REVIEW: Life is Beautiful Music Festival 2014

The Life is Beautiful Music Festival took place on October 24-26, celebrating its second year as a full-blown festival in Downtown Las Vegas. The festival’s theme reminds its attendees of all the beauties life has to offer. Whether it’s recognizing art, great food, awesome music, or friendship, the festival grounds was a place of sanctuary to remember all the blessings we have. That being said, the music and art that surrounded the festival were absolutely brilliant. The lineup incorporated so many different genres of music that flowed so nicely throughout the entire weekend. There were so many different artists to choose from. Here’s how my weekend went:

imagePhoto: Local motel used as Life is Beautiful art.

imagePhoto: Mural at on a building at the venue. The buildings in Downtown Las Vegas were transformed into art pieces just for this festival.

Day One

We started out the first day with the electronic-rock sounds of Holy Ghost! at the main stage. I was unfamiliar with their music, but the funky beats couldn’t stop the crowd from dancing. Up next at the main stage was Phantogram. Lead singer, Sarah Barthel, rocked the stage and got the crowd pumped with her power notes. It was amazing to see her rock out with the rest of the band, head bobbing and all, and still be able to execute her vocals like she did. It was time to switch it up after, so our troop ventured on to the other side of the venue to the “Ambassador Stage” to see the rest of Baauer’s set. I awaited his upbeat trap remix of Disclosure’s “You & Me”. He surprised the crowd by playing Flume’s electronic and experimental remix of  “You & Me” first, which built up the suspense for Baauer’s remix. Baauer’s electronic and trap sounds definitely kept the crowd going and pumped for the rest of the night. We filled the rest of our night with good feelings and nostalgia.

imagePhoto: Downtown Stage (Main Stage)

Having to miss a lot of other great acts like Girl Talk, The Weeknd, and Neon Trees, we decided to stick with our roots and pay tribute to the music that have influenced us since middle school. We stayed for Switchfoot, who had an amazing and inspirational set. “Dare You To Move” nearly had me in tears (I have to admit), and I could tell that every person watching was in awe as well. The group has been around and traveling all over the world for a while, so there was no way I would miss their performance. The Head and the Heart was our next stop. Already extremely familiar with this band and the way they performed, I was blown away by how much they’ve changed this past year. Seeing them headline at this festival made me realize how much they’ve grown as a band. During “Rivers and Roads” and “Down in the Valley”, I saw an immense chemistry that wasn’t there before. They made everyone feel the power and passion in their music.

imagePhoto: Switchfoot

imagePhoto: The Head and the Heart

In the end, I had to choose between Kanye West and Panic! at the Disco. I decided to feed the inner “emo” girl inside of me, and stayed for Panic!’s entire set. I regret none of it. It was like watching a carnival/circus act full of crazy lights and backflips, except with electric guitars and the empowering vocals of Brendon Urie. Lead singer, Brendon Urie, gave an amazing performance (shirtless, I may add). The band flawlessly performed songs from their old and new albums. They played songs like my old favorite, “Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off”, to some new favorites like “Gospel” and “Girls/Girls/Boys”. Their flawless cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” surprised the entire crowd. They ended the night with their old hit, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, and everyone sang along to the entire song.

imagePhoto: Panic! at the Disco

imageSome thoughts from Danray on Kanye’s performance: Kanye West’s performance at Life is Beautiful was different than his performance at the Outside Lands Music Festival (August, 2014). There were less rants and more on the encore. It was both refreshing and new.

Day Two

Day two was a bit more “amped up” now that everyone had a taste of Kanye and Panic! at the Disco from the night before. Since everyone was familiar with the festival grounds, the Art exhibits were experiencing a great number of visitors. The familiar sounds of OKGO with their hit “Here It Goes Again” kicked off the music scene into a dance party. Following was Fitz and the Tantrums, who kept the energy going with their hit “Out Of My League.” Then came the soothing rhythms of Tycho followed by the upbeat jive of MS MR. If one needed Hip Hop and Trap style music DJ Mustard was a must. Followed by the sounds of Kimbra who put out great acoustics and her song “Settle Down” was simply electrifying. The Revival of Lionel Richie did not disappoint but sent a note of nostalgia to both young and old listeners. Cutting short Lionel’s set, we then listened to the soothing harmonies of Alt-J, the performance of G-eazy and the dynamic duo of Matt & Kim. All of this flow of good vibes and energy led up to the last performance of the night by Outkast. “Miss Jackson” and “Hey Ya” were the songs that made the crowd jump up and down which ended the night with a “polaroid-picture” moment.

Day Three

The Last and final day has arrived with many more acts to follow. The crowd seemed to be a bit calmer now that today’s festival is more focused on Rock and EDM. Visiting the Chef On Stage and seeing Scott Conant make tasty and delicious dished of pasta and steak, one was honored to try both of his creations. Then the music was started by the group tUnE-yArDs with their hit “Bizness” spurred the start of a small dance groove. Followed by the amazing performance of Broken Bells. Then the EDM scene took over with Galantis, A-trak, and Skrillex. In between the EDM and the alternative rock came the group Little Dragon which, lead singer Yukimi Nagano set the stage with the most colorful performance of their hit song “Ritual Union.” Then many fans of the group Arctic Monkeys set the bar high with their popular tune of “Do I Wanna Know” and “R U Mine?” The moment everyone was waiting for was the last and epic performance of the Foo Fighters! Singing all their classic songs as well as a cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure” was a cherry on top for the last day of the Life is Beautiful Festival.

imagePhoto: Chef On Stage featuring Scott Conant and his delicious food!

imagePhoto: Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys

imagePhoto: The Life is Beautiful logo

Co-written by Holly Santiago and Danray Briones

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