For an hourlong set of songs culled almost entirely from last year’s full-length Lonesome Dreams, L.A. indie-folk outfit Lord Huron mostly ruled Beauty Bar. The venue’s too-modest outdoor sound system was just enough to trumpet the band’s CinemaScope sound. Huron opened with the majestic “Ends of the Earth,” singer Ben Schneider’s canyon-yodeling at once spot-on and spectral. (A misty-mountain photo banner, stretched and illuminated behind the band, improved the otherwise gnarly Fremont-alley atmosphere.) Pledge of romantic fealty “Man Who Lives Forever” followed, with guitarist Tom Renaud’s Afro-pop fret-board runs inspiring people to move their asses. When Huron presented its best tune, “I Will Be Back One Day,” I could have died a happy man hearing Schneider reminisce about love’s fiery ignition point: I remember that bright spring day/When you sparked that flame/And a fire continues to burn. Renaud and second guitarist Karl Kerfoot got their Epiphone hollow-body guitars working in tandem, achieving an ebullient pastorality. Gripes? Huron’s insistence on using tropical rhythms. At times the effect evokes a Jimmy Buffett B-side. Huron closed with “The Stranger,” off the Mighty EP (2010), and during its drum kit-hitting, four-on-the-floor outro, Schneider repeated a lyric: Now that I’ve seen your face/I’m haunted by the letters of your name. Should’ve ended there, as Huron encored with a Paul Simon-aping pop ditty. Still, a memorable, impressive Downtown summer show for Beauty Bar. ★★★★✩
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.