As I sit here taking in a Las Vegas sunrise, the streets are empty and a barely audible hummm penetrates the air. The music stops, yet the song still stays on – an echo from the moment before.
Festing can be a lot of different things and for sure each of us although having the very same experience, won’t experience it the same. Life is Beautiful this year is prepossessing yet for me the beauty is in the raw. Raw emotions, excessive heat, full moon energy growing hour by hour, the overwhelming aesthetic sensory overload.
Hold, hold on, hold onto me 'Cause I'm a little unsteady A little unsteady Hold, hold on, hold onto me 'Cause I'm a little unsteady A little unsteady
We are in this together, the struggle is real and alive. The ensuing emotions that are being provoked aren’t easily described although I think if I were to try, I would liken it to live art, a living canvas, layers upon layers of paint. Some with deep and rich shades of pain and others with lightness and charism and vitality blending into one anther.
Life is Beautiful Music and Art Festival kicked off yesterday afternoon and as we entered into the gates immediately it began. If I am honest the change started even before anticipatory knowing the flow of creativity was calumniating in one physical location. 18 city blocks in downtown Las Vegas our home for the next three days. Strangers are not strange here, we are collective, we blend into one another in acceptance, not merely tolerance.
This weekend is the third instalment of Life is Beautiful, and with the rapid creative refuel I think it’s worthy to mention this year the devil is in the details. The little things, this festival is less an individual experience and more an opportunity to do life together. With the first year, two Octobers ago it was such an unexpected vibe of positivity. As your gaze fell upon any direction there were words of wisdom, kindness, provocation and ascetically the art was love.
Last year, we saw more of the same in that the vibe of the festival was still incredibly positive, but the community of the festival was different, this time people had an idea of what to expect. The music last year will be a line up that is hard to top, for anyone, likely ever. As well, last year I really noticed a stronger focus on the personal enrichment tracks, the speakers in their Ted Talk format we’re notable and worthy of our time despite missing a song or two, there were many opportunities to go off the rid while here.
X Ambassadors surprised me, the energy they brought to their performance was intoxicating. The band is made up of brothers, Sam Harris & Casey Harris as well as life long friend Noah Feldshuh. Adam Levin, met the brothers while at school in New York 5 years ago. While song after song yesterday was elevating the mood we had a special drop in performance by Imagine Dragons, Dan Reynolds that sealed the level of engagement, the entire lawn was moving together.
Day one for me was about the pulse of life, which to a music journalist like myself – it is as necessary as breathing. We moved gracefully from act to act, following the flow of the festival. In a day one, it’s very important to set your intentions for the weekend. Let the universe in and find a way to remove any impermeable skin so that as you experience any of the little irritations that YOU can smile through them and seek the friend making opportunities in real time. Waiting in line, which aside from the bottomless Lemon-aid sponsored by – there were none. No bathroom waits, no food waits, no excessive malling in the crowd it was simply a pleasure to be there.
We heard Awolnation, they played Hollow Moon & nailed it. Edward Sharp charmed the crowd as is his usual MO – so approachable and easy to connect with in the show. Hozier, Twenty One Pilots, Robin Shultz, STEVIE WONDER, and then lastly and easily the best performance of the evening, Major Lazer.
words by | deanna beaudoin