At 9 p.m. on Thursday night at the Bunkhouse Saloon, there was something unusual at the Downtown bar—people, and more than just the regular bar flies.
That’s the nice thing about New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, a city where the words “last” and “call” are rarely paired together, people actually leave their houses before 11 p.m.
Being fashionably late on a night that peaks an hour past standard arrival time isn’t so fashionable, and at the Bunkhouse, promoters from Neon Reverb on NYE were trying to encourage an earlier schedule for more than one night a year. “We’re working to get people out early like this all time,” said Neon Reverb’s Thirry Harlin, checking out the crowd bobbing along to the Mad Caps’ opening number. Also uncharacteristic for a local show, the band actually struck its first chord on the scheduled hour. “People can enjoy all the bands without having to stay out ‘til the wee hours.”
Those who chose the Bunkhouse to celebrate their New Year’s enjoyed not only the musical line-up—Mad Caps, Hungry Cloud, A Crowd of Small Adventures, Action Cat and The Rooks—but also the celebratory perks the venue had to offer: free black and silver Mardi Gras beads and party hats, all-you-can-drink for $20 and free ravioli and fried zucchini that Bunkhouse owner Charlie Fox passed out to party patrons.
The sizable crowd started off 2010 with a nod to the local music scene. All proceeds from the $10 cover charge went towards Neon Reverb’s ever-growing festival – in total, over a thousand dollars to benefit the musical cause. “It was a very good show!” said Harlin. “We always assume the worst – that the turn out will be lousy, so that we can always be grateful for what happens at a show.”
Most of the crowd stuck out the after-midnight hangover to take in closing act The Rooks and start the year on a positive note. Together, the Bunkhouse and Neon Reverb notched a successful transition into the New Year, and it didn’t even require staying up for the first sunrise of 2010.