FESTIVAL REVIEW: Las Rageous 2019
Las Vegas, the city known for its monumental buildings, 24-hour casinos and spellbinding lights is also home to Las Rageous, which descended upon the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center last month for two days of rock and metal. We ventured across the pond for our very first Las Rageous and came back with some unforgettable memories, including hard-hitting headline performances from Bring Me The Horizon and Rob Zombie.
Friday 18th October
He Is Legend kick off our first day of Las Rageous, bounding onto the U stage with an infectious energy as the sun shines down on the Events Center. From the first moments of the opening riff both the band and crowd are raring to go, with frontman Schuylar Croom effortlessly moving between clean and roared vocals as his bandmates deliver their groove-fuelled brand of hardcore. A moshpit opens up for The Seduction, which also draws everybody’s, including Croom’s, attention to a crowd member dressed up as Santa Claus. Things start to get really heavy as the band conclude their set and it’s safe to say that He Is Legend have set the bar high for the rest of the day. 8/10
As the sun goes down we make our way over to the F stage to catch genre-bending singer-songwriter Poppy (who we spoke to earlier in the day, check out our interview HERE.) As the music builds Poppy‘s band take to the stage, all dressed in black latex jumpsuits and wearing masks and wigs to imitate the enigma’s distinctive look. Taking elements of metal and combining them with sugary-sweet pop, Poppy‘s performance takes the crowd on a rollercoaster ride, the genres twisting and turning at high speeds. The crowd are receptive, particularly with more recent tracks such as Concrete, Metal, Scary Mask and I Disagree, with plenty of participation even near to the back. We walk away impressed and with a new album and a UK tour on the cards for 2020, Poppy is very much worthy of your attention. 8/10
We make our way back to the U stage in time for musical activists Fever 333 (who we also caught up with at the festival, check out our interview HERE) who waste no time in stepping things up a gear. The band blast through tracks from their debut album STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS much to the delight of the crowd, who are in the palm of their hand for the entire set. Frontman Jason Aalon Butler eloquently delivers speeches throughout their D333MONSTRATION, highlighting that there’s “no room for that misogynistic, patriarchal bullshit” while they stand on the stage, which sees the venue erupt with applause and cheers. Bands like Fever 333 are hugely important, even more so in these trying times where it feels like the world is falling apart, and today at Las Rageous they deliver not just a hard-hitting set, but also a hard-hitting message that we hope the crowd embraces as much as we have. 9/10
The F stage packs out for emo rockers The Used, whose set is slightly less polished than the others we have witnessed so far at Las Rageous. It’s apparent that frontman Bert McCracken has adopted a carefree attitude and goes off on various vocal tangents throughout the set, delivering poetry in between songs and on occasions unable to hold a tune. Despite this the crowd are receptive and there are moments within the set that give us a reason to stay, including nostalgic renditions of Blue And Yellow and Pretty Handsome Awkward. 7/10
Headlining Las Rageous this evening is Bring Me The Horizon, making the festival feel like a home away from home. This isn’t the band’s first festival headline slot of the year, having taken on All Points East in London earlier this year. Appearing tonight as part of their amo US tour, the Sheffield quintet are on fire and ready to show Las Vegas what they’re made of. Kicking off proceedings with Mantra it doesn’t take long for frontman Oli Sykes to tell the crowd that they’re one of the worst he’s ever seen. Although this has the potential to dishearten some of the crowd, it gives most of those in attendance the ammunition to take things up a gear as the band jump into The House Of Wolves.
