03.29.10 · 3 PM
Extreme frenzy over Escape the Fate
“Holy fucking shit.” Cursing is prohibited here at Extreme Thing, but you have to forgive Escape the Fate frontman Craig Mabbitt for the slip. This hometown audience is giving the hardcore act a response like no other. It is almost bursting at the seams. Only a few songs in and the act must stop the set. The barricade separating the audience from the stage is giving way under the power of thousands of rabid fans. “Everyone needs to take 10 ... Read more...
03.29.10 · 2:30 PM
Heeeeello, high school! This is the dominant thought in my head as Less Than Jake takes the main stage at Extreme Thing. I hadn’t heard or thought about the band since those four painful years at Las Vegas High School (Go Wildcats?), and standing with the crowd Saturday I felt a little bad for it. Less Than Jake probably has matured and accomplished plenty of amazing things since I forgot about them, I tell myself. Or not. Here are five ... Read more...
03.29.10 · 1:45 PM
And She made it rain
Securing one of seven slots on the XPOZ Local Band stage at Extreme Thing is bound to make you feel like a rock star, but And She Whispered may be taking it a bit too far. Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain” is blaring over the loudspeakers, and, as an introduction to ASW, half a dozen girls have run on stage to make it rain fake paper money over the audience. This troupe of makeshift go-go dancers, with their long hair ... Read more...
03.15.10 · 6:14 PM
Sunglassed Skooners close Neon Reverb
“We’re going to do something crazy. We’re going to start this off with a song we wrote yesterday,” says Ian Dewayne as the Skooners prepare to close out Neon Reverb’s warp-party at the Bunkhouse. The local favorites, who — judging by the fans rushing the stage and snapping shots — largely were responsible for drawing the crowd out on a Sunday, proceeded to play a set filled with brand new tunes. Too fresh even to be included on the upcoming ... Read more...
03.15.10 · 5:57 PM
Dear Las Vegas: Jared Mees loves you
Dear Las Vegas, I love you. Signed, Jared Mees and the Grown Children. OK, so maybe Mees hasn’t gone as far as to commit to his undying affection for the local music scene and Neon Reverb’s wrap party audience on paper. But he did confess his love verbally, and frequently, throughout the high-energy performance he and his over-grown children brought to the Bunkhouse on Sunday with their funny-loving, folk rock tunes. Just to make sure his love is true, we ... Read more...
03.15.10 · 1:15 PM
Sexy Dragons (!?)
No one is surprised when Imagine Dragons draws a packed crowd Friday night to Beauty Bar. Fans are out in full force, dancing, singing along to every word, and raising their arms in mock worship to fearless Dragons leader Dan Reynolds. All that is nothing new to anyone who has seen their act before, though this Neon Reverb performance doubles as the EP release for Hell and Silence, which does set the night apart. What is surprising is the couple ... Read more...
03.15.10 · 1:15 PM
Hey, there’s a band … and someone humping a piano
“Hey, there’s a band playing back here…” An Elvis Costello look-alike shouts this to the main portion of the Boomers crowd Saturday, but the two dozen or so people that hear him largely ignore the outburst. Maybe their conversations are just that good or maybe they have given up caring about this Neon Reverb show, which is starting an hour later than advertised. Whatever the reason, nobody seems in a rush to head to the Boomer’s backroom to catch San ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 8:10 PM
Dancing the night away with Rainbow Arabia
What helps you keep warm at an outdoors show when it’s cold enough to make you forget you have fingers? Dancing. It gets the blood flowing. Plus, hipsters love to dance. It’s a rite that allows for shaking in ultra-hip convulsions. And what does Rainbow Arabia, the boy-girl, electro-pop duo from L.A., make you want to do while blowing its whistles and shaking its rattles on stage? Dance, dance, dance! Which is precisely what the crowd was doing throughout Rainbow ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 7:57 PM
Party with Pan De Sal
