I'm sitting here in my gorgeous AirBnB in sunny Las Vegas, not-so-patiently waiting for Life Is Beautiful to kick off. Yup, this pic is my view, and yup, I definitely have purple blowfish socks on, as I'm sitting by the gorgeous pool in 82-degree flawlessness, blogging away... I don't need to have a reason, ok? They're poolsocks. (Disclaimer: Not actually a thing...)
This is admittedly my first time attending the festival. Folks, I'm about to pop the LiB cherry. I've jealously watched my friends attend in years past, and as a self-confessed festival junkie, I really had no excuse whatsoever. When Cold War Kids graciously requested my photo/media credentials (I mean, really, how great are those guys?) I was beyond thrilled. I owe you all a beer... or ten.
So the festival officially begins tomorrow afternoon and what a kickass lineup to kick off the festivities; The Presets, Elohim, Robert Delong, Hinds, Sir Sly, Chvrches, Sylvan Esso, Justice, The Neighbourhood, What So Not, RL Grime, Death Cab For Cutie and headliner The Weekend. And that's just Friday. It gets bigger and better from there.
You guys... the stokedness is off the charts. I joke with friends that I'm usually on a Stokedness Scale from 1-5... with 1 being "I haven't had my morning coffee yet" to a 5 being "three red bulls and a shot of tequila as I'm sitting in the front row of my favorite punk rock show." Right now, I'm at about a six... so you've all been warned.
Despite traffic and a warning about the general shadiness of a deserted midafternoon jaunt through Fremont Street/downtown Las Vegas, I cruised my way down the strip and found a parking spot all by my lonesome. In the single block between parking and credential pickups, I high-fived a dude picking cans out of the trash (admittedly, poor decision, where is my hand sanitizer?), stopped three milliseconds shy of being pancaked by a passing taxi, dodged two panhandlers and another possibly trying to sell me crack, and made it to the Commissary front door with a random dude definitely following me a little too close. No worries! And lo and behold, my credentials were there and ready for me, and I picked up my shiny wristbands with no drama. In the course of this years' festival coverage, this is a rare thing. Incredibly rare. Usually either there's some mistake, a credential has been swapped, technology is broken, my name is spelled wrong, or an interview hasn't been arranged (that should have been). Or the staffer running the booth is just an ass. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Life Is Beautiful definitely has their shit together, and they manage to be nice about it, too. Thank you. Color me impressed. Beautifully.
On my way back, I took a quick jaunt up Fremont Street. Partially for the people-watching and partially for a shot of overpriced starbucks dirt-coffee. The former was impressive; the latter, unimpressive as always. However I did capture a brief moment that left me both amused and terrified (look closely). Cue... Fremont Street Murder Clown. I'll leave you to make your own conclusions. I stepped warily aside and decided it was time to split.
So we're all ready to go, sparkling wristbands adorned, cameras are charged and this evening I'm popping over to The Foundry at SLS Hotel for a quick 'LiB warmup' with Busta Rhymes' "Blaze the Beat" hip-hop competition, with a surprise appearance by Wiz Khalifa. I'm actually really excited for this one... they promise fire, both literally and figuratively. My eyebrows are ready; they haven't been singed by stageside pyrotechnics since Five Finger Death Punch. So, I'm off to find an outfit that's remotely club-appropriate and hop in the VIP line to hang with Busta.
I hope you'll all follow along with the craziness this weekend. I've got some fun video features and livestreams lined up, so get your butt over to my Instagram and give it a Follow. Oh, and CWK, I dedicate all of the forthcoming revelry, photography, thoughtful blogging (ha) and utter, beautiful Vegas insanity to you. Cheers, boys!