The Killers. Beck. Kings of Leon. Pretty Lights. Empire of the Sun. Imagine Dragons. Vampire Weekend. Have we got your attention yet? Get ready boys and girls, cuz there’s a new kid on the block of music festivals. From the formidable ashes of the legendary Vegoose rises the Life is Beautiful Festival, coming October 26-27 to Sin City. Set in the historic heart of downtown Las Vegas, Life is Beautiful features a solid rock & roll lineup with a healthy sprinkle of electro, hip hop, and a few things in between. Find out what you need to know about this heavy hitter in our series of 5 preview articles about the new Life is Beautiful Fest. First up, three bands to catch: Capital Cities, Twenty One Pilots, and Alabama Shakes.
From roommates to probiotic yeasts, you can find pretty much anything on Craigslist. Sometimes you can even find someone to make beautiful music with, as is the case with our first featured act of the Life is Beautiful Festival, Capital Cities. Songwriters Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian met on the online community back in 2011. They released an EP shortly thereafter, which included the viral hit “Safe and Sound”, and generated a hefty buzz. They brought on Manny Quintero (bass), Spencer Ludwig (horn), Nick Merwin (guitar), and Channing Holmes (drums) and were soon playing international festivals and opening for the likes of Jane’s Addiction. While their infectious indie electro seems a strange combination with the darker heavy tunes of Jane’s Addiction, the intelligent lyrics and slick horns make this emerging act one to catch.
It’s hard to explain the music of Twenty One Pilots without making people wonder if you’ve been sniffing glue. Electro rap pop sounds so wrong in theory, but this duo from the Midwest makes it work. And they’re on the Fueled By Ramen label, which on principle grants them major nostalgia points. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun make weird wonderful emotive music for you to dance your ass off to. They were one of the most energetic acts at this year’s Outside Lands Festival, with a frantic audience to match. There will be antics. There will be masks. There will be climbing of dangerous scaffolding. [Not you! Leave it to the professionals!] Join the dance party. It’s fun here.
Alabama Shakes. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s time you read our back posts. This roots rock quartet from Athens, Alabama are darlings of the blues and rock world who have opened for Neil Young, toured extensively at music festivals, and recorded singles with Jack White. This from a group that formed in 2009 when singer/guitarist Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell were still in high school. Soulful, stripped-down blues music from formidable musicians (Steve Johnson and Heath Fogg complete the band on guitar and drums, respectively) that sounds like it was recorded forty years ago, in the very best way.
Life is Beautiful Festival. We’ll see you in Vegas!