Pan De Sal knows how to party. The electro-dance trio brought more than just their staple black-and-white stripes to Beauty Bar on Saturday. They brought more of the goodies that make their shows so much fun to watch. We took inventory: 1) Tambourines, which were passed out to the front-row audience to shake along. 2) Fog machine, which acted as a nice mood-setter for the coordinated dancing. 3) Break-dancing moves courtesy of Sheila Hall and Jeff Madlambayan, who spun around ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 6:15 PM
“We’re sponsored by Neon Reverb music festival,” says Lenny Fortunato, guitarist for Santa Cruz-based Los High Tops, during their set at Las Vegas Country Saloon. “So, thank you, wherever you are.” A vague thank-you from the surf/rockabilly (surfabilly!) band is warranted. I see nothing here to suggest the venue is part of Neon Reverb. No festival banner. No sponsor signs. No fellow attendees sporting yellow wristbands like mine. Suddenly: Hope! A trio of drunken youngsters runs toward the empty dance ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 6 PM
No place like “home”
Louise Le Hir has lived in Colorado, the UK, France, Cleveland, LA, Las Vegas and Tucson, where she’s currently attending art school. She’s not really from any particular city, but she considers Las Vegas the closest thing to home she’s got. She lived here, on and off, for a decade, and became a regular in the music scene as bassist and vocalist in the now-defunct psychedelic band The Pandas. Though she currently resides in Southern Arizona, the folksy singer-songwriter still ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 5:46 PM
Early morning wisdom from Leopold
It’s 5 a.m. on Sunday, which means Neon Reverb’s third night must be long over, right? Wrong. A dude in a feathered hat is standing onstage, preparing to begin an unscheduled bonus set. Why? ’Cause he’s Daniel James, frontman for San Francisco blues-rock outfit Leopold and His Fiction, and no one still standing in the Bunkhouse is gonna stop him. Actually, those left from the night’s crowd—and we still number a few dozen—are here because word of a James’ solo ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 5:34 PM
Night Beats usher in the morning
For today, at least, Night Beats might consider changing its name to Morning Beats. The Seattle psych-rock trio has hit the stage around 4 a.m. on Sunday, the last of six scheduled Neon Reverb acts to play the Bunkhouse on Night 3 (a seventh, local band Underwater Ally, dropped off the bill early in the night). The Downtown bar has somehow maintained something of a crowd at this hour, long after top draws Mere Mortals and Spindrift finished up. Anyone ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 5:27 PM
Afghan Raiders: New drummer, new songs
“Why is everybody leaving?” the Bunkhouse bouncer asks as we dart out the door and down the stairs toward our cars. “Did the band onstage do something to piss everybody off?” It’s nothing like that; in fact, skipping out on Saturday-night Neon Reverb headliner Spindrift, as the spaghetti-western psych-rock maestros delve into their third song, feels sorta criminal. But there’s something bigger going on five blocks away. Afghan Raiders are morphing into a trio. The Beauty Bar backyard is abuzz ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 5:07 PM
The Delta Mirror: Back at the Bunkhouse
The last time The Delta Mirror played the Bunkhouse—opening for Sleepy Sun last August—the ethereal LA trio covered TV on the Radio’s “Blind” to sublime effect. Saturday’s Neon Reverb showcase at the same Downtown venue finds the Californian’s reimagining again—this time, Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses,” best known as Buffalo Bill’s song in Silence of the Lambs—and again, the results are exhilarating. Missed it? Don’t sweat it too much: The Delta Mirror’s version is set to be included on an all-covers ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 1:33 PM
Padding from The Petals
Dressed in a striped sweater, green cargo pants and a floppy brown hat, David Hopkins looked more like a fisherman taking the stage Friday at Thunderbird Lounge than the acoustic crooner he is. Luckily, that’s where the misunderstandings ended. The recent addition to the Vegas music scene showed Neon Reverb audiences why Damien Rice agreed to be featured on one of his songs. It’s not just because the two are from Ireland, but also because Hopkins is good at what ... Read more...
