Last weekend, Neon Reverb—our city’s homegrown music festival—came back from the dead. But not in the lifeless zombie kind of way; more like Iggy Pop’s Zombie Birdhouse kind of way. Dirty garage rockers Ty Segall and the Muggers, rapper/comedian Open Mike Eagle, synthpop throwback Neon Indian, local punks Mercy Music, eccentric hip-hop trio Wheelchair Sports Camp and many more graced DTLV’s stages, playing to enthusiastic crowds. Our ears are still ringing from Ty Segall’s glorious wall of fuzz, but nevertheless, here’s what we took away from those four vibrant nights:
Local acts were just as important as national acts. Same Sex Mary’s eclectic rock was the perfect precursor to Ty Segall and the Muggers’ wild antics, while Illicitor and God’s America’s’ hardcore punk warmed the crowd up for the Melvins’ abrasive experimental rock. Rusty Maples followed La Sera at Bunkhouse, while Colleen Green hit the stage before Black Camaro—and in both cases, crowds stuck around to enjoy the locals. And several touring acts voiced their appreciation for locals onstage, even if the locals were headlining.
Touring artists brought their A-game. Several bands, including Beach Slang and Tijuana Panthers, were en route to Austin for SXSW, so we were able to see grade-A performances for a measly $15 per show (or on a $50 all-festival pass—a great deal).
Navigating the venues was a breeze. Foot traffic remained light for the majority of the weekend, and there were several instances where we were able to catch bands during close-call scheduling conflicts. We didn’t break a sweat finding a parking spot, either.
It was logistically sound. Fans were able to walk in and out of shows at their leisure as long as they flashed their trusty wristbands. With the exception of some door troubles at Fremont Country Club during the Melvins’ set, everything went smoothly.
Reverb was good news for both DTLV and the Las Vegas music scene. It wasn’t unusual to see Beach Slang guitarist Ruben Gallego mingling with fans during Ty Segall’s soundcheck at Bunkhouse, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo shuffling to Depeche Mode records at Oddfellows or the guys from Moving Units doing some record shopping at 11th Street. It’s these kind of first-hand interactions that’ll boost local businesses, inspire local musicians to write more music or get that loner punk in the corner to start a band. Welcome back, Neon Reverb. See you next year. ★★★★★