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Life Is Beautiful Day 1- Review and Interviews

posted October 28, 2014, 11:38 am by Carlita | Filed Under Festivals, General Interest, Interviews, Live Show Reviews, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


As I sit overlooking the mountains behind Las Vegas with a coffee cup Carrie Bradshaw would describe as “the size of my head”, it’s time to discuss all I touched, tasted and saw at this weekend’s ‘Life Is Beautiful’ festival. Since there was so much to process, I’ll break up my recaps so peep Day 2 and Day 3 soon. Returning to cover this crazy fun event for my second year in a row, the fest expanded to three days and brought together 70 acts, renowned chefs and key business and political leaders from around the world. Impressed by my experience last year, I initially wondered several things:
• Would the stage locations be the same?
• Did the fest take on too much too soon?
• Would the crowds be so big, they’d be unwieldy?
• Which type of food would be my fav throughout the weekend?
• Would I get a chance to watch all my must-see acts?

Checked in with guide in hand, I perused the map and noticed the layout changed, evenly spacing out the four stages so the sound wouldn’t compete with each other. Score 1 for LIB. I also noticed more vendors offering games and prizes, food trucks and drink booths interspersed throughout so festgoers didn’t have to walk too far to partake (It was about a 15 block walk from end to end). Score 2 for LIB. In terms of crowd control, thousands filled the streets and I felt like an ant marching from molehill (stage) to molehill at times but props to the Lionel Richie (I’ll get to his performance Day 2) conga line for breaking that up periodically.

With Georgian beef dumplings garnished with green onions (so good) ingested , I made my way around to check out Rusty Maples (had a funny chat with the guys at the fest- peep it above), Priory (who I’d connected with a few weeks ago to discuss this upcoming tour-listen to our interview soon), Phantogram, Neon Trees, The Weeknd and of course Kanye West. Bummed I couldn’t split myself in four ways, I also heard great things about the Pussy Riot talk and Ekoh and American Cream’s sets, two acts I’d interviewed at last year’s LIB(in case you missed the interviews, check them out below).

Reading media recaps and getting first hand Kanye tour reviews from friends, I figured I was prepared for the spectacle I knew would await. Studded and sheer masks concealing his face for half the set? Yup. The trademark Kanye yell on “New Slaves” and “Blood On The Leaves”? Yup. Dizzying bold visuals on the screens? Yup. The break in the show where Kanye gives a 20 min polarizing speech, set to piano, about being criticized in the media for having an opinion, addressing racism and being a hardworking man with a family (shouting out his wife Kim Kardashian and the upcoming birthday celebration at Tao)? Oh, I’d been briefed about this but witnessing it was truly an experience. There’s no grey area with him and similarly the audience either loved or hated it. Drawing the crowd back in, “Jesus Walks” and “All Falls Down” were my personal favs. I left riled and ready to return for more.


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