03.14.10 · 1:25 PM
The sunny side of Sole
Sole is serious when it comes to his hip-hop. His words are bitterly reflective and entangled with social criticism. Listening to his rhythms, which were backed by two of the three members of Arizona-based band Skyrider on Friday at the Bunkhouse, you wouldn’t know he has a sense of humor. But the between-songs banter during his 1 a.m. debut at Neon Reverb proved that Sole does indeed know how to kid, even if his humor is a little bit off ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 6:25 PM
National SouthWestern pride
Last September’s Neon Reverb National SouthWestern Electronic Recordings showcase consisted of five acts; Friday’s March edition featured eight. If that rapid expansion seems significant, it is—Las Vegan Ronald Corso’s label/home-based studio has quickly become a go-to hotspot for local bands looking to lay down their music. In addition to NSW’s original core of bands—A Crowd of Small Adventures, Hungry Cloud, Mother McKenzie and The Novelty Act—a host of others have worked or are presently working with Corso, including Twin Brother, ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 6:16 PM
The Aruba’s two-stage extravaganza drew a solid crowd Friday night, so it was head-scratchingly strange to see the biggest band of the night— rootsy Glendale, California, rock outfit The Henry Clay People, the Rumble’s Neon Reverb headliner—performing to some 25 folks near the height of the party. What happened? Hard to say, exactly. It didn’t help that Henry Clay went on in the showroom while Twin Tigers were still playing in the lounge (to that point, bands had strictly alternated ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 6:14 PM
Neon Reverb: late addition
This just in: San Francisco indie four-piece LoveLikeFire—a dream-pop outfit featuring the breathy vocals of lead singer Ann Yu—has joined tonight’s Neon Reverb Bunkhouse bill. That brings the Downtown venue’s one-night total to a whopping seven scheduled bands. Approximate times, according to Neon Reverb organizers: LoveLikeFire, 9 p.m.; Underwater Ally (acoustic), 9:40 p.m.; The Delta Mirror, 10:30 p.m.; Mere Mortals, 11:15 p.m.; Spindrift, 12:15 a.m.; The Color Turning, 1:15 a.m.; Night Beats, 2 a.m. Also, to combat the cold weather ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 6:12 PM
Eye of the Tigers
My phone is vibrating, but no one has called or texted. The responsible party? Athens, Georgia’s Twin Tigers—specifically their marvelously room-rattling waves of distortion-rich shoegaze. The Thunderbird Lounge crowd seems a bit unsure when the quartet starts out; tonight’s Neon Reverb showcase at the Aruba has been a fairly low-key affair thus far. But it’s not long before all eyes and ears in the crowded saloon are locked on a band many—myself included—will later call the festival’s most impressive visiting ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 6:06 PM
As UNLV tips off against BYU in the Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals Friday night at the Thomas & Mack, another band of Rebels springs into action just up the road. The Rebel Set, a spiffy surf/garage trio from the Phoenix area, help ring in Neon Reverb Night 2 at Yayo Taco, off Maryland Parkway near the UNLV campus. The time conflict with the postseason basketball game might explain the sparse showing at the college-y hangout, but it ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 4:23 PM
Road to Reverb
When the local act for Thunderbird Lounge’s Thursday night Neon Reverb showcase backed-out at the last minute, the lineup was left with the traveling bands that together provided a solid taste of the country’s various musical scenes, spanning from L.A. to Brooklyn with a stopover in Oklahoma. With miles to be covered and musicians crammed together in small spaces for hours on end, the road to Neon Reverb was anything but dull. We decided to dig for the dirt on ... Read more...
03.13.10 · 4:07 PM
Tokyo chicks tear up Thunderbird Lounge
Bo-Peep had a buzz going into Neon Reverb. Rumors swirled that the grunge trio from Tokyo, Japan meant business. Loud rock, crazy costumes and a don’t-mess-with-this attitude that could make Courtney Love look sweet. The best part? They lived up to it, and then some. Closing out the Thunderbird Lounge on Thursday, the girls pulled the biggest crowd of the night and managed to coerce everyone in the room from the bar to the dance floor. While the lyrics were ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 6 PM
The Rooks are mid-set, singing a poppy tune about that groovy little thing called love, and, for the first time tonight, the modest crowd at Bunkhouse is on its feet and moving. “Every time we kiss it’s like the Fourth of July,” intones lead Zach Ryan, “Fireworks streaking across the midnight sky.” It’s bubbly mentally and audibly, and that’s not a bad thing. The Rooks are building energy, setting the tone for the rest of this Thursday-night Neon Reverb show. ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 5:33 PM
Warming up with Twin Brother
It’s 2 a.m. and frighteningly cold out, yet a crowd remains gathered behind Beauty Bar as Friday comes into focus. Twin Brother must be up next. In a matter of months, the six-piece indie outfit has stormed its way to the forefront of the Downtown scene, building buzz with a sound that seems destined for Pitchfork’s Best New Music page. So though we can’t feel our feet, and sleep beckons from afar, no one’s walking out the door. Not now. ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 4:55 PM
Irish eyes are… smiling?
