As I predicted, piano-rock group Avalon Landing clinched the top prize during the final round of the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands competition. The Las Vegas band moves on to the global online voting segment and will hopefully earn enough ballots to end up in the final 25, and then perform at a July 12 music festival in Rome. Avalon Landing also won a PA system, some microphones, Hard Rock gift cards and a $200 check, which almost covers the band’s bar tab. Congrats, guys!
This week the live-music pickings are strong. British blues-rock act Wishbone Ash, best known for the 1972 cut “Blowin’ Free,” plays Hard Rock Live at 8 p.m. May 1. Over the years, the band has had a revolving lineup of musicians, but founding singer-guitarist Andy Powell remains on board. Wishbone Ash is often credited for having pioneered the use of twin lead guitars, so if you enjoy six-string solos, this show should shake you down to your boots.
If you consider yourself a real metalhead, you’d better not miss Gojira, who storm Las Vegas just prior to the release of the new Godzilla movie. (“Gojira” is Godzilla in Japanese.) The French technical death-metal band is riding high on a recently released limited-edition hardcover photo book and live CD/DVD package. I picked up mine at Zia, and the performances in it are stunning and have me stoked to see these cheese-eating bastards rip apart House of Blues at 7:30 p.m. May 3. Gojira flat-out kills onstage, especially on building-crushing number “Explosia.” Also on the bill: Atlanta sludge-metal quartet Mastodon and Norwegian prog-rock sextet Kvelertak.
My favorite metal-mariachi band, Metalachi, brings their Mexican folk-style covers of glam-rock classics to Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo for a Cinco de Mayo show at 10 p.m. May 5. I happened to profile these raunchy banditos on these pages late last year, and the group’s popularity continues to swell. Their rendition of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”—fueled by trumpet blasts and fiddle slices—never fails to make the crowd go loco. I just hope I don’t get too drunk and find myself sucking on the cast-iron lime-juicer affixed to Metalachi member El Cucuy’s crotch.
Finally, another great metal band, South Carolina’s Nile, casts their aggressive, ancient Egypt-themed spell at LVCS at 8 p.m. May 8. Their song titles (“Natural Liberation of Fear Through the Ritual Deception of Death,” “Ethno-Musicological Cannibalisms”) are a hoot, and their music is heavier than hell. The bill also includes a slew of local acts: Guttural Secrete, the Leviathan, Pillars of Creation, Casket Raider and Spun in Darkness.
Your Vegas band releasing a CD soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.