Honor Amongst Thieves played a strong five-song set kicking it off with Nothing To Hide and following up with Element Of Truth and Pressure this group rocks the crowd pretty well for an up and coming band. Lead singer Jonathan Salas does a pretty smooth job of changing his rock style vocals up in the songs from cleans to screams and back again. Both guitarists and bassist have some great chemistry as they play alongside, around, in front and in the back of each other and jam through the songs. Before closing out their set Salas and the group were able to get the crowd to clap and chant “Stand Down” to the beat of the drum during their last song Stand Down. Salas thanks the crowd for coming out and asked the audience to give it up for all the bands playing tonight.
Code Red Riot followed up HAT with Killing The Kings, Hate Handle This. Before jumping into Incomplete the song was dedicated to anyone who has been in a crappy relationship and written about taking the next step. Following came Living Low which according to the lead singer (Corky Gainsford) changed everything for the band. “The song was recorded in my home studio with zero budget and zero industry help. As a result, some great business opportunities have been happening behind the scenes, and we should be announcing some cool news very soon!” (quoted from Highwire Daze). Shortly after the set was closed out with Ghost and the audience was thanked as well as Live Nation. In review CRR has a unique style compared to the rest of the Las Rageous line up. The sound comes from a deep rock style/melody with a mixture of solos as well as rock vocals from the group and not to mention the great drumming to back it. Despite being a newer group (2016) I’m sure we can see some big things as Gainsford mentioned coming soon.
Nations was a personal favorite live act from Las Rageous. Opening with Dirty Fire the audience is automatically struck with two different styles of vocals (cleans and screams) from two different singers (Danny Losano and Chad Dague). Guitarist and bassist Mason Wright and Dylan Lewis absolutely shred through these songs. Every melody and break down is perfectly timed for each song to give all the artists a spotlight to shine their talents. The group also played Replay, Like Night and Day, Odessa, Smoke and Mirrors and Chasing Lights to end the bands set.
Las Vegas veterans Escape The Fate took the stage and played Remember Every Scar and 10 Miles Wide in the beginning of their set. Two contrasting Craig Mabbitt vocal sounds but both equally as good in quality. Following up with Ungrateful Kevin Thrasher and TJ Bell destroyed the crowd with their performance. TJ Bell did not only backing vocals but took over most of the screams and did a great job in that area. Looking around after a few songs the crowd began to get packed for the first time since the festival began. Before jumping in feet first to Live For Today Mabbitt asked the crowd “How many people like to dance?” “This is a dancier song get ready to jump off your feet”. As expected Escape The Fate ahd most of the crowd jumping. During the next song Collide we saw a few screams toward the end of the song from Mabbitt. He wasn’t short jokes either as he told the crowd “I haven’t smoked weed all day today, but I have cottonmouth because of the desert.” As he looked around he said “Do you guys have lighters? Light this place up” before leading into Breaking Me Down. The next song Gorgeous Nightmare from the bands self titled album was dedicated to the ladies who like to shake their ass. After Mabbitt mentioned that the group was in the studio working on a new album and that all their fans should keep their eyes peeled. Mabbitt also mentioned that this next song was his favorite to play live and then Thrasher let out the shred from This War Is Ours. During the song a wall of death was opened and the crowd pumped their fists for the ending “war” part of the song. Escape the Fate covered Paradise City because they we’re in the beautiful Las Vegas, NV before playing One For The Money and closing the set with Situations.
All That Remains opened with The Last Time followed by Stand Up and Divide. The audience couldn’t help but tune into lead singer Philip Labonte’s strong lyrics and great stage appearance as he graced the audience with his presence. Continuing the set ATR played Six, This Probably Wont End Well, and Hold On which had an amazing guitar solo in there. Labonte asked the crowd if they wanted a heavy one before announcing that their next song would be from their album Ideals titled The Air I Breathe. Labonte also asked if Las Vegas was supposed to be the party town and asking if the crowd was having fun before stating that he loved it in Las Vegas. As if the crowd didn’t know All That Remains already Labonte mentioned they were from Massachusetts which received a pop from the audience. ATR also asked how many of the fans had seen the group before which received a bunch of raised hands and smiles from the audience. Next Labonte said they had a new record coming out this Friday and the next song was going to be the title track off the new record called Madness. Before leading into their ninth song Labonte spoke to the crowd once more saying “In 2012 we put out A War You Cannot Win. We decided to put a 80’s power balled on there. We don’t have the spandex or the hair, but we figured it would be a good idea. This next one is called What If I Was Nothing?”. The group played This Calling and Two Weeks to close their set for the amped up Las Vegas crowd.
