Overcoming second-rate billing with the less-impressive Crash Kings and a meager crowd, alt-rock jam band Nico Vega sailed through their set with ferocity normally reserved for sold-out arenas. Singer Aja Volkman channeled her inner Janis Joplin, taking vocal interludes and visibly encouraging her bandmates to extend songs. Their song “Beast” received a three-minute extension, which included impromptu dabbles into speed metal and lounge music. This spontaneity bred flaws, but they spun those flaws into highlights. Flying drumsticks and throaty runs were endearing and all part of the band’s fun. What shines through everything, though, was Volkman’s empowering and eclectic lyrical style. Forays into slam poetry and lyrics lined with raw emotion gave Nico Vega’s set a personal touch sometimes lost by other bands. ★★★✩✩
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Gorillaz are coming to Las Vegas for the first time ever. 2016’s Grammy winner for best new artist, Chance the Rapper, will return. English rockers Muse will bring their dizzying live show to the streets of Downtown. And that’s just the top of an eclectic bill that features more than 70 acts, along with comedy, interactive art installations, a group art exhibit featuring the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson and Shepard Fairey and much more. Last year saw more than 137,000 attendees trod the festival footprint. Who’s ready for more?
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.