions [Beauty Bar] – This band impressed me by how multi-talented each musician was. Full piano was also vocals, drummer played snappy drum beats up front and center also doing vocals, while the bass player held it down. Their unique contributions created an indie rock that was something I hadn't really heard before.

400 Blows [LV Country Saloon] – It's rare these days to see pure punk rock energy of truly jumping around stage and barriers, but this band had the spirit more than any other. The lead singer sported all black, gloves too, and silver aviators. As he screamed and truly gave it his all, the bassist and guitarist were doing equal damage to their instruments. High energy, loud volume, great show.

Imagine Dragons [Beauty Bar] – A local favorite that formed seemingly overnight and has been exploding in popularity with similar speed. I first saw them here at The Beauty Bar when they were just 3 months new and the audience included their moms. Being impressed then, Imagine Dragons has only seem to get better and better each time. The lead singer always entertains the ladies and puts on a fun show, this time breaking the mic stand during the first song. Time will tell if Las Vegas will love Imagine Dragon’s indie pop rock even more than the Killers.

Pigasus [LV Country Saloon] – Simply put, without Lynard Skynard, Pigasus could not exist. Pigasus nailed it with their good ol’ fashioned true American rock and roll. This 5pc rockband was exploding with talent, energy, and rock rhythm. Disappointingly the audience barely applauded their performance, even after the drummer destroyed his drum set on the last song. The bass player exclaimed, "C'mon! He destroyed his set?" C’mon Las Vegas, show some love for your scene!

Dude City [LV Country Saloon] – Unfortunately I think Dude City was a victim of bad timing. I walked in to find him alone onstage to an equally empty bar. He was a very talented acoustic rock singer, but with only a handful of us in the bar the room was quite uneasy. On Friday, the LV Country Saloon failed to get the numbers that the other clubs did, causing many bands to fall victim to an empty room.

The Webb Brothers [Beauty Bar] –The Webb Brothers had everyone's attention playing a quick pop beat with multiple vocals, filling the venue with sound. Their indie psychedelic pop reminded me of Panic! but better. I would like to see them again after some more fine tuning, I hope they return soon.

Taylor Locke & The Roughs [Beauty Bar] – Very talented 5pc band, many of whom already had recorded solo albums and projects. Their sound was melodic indie rock that was composed and completed with thoughtful lyrics. Although the crowd was sparse at the time, I believe Taylor Locke's sound would appeal to many.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 - Fremont St. - Downtown Las Vegas

LeTRAS [Beauty Bar] – A Latino influenced three piece indie band, headed by a female lead vocalist/guitarist. It was easy to hear their latin influence not only lyrically but composition as well. I think their music bridges a gap between mainstream and latino artists, they have great potential.

The Mad Caps [LV Country Saloon] – Put on a great high energy show. Just a drummer and guitarist/ vocalist produced incredible energy and true rock n roll feeling. Their music was rooted in the early rock beginnings with a fresh punk edge. I hope to hear and see more of The Mad Caps, they've really got something.

Close to Modern [Beauty Bar] – This four piece pop-rock band from Los Angeles played several toe-tapping songs and had a good sized crowd dancing. Although Close to Modern follows the typical pop-rock format, there was something new about their sound. I think with a little more experience, their music could really catch on.

The Growlers [LV Country Saloon] – Great surf rock band consisting of six members, pulling off an equally large sound. The lead singer was an interesting contrast to their music, there was something dark about his lyrics and voice as he would swoon across the stage. Not only was their music fun, they were able to get everyone out of their seats and dancing. One of my favorite performances.

Neon Venus [Beauty Bar] – I was immediately drawn into the music of Neon Venus. They played pop industrial rock headed by a sultry female vocalist. She slinked around the stage, crawled on equipment and the floor, provided both sweet vocals and loud screams, a perfect match to the bands deep driving sound.

Parlor Hawk [The Griffin] – A young classic folk band from Utah that due to circumstances fell short and had no choice but to leave behind two band members and a microphone. Playing an intimate set their music was melodic carried by Simon and Garfunkel styled harmonized vocals. Members shared instruments but keept a positive attitude throughout and put on a good show.

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