There are a few places in Las Vegas where you can hear the city's rising musical talent -- and one of those spots is T-Mobile Arena.
Credit Jake Wagner, who as music director for the Vegas Golden Knights featured some 40 local tunes during the hockey team's 2018-2019 season.
And no, Wagner didn't just play hits by big names like The Killers or Imagine Dragons. He helped expose up and coming local artists to a nightly audience of 18,000 plus.
"Building the feature from inception, which last year was just an idea of playing local artists in the game, kind of morphed into this occurrence where we were doing it every game, featuring the artist's picture on the Knight-tron and putting their name and their song name up on the board. It's been a staple. It's been really cool to see local artists have the opportunity to be on the big stage."
Wagner also plays their songs on NV89, Nevada Public Radio’s music station in Reno -- such as Dark Black's "Law of Affect." The Downtown post-punk band's music is a perfect fit for a Golden Knights game because hockey fans like to rock out. "Law" is one of six local favorites Wagner chose to highlight.
Youth Fable - "First Swim"
“It is a little bit different than what you would expect at an NHL game, but hockey is sort of a dance. It’s like an ebb and flow. There’s a lot of momentum swings. Surprisingly, when the Knights are on defense, they want to be able to communicate with each other before the puck drops, and this was the perfect song to give them relief from a potential offensive threat. It’s chillwave meets dream pop [by] Pete Andrew Reyes, AKA Youth Fable.”
Dark Black – "Law of Affect"
“Traditionally NHL fans are rock and roll fans. I think this fits perfectly for the sound and vibe that most people like. Dark Black six-song EP Dissolve was released digitally last year and they’ve already captured a lot of attention here in the Vegas scene. If you’ve been to the Bunkhouse, maybe had yourself a drink, they might have even served you. They’ve played in bands for a long time around town. These guys definitely know what they’re doing.”
O Wildly - “Road”
“You can definitely hear the classic rock feel. They’re interjecting a new feel though to the Laurel Canyon sound of the '60s and '70s. They’re fronted by Adam Christopher Smith, who has worked behind the scenes at Life is Beautiful for the last couple of years. This band has really honed in on their sound.”
David Hopkins - “C’est La”
“He’s an artist who may be unknown to you but he’s really a big deal. Originally from Ireland, he started his career as the keyboardist for the band LiR. They toured the U.S. 12 times, and while Hopkins was with them, they toured with The Who and other rock icons including U2 and Iggy Pop.
While touring the U.S., David actually left the band and joined The Who, playing keyboards on the Quadrophenia tour in 2001. In 2014, he started his band Bombay Heavy with some of the roadies and touring members of The Killers. He went by the name Barnabas Wu. That later led him to co-produce albums with bands around town, including solo efforts from The Killers’ bassist Mark Stoermer.”
MOOSE the coolest - “New Bounce"
“Moose is an interesting fella. I met him while he was DJing downtown. He is a man of many different hats, but he’s a super talented songwriter and producer as well. Self-recorded and mixed his entire new album that’s called Universe and features zero samples. So, everything you hear is all original composition. He is originally from the Philippines and sang in Tagalog twice on the album.”
Kaylie Foster - “Nothing Less”
“It was perfect for [soundtracking] a save, actually -- a light-hearted moment. Marc Andre Fleury makes a glove save and to give the crowd a nice reprieve, this was the track we selected. Kaylie has been playing around town for more than a few years now. She’s actually the daughter of legendary jazz musician Ronnie Foster, who, you may or may not know, has played on multiple albums including George Benson and Stevie Wonder. So, obviously, Kaylie has probably learned a lot from her dad, but she’s been physically working on her live chops for years. And this latest single is a testament to her growth as an artist.”
Jake Wagner, host. NV89
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