The production adds to the impressiveness of the set: the imagery on the big block screens creates a dazzling spectacle, including an appearance from Dani Filth during Wonderful Life. Bring Me The Horizon continue to blast through hits from their latest album amo, before inviting select fans on stage for an entertaining rendition of Antivist (to which Sykes responds “if anybody was looking forward to that song, I’m sorry”). Can You Feel My Heart continues the streak of older favourites, as Sykes admits he was wrong at first and tells the crowd they have pulled through. As the set draws to a close, the band deliver an encore of Throne and Drown, the latter ending on a high as Sykes makes his way through the crowd and up to the VIP platform, joining his fans for an unforgettable send off. 10/10
Saturday 19th October
After a hugely successful first day, day two of Las Rageous had a lot to live up to. We kick things off with deathcore outfit Whitechapel, who deliver a pummeling set. The three-guitar attack, snarled vocals and piercing bass create a sound so heavy that it sends vibrations through our spines, as atmospheric and melodic moments occasionally weave their way through the set to break up the crushing heaviness. Whitechapel stay pretty static on stage, but this doesn’t take away from the power of their set and vocalist Phil Bozeman is able to command the crowd with ease. Unfortunately some of the crowd leave before the set is over, but it’s safe to say that Whitechapel have woken everybody up and brought the energy back for day two of Las Rageous. 7/10
Next up is Beartooth, who deliver one of the best performances of the day. The band walk on to Queen classic We Will Rock You, and that’s exactly what they do for their fifty minute set. Within seconds of bounding onto the stage frontman Caleb Shomo takes control of the crowd, encouraging everybody to wake up as the band kick into The Lines. One of the lovable things about Beartooth is that they want the people in front of them to have fun and it’s clear that they’re having a lot of fun doing it. Shomo is a natural frontman and shows us all how it’s done, as he commands singalongs, moshpits and fist-pumping, all of which the receptive crowd adhere to. The setlist offers a mix of old and new tracks, and Disease sees a second appearance in the moshpit from Santa Claus who gets a shout out. Beartooth conclude with In Between, which provides the opportunity for the biggest singalong we’ve witnessed so far and ends an unforgettable set from the Ohio quintet. 10/10
The most nostalgic performance of the weekend comes from metalcore favourites Atreyu. The stage is set up with lights that show off the title of their 2018 album The Time Is Now and the quintet kick off proceedings with the record’s title-track. Tonight’s show at Las Rageous is also the first of their 20th anniversary tour (where has the time gone?!), which means we’re treated to old classics including Bleeding Mascara and Blow, propelling us back a decade or so as we reminisce on our teenage years. Atreyu are on top form, giving off a huge amount of energy which is mirrored by the crowd, especially when they throw in a cover of Bon Jovi classic You Give Love A Bad Name. The band give us one final treat with 2002’s Lip Gloss And Black and remind us why they’re still going strong in their twentieth year. 9/10
I Prevail are up next and keep the momentum going strong, as they bound onto the stage with recent single Bow Down. The band released their album Trauma earlier this year and use Las Rageous as an opportunity to celebrate, playing a heavy set-list of newer material which is much to the delight of the crowd, who all seem very supportive and want the band to do well. Co-vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe knows how to get the crowd on side, as he welcomes new fans into the I Prevail family before commanding huge mosh-pits on either side of the venue. The band’s refreshing take on metalcore works perfectly in a live atmosphere, the heavy parts bring so much energy and movement, whilst the softer elements encourage huge singalongs. As the set draws to a close Vanlerberghe reassures us that they will be coming back to Vegas – and as much as this is a flying visit for us we can’t wait to catch them when they return to the UK too! 8/10
Drawing the weekend to a close is Saturday night headliner Rob Zombie. The crowd has doubled in size as everybody waits in anticipation for the set to begin. A horror-themed video plays out on the screens, building up the excitement until a huge scream blasts through the speakers and the band make their way onto the stage. Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown kicks off the twelve-song set, as Rob and his band make use of the entire stage. Rob in particular throws himself around and shows off isolated movements as his vocals bellow across the venue. Tonight marks Rob Zombie‘s final US show of 2019, so we know we’re in for a special one. “Welcome to the Zombie show, Las Vegas,” Rob exclaims. “We don’t want to go out on a low note people, we thought we might come to Las Vegas to get a little party started.” With that he has the crowd is chanting “I wanna fucking party” and the crowd does just that. Living Dead Girl sees members of the crowd on people’s shoulders, as huge balloons are thrown out and bounced around across the venue.
As well as some classic Rob Zombie hits we’re treated to three White Zombie songs and their cover of The Beatles‘ Helter Skelter (which was originally covered with Marilyn Manson). One of the things we love about a Rob Zombie set is that the band put on an incredibly polished show but also don’t take themselves too seriously. They bring the party that everybody is looking for on a Saturday night and throw in plenty of humour to keep us entertained in between their songs. The set is concluded with the trailer of 3 From Hell, Zombie‘s latest film, as well as 1998’s Dragula, and with that Las Rageous draws to an unforgettable close. 8/10
Our first Las Rageous has been a huge success, and with so many amazing sets across the two-day event we’re heading back to UK shores in the hope that we can make it back again for 2020!
Written by: Hannah Gillicker and Charlotte Powell