Wall-to-wall people. Two guitarists dueling atop platforms. A singer—sans shirt—wooing screaming girls at his feet. But this is neither a national tour nor a major concert venue. It’s just one moment inside Wasted Space on Friday night, with two local bands constituting the bill.
When Conflict of Interest takes the stage, however, an outsider might be oblivious to the group’s hometown, judging solely by the audience’s reaction. “The energy was really good, really positive,” Mike Stanley, the band’s aforementioned shirtless singer, says afterward. “Everyone seemed like they were having a good time. The turnout was excellent.”
On hiatus for about a year, Wasted Space’s renewed Friday-night gig is the perfect comeback vehicle for Conflict of Interest, a group formed in late 2003. “We had a few member changes in the band, and we wanted to take some time and write some fresh, brand-new music with the new guys,” Stanley explains.
Amazingly, a local-music show actually begins on time tonight (a first?). The majority of the crowd apparently got the memo—Wasted Space is already packed when opener Bydeathsdesign begins at 9:30 p.m. Though the band’s set is cut shorter than planned due to time constraints, guitarist Josh Edwards seems in good spirits when it’s over. “There were a lot of faces I haven’t seen in a while,” Edwards says of Bydeathsdesign’s first show in over a year. “There were actually a couple of kids that I swear have been to every single one of our shows. They used to come out when they were like 15, 16, and now they were able to get into a 21-and-over club, so I guess that says something [about our longevity].”
Las Vegan Mark Hornsby, who organized the show with fellow promoter Case Colcord, calls the Friday-night opportunity “a cool thing” for local acts. “It keeps the scene alive,” Hornsby says.
Judging from the sheer impossibility of maneuvering through the crowd tonight, it’s a safe guess this won’t be Wasted Space’s last Friday-night local showcase.