On the first night at Life is Beautiful, festival goers had a tough decision between two very different headliners with Blink-182 and Chance The Rapper playing conflicting sets blocks from one another. Those who opted for the feeling of nostalgia were met with a solid hour-and-half set from what could almost be dubbed “classic rock.”
The Ambassador Stage, situated on the Llama Lot, facing Fremont between Ninth and Tenth streets, had bodies packed in all the way to Atomic Liquors by the time Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba hit the stage.
Downtown Las Vegas is an obvious fit for the band’s aesthetic. Which may be in part, because their latest album, California, features the art work of D*Face, who’s widely recognizable murals are prominently displayed in and around Life is Beautiful’s footprint.
With the same energy that has always captivated fans, the group kicked off with “Rock Show” much to the surprisingly young crowd’s delight.
The three gel well, and to any unknowing fan, Skiba’s renditions of the group’s pop-punk classics would be indistinguishable from former co-frontman, Tom DeLonge’s versions. It was during the group’s newest tracks from California, where Skiba really came to life, however. With sing alongs rampant, no one notices (or seems to care) that the co-lead vocalist was off-key as they touched on tracks from all over their prolific catalog.
Some of Hoppus’s banter connected with the happy crowd while most bordered on humble bragging and some “feats,” like playing a song with no stage lights, probably seemed more impressive on paper than in execution.
Closing in true festival fashion, with streamers raining down on their heads, not one fan was walking away disappointed, affectively enjoying “All The Small Things.”