Eagles of Death Metal were a completely group from their co bands who played the bill. Despite being titled as death metal they had a rock/bluesy sound which made them unique from the other bands, but like other groups they had a strong setlist which really wooed the crowd. A few songs from their set were titled Complexity, I Don’t Want You, and Whorehoopin (Shit, Goddamn) and Silverlake. Before playing Silverlake lead singer Jesse Everett said “Does everyone here love rock and roll? Is everyone ready to get possessed by the night? Ava you are the queen of my Las Vegas, darling. This next song is for you.” This was also the first and only group that played Las Rageous with a female member on their lineup which tied into their uniqueness on Saturday night.
Metal legends Mastodon started off their set with Sultans Curse followed by Divinations, Ancient Kingdom, Bladecatcher, Black Tongue, Ember City, Andromeda, Show Yourself, Precious Stones, Steambreather, and closing their set with March Of The Fire Ants. Most of the set was taken from the groups album came from Emperor of Sand the band’s seventh album released this year. While some have mixed feelings about the album Mastodon played their live set with talent and grace and is definitely a sight to see. Troy dominates the mic and the bass while Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds take care of the guitar side of the band and Brann Dailor drums away the band ties together to become the strong, powerful, and speedy Mastodon.
Since last seeing Breaking Benjamin the band has kept some of their stage performance the same while changing up other aspects of it. Fans who have recently seen BB have heard the classics Diary of Jane, I Will Not Bow, The Imperial March / Schism / Smells Like Teen Spirit / Walk and were reintroduced to some classic albums such as Dear Agony and We Are Not Alone. Breaking Benjamin also took some of their set from Dark Before Dawn which was released in 2015 of last year. Although I’m sure some fans will disagree and as much as I love the Breaking Benjamin classics this isn’t exactly a number one live band must see. They seem like a great group of guys and play a real strong rock set, but I feel we need to see something more from this band to really draw us in other than the melody of famous hits from other artists. By doing so the band can recreate their entire set list and change up their stage show a little bit to recreate the Breaking Benjamin experience for veterans of the band and for the new listeners as well.
Avenged Sevenfold was the Saturday night closing headliner and they absolutely earned it. After returning from overseas the band finally made it back to the good ol United States to promote their album The Stage. This was my first experience seeing A7X and their setlist made it worth the wait. Opening with The Stage fans erupted and immediately began to sing along with Matthew Sanders (aka M. Shadows). Next came Afterlife which was a household name as far as Avenged songs go and was exciting to see live. No one can match the sound of M. Shadows on Afterlife and I will put money on that. Before leading into the band’s third song Hail to the King Shadows told the crowd to make sure they chant Hail and not Hey as it sounds the same, but definitely was not written that way. Pressing on with Paradigm, Buried Alive, and Bat Country. I really have to give credit to guitarist Synyster Gates because he burns through his guitar notes like fire through a paper. Especially when he plays Bat Country his parts are majestic throughout. So Far Away live was also a song that needs to be seen live by A7X fans. The feelings and sound that are heartfelt through the band can be felt all along the cold streets of Las Vegas warming hearts while remembering loved ones. Avenged picked up the pace again with one of their single hits Nightmare from their debut album. Then the band played God Damn from their 2016 album The Stage as well as Unholy Confessions from Waking The Fallen. The band completed their set with A Little Piece Of Heaven. Before leaving the stage Shadows said “we appreciate all of this. Thank you and we’ll see you next time.”