Imagine a music festival that encompasses many aspects of life and the beautiful things intertwined. Delivering more than a mere musical experience was Life Is Beautiful festival-a festival that took place in the heart of downtown, Las Vegas. LIB delivered an incomparable experience filled with: music, art, learning, and culinary phenomenons.
Taking place over a span of 15 blocks attendees were able to grasp the reality and amazing awe-inspiring grit of downtown Las Vegas. Throwing you in the heart of a city that is effortlessly infused with high personification, history, and thriving magnetism, LIB was a festival of many ‘firsts’. Entering upon the streets, nestled Las Vegas Boulevard and 10th street, was another world; a world where you could leave your worries at the entrance and remember why ‘Life is Beautiful’.
Family of The Year, Alpine, Shalvoy Music, Wallpaper, Sean Glass, Turner, ZZ Ward, Nco Vega, Room 8, EKOH, Same Sexy Mary, Dawes, Poolside, Cayucas, Eric Sharp, Goldboot, Alabama Shakes, Andrew McMahon, Youngblood Hawke, Human Life, RNR, Beau Hodges Band, Capital Cities, Earl Sweatshirt, Ricky Reed (of Wallpaper) Crazy Chief, Children of The Night, Imagine Dragons, Purity Ring, Cults, Moon Boots, A Crowd of Small Adventures, Chancellor Warhol, Treasure Gingers, Rusty Maples, Joey Bada$$, Poolside, Childish Gambino, Beck, Pretty Lights, and Kings of Leon performed on Saturday and all gave stellar performances and set the bar high for its opening day!
In addition to the remarkable line up the festival also delivered a culinary experience. Saturday had chefs such as Grant Macpherson who demonstrated a cooking demo, complete with methods, sauces, and garnishments making for quite the decadent segment.
Capital Cities delivered an unforgettable performance packed with a live trumpet player with some pipes on him! The duo had everyone convinced to ‘sell their bed, but not their stereo’! Filled with high energy and off the charts talent, Capital Cities was definitely a nice surprise for the evening! Alabama Shakes is a band that never fails to wow the crowd. Hailing straight from Alabama, they incorporate sultry blue-grass with meaningful soulful lyrics. Playing to their hometown crowd was Imagine Dragons. The intensity was very surreal as the band led up to their hit song ‘Radioactive’.
Kings of Leon’s closed out the first evening of the festival. Their performance had the crowd in pure solitude as they played a melodic set of oldies such as ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’ as well as some of their newer singles such as ‘Supersoaker’. Hearing the lead singer, Caleb Followill, sing with such robust and scratchiness made this performance worthwhile, and probably one of their better performances.
Spreading the message of positivity and balancing happiness with your career was influential speaker Maneesh K. Goyal. Goyal spoke on Sunday about his movement ‘Live in the Grey’. “The base line: 7 out of 10 are disengaged in their work which is both a societal and economical problem, Goyal says, “we are trying to build a foundation where fulfillment, happiness, career, stability, and family are joined- a base where you won’t think your Monday’s suck!”
Sundays lineup was incredible and included: DJ88, Living Colour, Five Knives, Cosmic Suckerpunch, Jean Raw, The Dirty Hooks, Haleamano, Allen Stone, Charli XCX, Robert Delong, Doc Hollywood, Dusty Sunshine, Michael Jackson One, Twenty One Pilots, Haim, CC Sheffield, American Cream, Jordan Kate Mitchell, Sean Glass, Moondog Matinee, Jurassic 5, Janelle Monae, Danny Brown, Baio, Most Thieves, Passion Pit, STS9, Codes, The Kingston Springs, Sabriel, Codes, The Joy Formidable, Robert Delong, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Joey Pero & His Band, Vampire Weekend, Zedd, Big Gigantic, Bob Moses, Smith Westerns, Kid Meets Cougar, Empire of The Sun, and The Killers.
Described as a ‘pitch-perfect powerhouse’ Allen Stone delivered an ‘on your feet’ performance. The ‘hippie with soul’ took the crowd by storm with his energy and undeniable talent which encouraged all in attendance. Twenty One Pilots not only showcased its acrobatics but also their undeniably musicality. The high energy performance catered to the needs of the crowd and targeted certain individuals which made the performance very personal. Janelle Monae had a great performance which included The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. Seeing Passion Pit beam in pure radiance was potentially one memorable moment for this festival. Lead singer Michael Angelakos falsetto voice flowed pitch perfectly through their smash hits from both breakthrough album Manners and current collection Gossamer. In homage of the recent loss of rock legend Lou Reed, Empire of the Sun smashed a guitar on stage during their performance. Vampire Weekend also made a stop at Atomic Bar, which is the oldest bar in Las Vegas before their set began with “Sunday Morning” also as a tribute to Lou Reed.
Day 2 headliner and hometown sensations “The Killers” performed their new single “Shot At The Night” for the first time live. “You’re either with us or against us!” lead singer Brandom Flowers said. Frontman Flowers shared thoughtful stories throughout their performance about the early days and milestones in life. When he finally spoke about Reed’s passing, he shared how he left song ideas on Keuning’s answering machine in the early days, including one refrain inspired by the New York icon’s classic album, Transformer. “I was just trying to rip off Lou Reed, and it went horribly wrong …” he said, before he launched into “All These Things That I’ve Done.” “A lot of our songs take place on these streets,” The Killers singer noted during the band’s festival-ending set at Life Is Beautiful on Sunday. Closing out the festival they even paid homage to their hometown with a celebratory performance of a tweaked version of “Viva Las Vegas”.
“Both in attendance and sentiment, this festival has exceeded our very high expectations,” said festival co-founder and CEO Rehan Choudhry. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Every musician, chef, artist and speaker on the festival showed a tremendous amount of love for Las Vegas through their performances, and seeing hometown heroes The Killers close out the festival to thunderous applause was heart warming.”
Sponsors for Life Is Beautiful included: Wirtz Beverage Nevada, Heineken USA, Esquire Magazine, Las Vegas Review Journal, Travel + Leisure, Sub-Zero Wolf, Westar Kitchen & Bath, Las Vegas Events, Cirque du Soleil, Zappos.com, Red Bull, El Cortez Hotel & Casino, the D Las Vegas, Toyota, CBS, Ketel One Vodka, Bacardi, Murphy-Goode, Whole Foods Market, Ploom, Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino, Dolce Vita, Original Penguin, Le Creuset, Airstream 2 Go, Silicon Valley Bank, Chef Works, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Flamingo Las Vegas, La Caja China, Silver State Productions.
Thanks to: Aurelian Marketing Group, Another Planet Entertainment, MAKTUB Marketing, and Downtown Project for making this event such a smashing success. With its first year in existence Life Is Beautiful delivered an unforgettable block party in a makeshift concert space and definitely set the tones while breaking the barriers for the elements that should ‘define a festival’. The festival had over 60,000 attendees, 70 bands, 50 chefs and restaurants, 25 noted speakers, and special performances by Cirque du Soleil and other theatrical productions. Attendees left feeling nothing less than refreshed as they engaged in the realization of understanding the depth perception of surrounding reality which was defined by musicality this weekend. Until next year festival-goers, stay beautiful!