I thought musical festival season was over after FYF Fest in LA last weekend, but then I took a look at the lineup for The Neon Reverb Festival (which kicks off tomorrow night at The Bunkhouse Saloon in Downtown Las Vegas), and realized I'd be making a grave, grave mistake by underestimating Las Vegas' DIY indie rock fest.
Neon Reverb is a relatively new festival scheduled to take place twice a year, in March and September. But the group of bands the organizers have put together demonstrates that the young festival already coming into its own. Taking place over a few days at different venues in Downtown Las Vegas, this festival is a seriously good reason to fake an illness and take the rest of the week off work.
Ty Segall, from San Francisco, headlines with his blistering lo-fi psychadelic guitar shredding, as the prolific and young prodigy plays cuts from his excellent new record, Slaughterhouse and his already startlingly deep back catalog. Continuing the loud and garagey theme is SF's Thee Oh Sees bring their poppy yet psychadelic sound to Downtown Sin City. Indip pop supergroup JJAMZ, featuring former and current members of Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, Maroon 5, Phantom Planet, and The Like have a catchy, Blondie thing going on, and the easy on the eyes quality of their cute front-lady Z-Berg doesn't hurt. Country punkers Those Darlins have an appealingly throwback girl-group sound, while Moonface brings a cheekily fun twist to 80's style gothy drama. Former Limp Bizkit guitarist (!!!) Wes Borland finally threw off the shackles of douche Emperor Fred Durst to form his new, quirkier band Black Light Burns, which might be interesting to see just to witness what life is like for a musician who survived playing guitar on Nookie, which isn't necessarily the worst song ever written but is surely in the running for the title.
Beyond the super excellent Segall, I'm most excited by the inclusion of Foxygen on the bill. Fronted by two hilarious young bros living on opposite coasts (who share duties updating a hilarious Twitter feed), their debut album Take the Kids off Broadway is a deliriously unhinged bedroom pop/ garage rock EP that pays loving homage to tons of classic rock acts within single songs, mimicking The Who, The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, and The Beach Boys within four minute blasts of schizophrenic (in a very good way) rock n roll. I saw them play at the recent (and kinda dumbly named but otherwise lovely) Echo Park Rising Festival and they were equally energetic and sloppy. If they keep working at what they're doing, these guys could be truly great, but for now they're already a lot of fun.
A bunch of other bands and DJs are scheduled to play the festival, which launches tomorrow night and runs through Sunday. Hopefully I'll see you there... just try not snap any Instagrams if we run into each other. Photos of me drinking beer and rocking out to loud garage rock bands in Downtown Vegas Dive bars might blow my story that I'm sick at home with a bad case of Hantavirus.