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Five thoughts on Neon Reverb’s fall 2012 edition

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Dusty Sunshine plays the Bunkhouse’s outdoor stage.
Photo: Bill Hughes

1. The Downtown music festival’s ninth installment felt like one of its best, organizationally as well as musically. Bands started on time (!) or relatively close to, sound equipment and operators were in place and ready to go, and crowd sizes ranged from solid to substantial. Kudos, Reverb planning committee.

2. The fest’s decision to scale back in scope wisely put the emphasis on quality over quantity. Stripping away satellite venues kept the spotlight Downtown, with all the showcases relatively close to one another. With new Fremont East venues scheduled to open in the coming months, Neon Reverb could soon become the walking festival it has always hoped to be.

3. Touring acts made their mark, but the local scene was the real star of this Reverb. From Crazy Chief’s live debut to A Crowd of Small Adventures’ big return, Fuzz SoLow’s one-man stand to The Big Friendly Corporation’s family gathering, Vegas bands represented with impressive regularity. If you’ve never checked out the scene—or if you need a reminder of its potency—the next Neon Reverb should make for a prime opportunity.

4. It might be six months, or 12, till that next Neon Reverb rolls around. Organizers sound serious about going from twice-annually to once a year, though it’s unclear which version—fall or spring—will win out if they do. Either way, paring down seems like a smart move in a town where support can be fickle. Making Reverb rarer should translate into heightened anticipation, and give planners more time to book acts and tighten logistics.

Moonface

Moonface

5. Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Moonface and others drew crowds, but Neon Reverb could use more marquee names at the top of its lineup. That’s a tall order for a grassroots festival run by volunteers. Going to once a year should give its directors more time to zero in on sponsors, but in the end someone will need to step up (big) if Las Vegas wants to see Reverb take the next step forward. So think to yourself, who do I know with deep pockets and an even deeper appreciation of quality music …

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is Las Vegas Weekly's Managing Editor, having previously served as Arts & Entertainment Editor, Music Editor and a ...

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