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Key Vegas bands are back after extended breaks

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Kid Meets Cougar: Bolton and Carroll are back onstage—and in front of the screen.
Photo: Spencer Burton
Jason Harris

The Fremont Street Experience is up to its ears in ’90s nostalgia this summer, with bands like Everclear and Three Days Grace playing under the canopy. But just down the street, Fremont East will experience nostalgia of a different kind.

Kid Meets Cougar (last show: June 30, 2012) and Twin Brother (January 27, 2012) will return and share a bill, a June 5 Life Is Beautiful Festival showcase at Beauty Bar. Even more surprisingly, The Pandas, last heard from in 2008, are also putting the band back together.

After Kid Meets Cougar bandmates Brett Bolton and Courtney Carroll broke up as a couple in real life, it felt inevitable that their computerized audio-visual project would follow. The duo, who received much critical acclaim and played gigs as far away as Europe, left a giant hole in the Downtown scene, but Carroll insists KMC never really stopped existing.

“We both agreed that even if we weren’t together, we should still keep the band going,” she says. “We have put so much energy, thought and time into our music and live show, it would be a total shame to just let it end.”

Though living apart makes it tougher find time to practice, a chance to play Life Is Beautiful was enough incentive to reboot the background screen, voice modulators and robot costume.

The first-year festival also helped breathe new life into Twin Brother. “Why not play a festival that promotes such an awesome idea—expanding art and culture in Vegas?” guitarist/singer Sonny Saipale asks. The experimental rock quartet has its familiar lineup intact, with Saipale still joined by brother Niko on bass, guitarist/singer Adam Grill and drummer Brian Scanlan. Fans should expect an array of sounds, and not just from Twin Brother proper. “Some of us will be releasing music that we’ve been working on on our own,” Saipale says.

As for The Pandas—indie rockers who stood at the top of the Downtown scene before there really was one—leader Bobby Martinez explains that the band is working on new songs and rekindling old ones, with hopes of recording an album soon.

Martinez and longtime Pandas drummer Spencer Burton (disclosure: he takes pictures for Las Vegas Weekly) have recruited Mikey Arnett, formerly of The Novelty Act, to play bass and plan on adding another guitarist and a keyboardist to the mix.

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