Summer festivals tend to be pretty mellow places these days. Lots of smiling folks wearing flower crowns holding their smartphones high, meandering from art installation to gourmet food truck as the hits of the summer drift on the air.
Psycho Las Vegas, however, is nothing like that. For three days, it takes over Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with more than 70 acts whose fan bases range from cult to KISS Army. Attendees include just-outta-their-teens fanboys and grizzled folk who can recall seeing Black Sabbath in Birmingham, England, couples from Tokyo and the bartender who works down the street. They’re not here to flash up their Instagram feeds; they’re here to blow out their eardrums.
The lineup at the festival’s second Vegas installment indeed offers plenty of volume. For the headbangers, there’s the theatrical metal of King Diamond, the ’70s doom metal of Pentagram and the stoner rock of Sleep. The Melvins bring a fuzz-heavy low end, the Swans are dark brood-rock, while the Murder City Devils push garage into punk and the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s psychedelic rock bends genres. Add in outliers like Mulatu Astake’s funky Ethio-jazz and the art-noise-damage of Psychic TV and it’s a weekend with something (weird) for everyone.
Vegas Seven spoke to two of the acts playing this yearís Psycho Las Vegas, the Melvins’ King Buzzo and Michael Gira of Swans. Go to vegasseven.com/melvins and vegasseven.com/swans for the full stories.