“Do you know when Autumn Owls go on?” David Hopkins asks me, and a minute later it hits me why. Hopkins, a recent Las Vegas transplant, hails from Dublin, Ireland. So do Autumn Owls. “Do you know them?” I ask, after consulting my schedule and informing Hopkins he still has some waiting to do before the Owls come up in the Beauty Bar’s Neon Reverb Night 1 order. “No … at least, I don’t think so,” he responds. “I might ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 4:49 PM
Finn Riggins channels Pan de Sal—in look only
If they’re not members of Pan de Sal, Las Vegas musicians know better than to wear black and white, horizontally striped shirts. Apparently, that memo hasn’t quite reached Idaho. Lisa Simpson, singer/guitarist for Boise/Hailey-based indie trio Finn Figgins, took a page from the PDS playbook Thursday night at Beauty Bar, arriving onstage in the local worldbeat trio’s getup of choice. No sign of the Pan de Sal robot, however, nor were tambourines passed to the crowd. We might have referred ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 4:47 PM
Cigar guitars and missing musicians
What makes Fuzz (aka James Berg) so super? He can make a guitar out of a cigar box, and he can play a full set list, despite a missing band. Scheduled to perform as the entire three-member shebang Thursday, the “experiment” portion of local jam band Super Fuzz and the D.F.C. Experiment instead was M.I.A. for the opening night of Neon Reverb at the Gypsy Den. Fuzz, who also plays in local act Black Camaro, confessed he had a feeling ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 4:15 PM
Feeling at home, 6,000 miles away
“I’ve got cousins here,” Ruby Suns frontman Ryan McPhun informs Thursday night’s Beauty Bar crowd, the front-left corner of which then screams. McPhun grins. “Can you guess where they are? A New Zealander with family in Las Vegas? It’s true. Before McPhun moved overseas in 2003, he lived in Ventura, California, and frequently made trips to Vegas to visit his maternal grandmother, along with several cousins, for various holidays. “We would go often for a Christmas get-together or Thanksgiving or ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 3:42 PM
Unplugging The Clydesdale
“This isn’t how we normally sound,” Clydesdale singer Paige Overton explains a tad sheepishly during her band’s Neon Reverb-opening set Thursday at the Griffin. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about; admittedly, this music’s more ragged than the Vegas cowpunkers’ typically tight fare — most recently on display at last weekend’s Dick Dale-headlined Hard Rock Cafe bill — but there’s also no denying, the intimate setup adds a welcoming quality to their trademark twangy tunes. It’s just the second time the ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 3:25 PM
Orlando’s Strangers Family Band took its Neon Reverb appearance seriously Thursday night. The five-piece band’s stage kit featured psychedelic projections, an array of colored lights and a Plexiglass drum cage. Shame only a handful of early-arrivers were on hand to witness it all. The Floridians, stopping in Vegas en route to South by Southwest, drew the unlucky assignment of kicking off Beauty Bar’s five-band bill, beginning indoors not long after the Downtown bar opened its doors around 9 p.m. Soon ... Read more...
03.12.10 · 3:12 PM
An Afghan surprise
The future of Las Vegas’ Afghan Raiders will be unveiled Saturday at Beauty Bar. The popular electronic duo, which had been promising “surprises” leading up to their Neon Reverb performance, let loose some information during last night’s festival action. What we know: a drummer, named “Drew,” will join the group onstage. Afghan Raider Vincent Campillo tells us Drew has been in “some big bands” and toured extensively. This is no fly-by-night guest spot; Drew has been practicing with Campillo and ... Read more...
03.4.10 · 6:08 PM
Win tickets to see Grammy winners the Zac Brown Band!
Enter to win free tickets as AEG Live and Las Vegas Weekly bring you the Zac Brown Band at The Joint on Saturday, March 13th! Grammy winners for the Best New Artist of 2010, Zac Brown Band is one of the hottest country bands on the charts right now! After years of playing and touring the circuit, they have finally caught their big break and are riding the wave right into Las Vegas. Singles like “Chicken Fried” and “Toes” not ... Read more...
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May 15, 2013
by Sabrina Chapman
This Sunday, XS nightclub celebrates the grand reopening of its after-dark pool party, Night Swim. Along with the bash comes a new offering of signature cocktails served by the pitcher, ...