Music | Story by Ian Caramanzana
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The Meaning of Life Is Beautiful, From Local Musicians

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Louise Lincicome

Name: Louise Lincicome.

Local connection: Bass player for local pop-punk band Calmosa

Must-see bands: Rusty Maples, Sabriel, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Skrillex, Pussy Riot.

What Life Is Beautiful represents to her: “The festival represents art of all forms. It’s really refreshing to see what new and cool ideas people are coming up with for different concepts on the bars and such, and Life Is Beautiful is just another one of those great movements toward a new Downtown.”

How she thinks the festival will impact the local music scene: “If people make a trip out to Vegas to see Life Is Beautiful, they are going to get a taste of Vegas’ local music, as well as the not-local music. Anytime a festival happens, I feel like the music scene, local or not, in that place gets busy.”

 

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Steven Zeller

Name: Steven Zeller.

Local connection: Audio technician for Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles Love/ bass player for Shayna Rain and the Gents.

Must-see bands: Little Dragon, Kimbra.

What Life is Beautiful represents to him: “I think Life Is Beautiful is trying to solidify Las Vegas’ new downtown sense of community. Whether you believe the changes happening downtown are good or bad, you can’t argue that events like the newly revitalized First Fridays and the LIBs are events that parents can bring their kids to. It’s a more family-friendly environment as compared to downtown not even four years ago.”

How he thinks the festival will impact the local music scene: “I hope that LIB recognizes artists and bands that are not only a part of the downtown music scene, but play across the Valley in venues both big and small. Life Is Beautiful is making Vegas a stop for national music acts on the festival circuit. If you missed a band you wanted to see at Coachella or Riot Fest this year, the possibility exists that you will get to see them at Life Is Beautiful!”


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Steven Matview photo by Hunter Wallace

Name: Steven Matview

Local connection: Founder of PunksInVegas.com.

Must-see bands: Outkast, Kacey Musgraves, Matt & Kim.

What Life Is Beautiful represents to him: “I don’t pay much attention to the ancillary stuff that goes on at Life Is Beautiful, aside from the music. I guess I view the festival as Robin to Vegoose’s Batman—it’s a little less daring in its band choices, but I guess staying mainstream helps get the thing established. But the fact that it has been successful so far represents to me that the music scene is stronger now than it was five or six years ago, and that’s pretty cool.”

How he thinks the festival will impact the local music scene: “I’m a fan of anything that draws attention to the music scene out here¬—that shows that we’re more than casino and lounge shows. Some of these bands are going to have a good time and come back on their own–it happens with Punk Rock Bowling bands all the time.”


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Fidel Romero. Photo by Hunter Wallace via PunksInVegas.com

Name: Fidel Romero.

Local connection: guitarist of Last Call, drummer of Acid Rain.

Must-see bands: Kanye West, Foo Fighters.

What Life Is Beautiful represents to him: “It represents the life and culture that Las Vegas still has. It’s cool to see that this music festival can offer more then the usual cliché stuff that outsiders think Las Vegas is all about.”

How he thinks the festival will impact the local music scene: “The music scene here has its ups and downs. But as of now everything is going well, and the festival just makes it better. They help local bands and set up performances for local acts to help them shine and give them a chance to show what they’re all about.”


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Steven S. Goldberg

Name: Steven S. Goldberg.

Local connection: Las Vegas promoter/ticket seller.

Must-see bands: Outkast.

What Life Is Beautiful represents to him: “It brings something other festivals don’t bring here because it’s a diverse lineup of new performers and old-school performers. It also brings the culinary/chefs around the world to add to the festival.”

How he thinks the festival will impact the local music scene: “Music-wise, it brings something Vegas has rarely seen. It’s definitely an eye-opener and brings a different kind of crowd.”


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John Esquivel

Name: John Esquivel.

Local connection: Co-founder of Catacomb Party in Fresno, California, tour manager for From Indian Lakes.

Must-see bands: Jenny Lewis, Tycho, Mo, Little Dragon.

What Life Is Beautiful represents to him: “It seems more of a collaborative effort compared to most festivals. Also, you’re not going to find another festival that takes over a Downtown and invites these headliners. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of work that is going into this.”

How he thinks the festival will impact the local and national music scenes: “Events like this inspire people in different ways. As a curator of a festival in California, I hope that I can offer exposure to a growing community. I would love to see people attend Life Is Beautiful and realize that they can share a platform with people that they admire. You don’t want people to say, ‘Oh, that was cool. I can’t wait to attend next year.’ You want people to say, ‘Wow, how I can I be a part of this?’

“On a local level, a lot of Las Vegas artists are going to be introduced to a whole lot of people. Las Vegas is full of music junkies, art fans and foodies, but you’d be surprised how many people are not connected to what is going on locally. This festival can serve as one of the ways to bridge artists with new fans.

“On a national level, it gives Las Vegas some ‘hip’ cred. When I first moved here, a lot of friends assumed that my only live music option would be to see a DJ at some club. When they heard about Life Is Beautiful, a lot of them realized that there is more going on here than just the Strip. Something like Life Is Beautiful makes Las Vegas seem like a well-rounded place compared to the stereotypes.”