Southern Nevada may not have foliage tours and apple-picking excursions, but autumn here brings a full calendar of arts and culture to keep us busy. Find a guide to this year’s season here, along with book reviews, interviews, profiles, and a true-crime tale from the annals of punk rock.View as a flipbook or download the PDF on Issuu>>
Fall Culture Guide 2023: Music
Despite our reputation as the land of lounge singers and novelty acts, there is a thriving, locally brewed rock scene in Vegas. You’ll want to tune into the White Noise at their EP release show, along with a variety of other punk rockers like teen trio the Dollheads, pseudo-businessmen Pure Sport, the gothic grunge Elevated Undergrounds, and bittersweet emo pop group Arrlo. Don’t worry, if I see you there, I won’t judge you for wearing ear plugs. In fact, I’ll have a few extras.
Past the decorum and opulence, a major component of our obsession with royalty is a morbid fascination with the dark side and transgressions of the court. The juxtaposition of high society with the grim is at the center of the Kings & Queens: Madness, Mayhem & Macabre concert at Charleston Heights Art Center, presented by Vegas City Opera and the Las Vegas Sinfonietta. Enjoy works that incorporate the final writings of monarchs and consorts alongside the avant-garde compositions of György Ligeti and John Cage.
I read somewhere that when opera singers forget their lyrics, they just begin listing varieties of pasta and the audience is none the wiser. Well, why not finally blend these two crafts, literally? Pasta & Puccini consists of an opening cocktail hour, an Italian opera for your main course, and a hearty dinner to wrap it all up. Remind me, was it Rossini or Rigatoni who wrote the theme to “The Lone Ranger?”
The Downtown Rocks Free Concert Series is your main source of headliners that make you go, “Oh hey! Those guys!” Sometimes they’re welcome blasts from the past, like Taking Back Sunday. or All-American Rejects. Other times … maybe they should have stayed back there (looking at you, Rick Springfield). You know Gin Blossoms from their radio hit, “Hey Jealousy,” but they also have a rich catalog of power pop tunes with bright melodies and profound lyrics. Check ’em out, along with the rest of the Downtown Rocks calendar. If the show’s a bust, it’s not like you’re starved for entertainment options in the immediate area.
Oct. 29, Nov. 19, Dec. 10
On select Sundays, House of Blues hosts a renowned concert and dining experience, Gospel Brunch. The soul is palpable in the selection at the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and from the performers on stage giving it their all. So, in case you overindulged on Saturday night, but Sunday mass is a little too dour for your taste, why not get some rejuvenation at Gospel Brunch? You’ll also be supporting a good cause, as a portion of ticket sales benefits the Music Forward Foundation, an organization that helps youths ages 13-24 pursue their musical passions.
YE-AH! You know that YE-AH! You just read it in his voice, don’t lie. There is only one man who can deliver that YE-AH! with absolute conviction, transporting you back to a time when MySpace and flip phones were the cutting-edge. You couldn’t even deepfake that YE-AH! if you wanted to. See the man himself at Lil Jon’s DJ Set inside Aria’s Jewel Nightclub. I’ve said my piece. YE-AH!
Okay, I have two confessions to make. The first is that, even as a proud, proud, Nevadan, I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. My second is that, even as a dirty hipster who frequents shows in abandoned pools and backyards, I can also dig a good tribute band. That’s what you’re usually going to find at casino showrooms anyway. The Red Hots have stopped in Vegas twice in the past year, but in case you “Can’t Stop” indulging in your “Dark Necessities,” the Red Not Chili Peppers have your dose of “Californication.”
Craig Ranch has had some real winners lately. Who would have thought someone like Phoebe Bridgers would do a show there??? At the Rhythm & Brews Festival, classic R&B and funk acts including Cameo, Lakeside, Thee Midnighters, and many others perform their grooving jams in an open-air venue where you can take your pick of delectable food and drink options. Word up!
Good things often come in threes. Something about that number elicits harmony. As charming as they are talented, the California Guitar Trio has a musical range spanning popular music classics to original compositions. They’ve had the honor of soundtracking coverage for the Olympics and waking up NASA astronauts (alarm-clock style, not live). You’ll find yourself singing along to the lush, bright sounds that steel strings make when masterfully manipulated by these virtuosos.
Few actors have managed to pull themselves from the depths of obscurity with a second act. Corey Feldman, of Gremlins, Goonies, and Stand by Me fame, looks to do it through music. Feldman is embarking on a U.S. tour to promote his new album Love Left 2. Dubbed Love Retours, the show is billed as a multi-media mix of his music and film hits, promising a uniquely ’80s-flavored spectacle.
The UNLV jazz program has garnered accolades for its musicians’ talent, as well as for its diverse musical styles. This year’s three-day Jazz Festival will cover a lot of ground, highlighting the work of multiple jazz ensembles — contemporary, Latin, studio, vocal, and more. And the headline guest artist is drummer Gregg Bissonette, who’s played with everyone from American rocker David Lee Roth to Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.
The holidays are the time of the year for tradition and the reminder of things that have persisted through generations. But this period also marks an oncoming change for the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Long-time conductor Donato Cabrera is at the podium for the last time in the 2023-24 concert season. See him leading the Philharmonic in A Very Vegas Christmas, a collection of carols, holiday favorites, and heartwarming songs that are fun for the whole family. Who could ask for a better swan song?
Dec. 16 and 29
Not since Ferris Bueller has a man in a bathrobe attained so much notoriety. Marc Rebillet, better known as “Loop Daddy” to his online audience, started making beats in his bedroom and performing at Dallas restaurants. He now tours the world and has appeared at multiple festivals. His comedic lyrics walk the line between transgressive and cathartic. Rebillet’s animated and chaotic presence has converted initially uninterested bar patrons into dedicated followers. See what all the hype is about at Marc in Vegas. This show runs on four dates: Oct. 14 and 28, and Dec. 16 and 29. See brooklynbowl.com/las-vegas for details.
The Phantom might have had a happier life if he worked in a library, where locking yourself in the basement can just be considered archival work. An Evening with the Phantom features singers from Broadway and the Metropolitan Opera performing pieces from not only the famed Phantom of the Opera, but also other Andrew Lloyd Webber favorites such as Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sunset Boulevard, and more. Thankfully, there’s no ornate chandelier to worry about in this venue.
In the age of streaming, many musicians have diversified their styles to span multiple genres or defy categorization entirely. Keller Williams is a progenitor of this philosophy, meshing elements of rock, jazz, bluegrass, and more since he released his first album in 1994. With a reputation for unique live performances, he plays tunes that are dynamic enough to get you out of the house on a cold January night and moving around the dance floor like it’s the middle of summer.
Norteño Legends Los Tigres Del Norte have the critical acclaim to back up their stardom and the street cred to keep it going. Fifty years after Johnny Cash’s legendary concert at Folsom, the group was the only one approved to perform at the prison’s anniversary concert. On their Siempre Contigo Tour, you can experience their unmatched emotional energy and poignant lyrics reflecting the raw authenticity of life for Latinos on both sides of the border.