Las Rageous Music Festival Review
What happens in Vegas… According to Derek Stevens, owner of the D Casino and the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, over 12,000 eager rockers per day descended upon Sin City to attend the second annual Las Rageous music festival this weekend. Featuring headliners A Perfect Circle and Vegas’ own Five Finger Death Punch, everything about this festival was bigger and better for its second year.
The festival grounds received numerous upgrades this year, most notably covering the entire main “U” stage area with astroturf – a welcome change from standing on asphalt in the hot Vegas sun. The VIP bleachers for both stages were expanded, and additional beverage stands were constructed throughout the grounds. Hosted downtown near the iconic Fremont Street Experience canopy, two streets were closed off to help make room for the large food court filled with vendor booths and food trucks. The expanded “F” second stage filled the intersection of 3rd street and the temporarily renamed Las Rageous Blvd.
The first day of the festival kicked off with a local battle of the bands winner Silence Speaks, then continued into the night with Slaves and Vyces. Everything kicked into a new gear as soon as Las Vegas-based Otherwise took the main stage, exciting everyone with their songs from their newest album Sleeping Lions, as well as their back catalog of hits. The evening continued with Pop Evil, New Years Day, Underoath, and Clutch. A Day to Remember was the evening’s final band on the second stage, while the main stage was set for A Perfect Circle. True to form, Maynard James Keenan stood in the shadows to deliver his vocals, unleashing songs from their new album Eat the Elephant.
Day two at Las Rageous was even more exciting than the first. A large crowd arrived early to see Bad Wolves unleash their cover of the Cranberries’ Zombie, released shortly after the passing of Dolores O’Riordan. Arizona rockers Ded whipped up the main stage crowd, growing in size after every festival they have attended over the past year.
Las Vegas is widely known for its acrobatic shows on the strip, but few could have predicted what came next. Joyous Wolf rocked the second stage, and as usual frontman, Nick Reese was delivering one of his overly energetic performances. While the band was playing, Nick whipped the crowd into a frenzy by climbing to the very top of one of the stage trusses, easily forty feet tall, overlooking the intersection below. Continuing to sing while he climbed down, Las Rageous staff chose to cut off his microphone, then silencing the entire band. Once he made it back down onto the stage, the entire band was escorted off stage, and Nick later said on his Facebook page that he was escorted off the property and his red artist band was cut off. Rock and Roll is not dead!
The evening continued with another Las Vegas band, Adelitas Way, setting the tone for the evening to come. Blackstar Riders and Hollywood Undead rocked out as the sun went down, with the latter group having their own “Kiss Guy” moment after drawing a masked fan from the crowd to play on guitar with the band. A huge wave of older rockers headed over to the second stage for the next couple of hours, featuring British metal veterans Saxon and Judas Priest, both with fresh albums for 2018. Although relegated to the second stage, Rob Halford showed off his legendary metal vocal chords, and Glenn Tipton even made an appearance for the final songs of the set.
Maria Brink and In This Moment mesmerized the crowd with their seemingly never-ending costume changes, building up the crowd at the main stage for the night’s headliners, Five Finger Death Punch. Showing his support for the local team, Ivan Moody started off the night in a Vegas Golden Knights jersey, carrying his typical wiffle ball bat. Playing well into the night, they whipped the entire crowd into a frenzy, spawning multiple mosh pits.
Las Vegas has always been known for it’s over the top entertainment from the likes of Celine Dion, Cher, Elton John, and even Brittany Spears – but Las Rageous proves that Sin City really knows how to throw down and get dirty with the best of them as well.
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