Killers, Costello and Conspiracies at the Mack


What’s the most musical month? Well, the Grammys are in January, and the height of concert season stretches from June to August. We had the iHeartRadio Festival in September, Electric Daisy Carnival in June, and Vegoose and Life Is Beautiful both staked out October.

But March? March was always for losing money on basketball and/or throwing up whatever 90 percent Coors Light/10 percent green dye abomination of a cocktail you could swill down for 14 hours straight in the middle of the month.

Yet here come the Killers, just in time for Virginia’s ritual dismantling of Coastal Carolina, with the official anthem of March Madness: “Shot at the Night,” recorded for November’s Direct Hits compilation and performed for the first time at Life Is Beautiful. The promo video mixes hoops highlights with the band playing at the Grand Canyon. They’ll be at the March Madness Music Festival on April 4-6 in Dallas, and are being touted by experts to have a legitimate chance of knocking off No. 3-seed Creighton in the West Regional. How they got a No. 14 seed is beyond us. Everyone knows Brandon Flowers chucks up 3s and doesn’t hustle on defense.

Meanwhile, another local band was just deep in the heart of Texas. Or the appendix of Texas, anyway—the weird vestigial part that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the body. Rusty Maples was the only Vegas act to get a SXSW showcase, playing March 14 at the Austin Ale House as part of the Caesars Entertainment showcase curated by Life Is Beautiful. Things worked out pretty well for Imagine Dragons when they did their SXSW showcase in 2010, so infer from that what you will.

The Roots played three times over the course of Brooklyn Bowl’s first big weekend, closing out with shows March 15 and 16 with Elvis Costello. The second night saw Holly Madison, Claire Sinclair and Josh Strickland come to see Homer Simpson’s favorite rock ’n’ roll fantasy-camp instructor. At the end of the second show, Costello led a call-and-response of “Walk Us Uptown!” from the Roots collaboration album Wise Up Ghost, to which bandleader Questlove interrupted, in cadence with the song, “Elvis, I got a job! I got to catch a plane!” Hey, you don’t want to get fired from The Tonight Show a month after you start the gig.

First Friday is getting into the concert game, too. On April 4, Sheryl Crow is playing Container Park as part of a fundraiser for Feed the Children and Opportunity Village. There are fewer than 1,000 tickets available at $39 a pop (or VIP ducats at $79). Call it a hunch, but you might get to hear “Leaving Las Vegas” live.

Finally, it isn’t music related, but the radio factors in—during the San Diego State-New Mexico tilt for the Mountain West championship March 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center, someone with the arena apparently wanted Aztecs broadcaster Ted Leitner to move some equipment. The request didn’t sit well. With little more than a minute left in what was at the moment a one-point game, Leitner unleashed: “Unbelievable. These guys are unbelievable. These people are unbelievable in this arena. They got security guards, think they’re guarding the Pentagon. Coming over, interrupting me during a broadcast. … These morons think the terrorists are honing in here on the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas.”

You had better do what you are told, you better listen to the radio.

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