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The Clydesdale vs. the mechanical bull

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The epic battle for Las Vegas Country Saloon’s attention: Band vs. Bull
Photo: Aaron Thompson

The sparse crowd at Las Vegas Country Saloon was at least as invested in the antics of various drunken revelers riding the club's mechanical bull as it was in local alt-country act The Clydesdale's Neon Reverb set, but that didn't stop the band from delivering a typically stellar performance. Genius drummer Courtney Carroll (performing with four different acts during the festival) anchored a thoroughly entertaining hour from the foursome, who only appeared distracted by all the bull-riding once. Right before launching into "Dale Torro," singer/guitarist Paige Overton noticed a shirtless dude with the words "ice cold beer" tattooed on his chest, and dedicated the song to him as he attempted to stay on the bull. Management (or maybe just a friend with better judgment) eventually made the guy put his shirt back on. A handful of people hit the dance floor (including one very enthusiastic couple twirling each other during "Clammy"), but overall the audience stayed subdued even as the band tore it up on a range of tunes.

All the people loitering in the back bar area were apparently hometown fans of headliners The Devil Makes Three, from Santa Cruz, California. There was a surge of about 20 people when the bluegrass/rockabilly trio took the stage, and those fans kept dancing and cheering throughout the 45-minute set. Devil's music was appealingly simple and catchy, built on guitar, stand-up bass and the occasional banjo, but their songs tended to blend together after a while. It was covers of Elvis Costello's "Lip Service" and Roger Miller's "The Day I Jumped From Uncle Harvey's Plane" that highlighted the group's set, rather than any of their originals, but the dedicated California fans kept their enthusiasm up for all of it, until nearly 1:45 a.m. By the time Devil left the stage, the mechanical bull was entirely forgotten.

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