For those who have not traversed north pass the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas strip, you will have missed a tiny gem: the quirky yet electric life of Downtown Las Vegas. Walking down Fremont St, the “yellow (but really grey) brick road” which runs through the town, you’ll find a deluge of talent to include homeless people scalping for money, out of proportion half naked women marketing self-pictures, and musical displays to include mini jazz bands to hip hop dancers. It’s like a less glamorous pretentious Vegas, but just as eclectic. However, when the 3rd annual Life is Beautiful fest comes to town, the whole town transforms into a gathering for the hipsters and the trendiest.
Day one opened with the one and only R&B legend Stevie Wonder. Kicking up the funknation with hits like “Superstition,” attendees could browse through interactive street art by D*Face who uses stencils, spray paint, and stickers to create murals of graphics. There was also a surprise appearance by the out of this world Bill Nye the Science Guy during electronic producers, Discovery Project’s set. Those at the Troubadour stage, the debut stage this year, ended the night with the melodic tunes of Porter Robinson’s live set of his Worlds Tour. Imagine Dragons capped off night two with an electrifying performance for their homecoming debut. Alternatively, those looking for a harder beat could end the night with the trap and progressive style of Carnage. For the foodies out there, culinary masters such as Hubert Keller and Duff Goldman offered full tastings of their craft. What seemed to start as a solo set by Las Vegas native Brandon Flowers on Day 3, seamlessly transitioned to a full-blown concert by the Killers with nostalgic tunes such as “Mr. Brightside” and “When We Were Young.”
Although this is not my usual all electronic music festival, the third rendition of Life Is Beautiful continues to draw amazing music talent in a broad spectrum of genres to attract that eclectic Vegas crowd. So next time you’re in Vegas, don’t forget to take a little time to check out Fremont St especially when this festival is in town!