Well, this all feels familiar.
By Jason Latham
It seems absence has made hearts grow fonder for Life Is Beautiful, as the first night of the three-day festival saw a torrent of live music fans flood Downtown Las Vegas despite competition from the iHeart Radio Music Festival down on the Strip.
Oh, iHeart has Billie Eilish? Yeah, she’ll close things out here on Sunday night. In the meantime, we’ll continue to soak in the sights and sounds downtown, just as soon as we finish recovering from Day One at LIB.
One night is a small sample size, but it’s enough for us to make some recommendations. Life Is Beautiful is kind of like a buffet; it all looks so good you’re not sure where to begin. Here are some helpful hints:
Laugh It Off
We’re glad we made time for The Kicker Comedy Club this year, and Day One didn’t disappoint with the likes of HBO star Sam Jay and all-time presidential impersonator Sarah Cooper, who did two shows on Friday. Hurry back or you’ll miss Jay’s final show on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Sarah Cooper is also coming back Saturday at 8:25 p.m. BTW, Marcella Arguello is a true champ, she did three sets on Friday, all of them killed. If you missed her, we’re sorry, maybe she’ll come back next year.
Stimulate Your Mind Grapes
You’ve got two more chances – Saturday and Sunday – to catch author and wellness guru Deepak Chopra, and after Friday’s show at the Fremont Stage, we highly recommend you do. Chopra’s final two appearances will be at Kicker Comedy Club – he’s not known for yuks but we’re there for it anyway.
Dance, Dammit, Dance
Chopra did his thing on the Fremont Stage Friday, but after he wrapped it was time to boogie. That stage has long been a draw for the EDM crowd and Day One was no different, with Shiba San, Lost Frequencies, Clozee and San Halo taking over the decks throughout the evening.
You’ll want to be back at Fremont Stage for more bass drops on Saturday. The evening’s lineup includes two familiar names if you frequent the Strip: Cash Cash (9 p.m.) and Dillon Francis (10:15 p.m.).
Speaking of Fremont Stage, we were all over the place and nearly missed Grammy winner Jacob Collier do his thing during Life Is Beautiful’s first JammJam session, and he brought out T-Pain! Yes, T-Pain from the boat song. We weren’t prepared for that surprise, so the lesson learned is, basically, stay in one place and don’t move or you’ll miss something.
On second thought, that’s bad advice, you need to get out and see everything. Everything like…
Say Yes to Bacardi
Oh how lucky for those fans in the crowd at Bacardi Stage that got to witness Megan Thee Stallion, Willow Smith, and Don Toliver. Saturday’s Bacardi Stage lineup includes DRAMA (7:20 p.m.), mother-freakin Ludacris (10 p.m.), and ILLENIUM closing out the night (11:40 p.m.).
Do the Downtown Stage
If Friday was any indication — Brittany Howard, LANY, Glass Animals and Tame Impala were among the performers – then we need to circle back to the Downtown Stage more than once on Saturday. The lineup includes Modest Mouse (7:35 p.m.), HAIM (9:20 p.m.), and Green Day (11:20 p.m.).
Don’t Forget the Huntridge
You can’t fit all of Disneyland into a day, and the same goes for Life Is Beautiful. BUT, if you plan right, you’ll walk away with plenty of stories to tell. Just ask the fans that caught the likes of Sa-Roc, Ant Clemons, Teddy Swims, Noah Cyrus and Purity Ring while hanging around the Huntridge Stage on Friday. If you’re making a return (or first time) trip to the stage on Saturday, stick around for Amy Allen (5:15 p.m.), White Reaper (6:50 p.m.), Caamp (8:35 p.m.), and All Time Low (10:30 p.m.).
And if Friday was too much for you and you’re staying home the rest of the weekend, remember that you can livestream Life Is Beautiful on Twitch.
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