Downtown Las Vegas, NV’s annual transformation is underway for the Life is Beautiful Festival September 16-18. During the 2022 edition of the all-ages festival founded in 2013, the masses will expectedly head to check out headliners such as Artic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Lorde, Jack Harlow, T-Pain, Kygo, and other names with the biggest fonts on the flyer (though we’ll definitely be checking in on The Gorillaz and Pussy Riot!). Festival Insider is here to dig deeper into the lineup to help you discover music that may not necessarily be new—but could be new to you! From rock to R&B, underground electronic to local Las Vegas acts, and other diverse sounds, here are 10 artists we recommend adding to your schedule on the Life is Beautiful app. Apologies in advance for any conflicts—such is festival life!
Enjoy the smooth flow of Columbia, MD rapper Tre’ Amani as he not only opens the Toyota Music Den but also the Bacardi Stage at LiB. Emerging on the scene at age 16, his hip-hop influences include Tupac Shakur, lending a rawness to his emotional vulnerability and lyrical creativity.
The British indie rock band of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers formed Wet Leg in 2019. Racking up millions of streams for their 2021 debut single, “Chaise Lounge,” they dropped a chart-topping self-titled debut album this year as well. Plus, anyone who references the film Buffalo ’66—as they do on their track “Wet Dream”—gets cool points in our book. Catch them at LiB before they go on tour with Harry Styles next year and tickets to see them skyrocket
Ease into day one of LiB with the subtle grooves of Rochelle Jordan. She’ll have you swaying at the Fremont Stage and later at the Toyota Music Den as you get a lesson in progressive electronic R&B. Jordan’s vocal prowess blends with seductive rhythms and sultry lyrics. Her style runs the gamut from O.G. U.K. soul and acid to slow jams, atmospheric house, and even a dash drum ‘n bass.
The Aussie live electronic musician Cassian will mesmerize front and center after being an integral part in helping other artists reach gold and platinum status for years while also earning multiple ARIA awards and a Grammy nomination for his solo work. More than just music to make you move, there’s no need to hide the waterworks triggered by his impeccable songwriting and emotional soundscapes.
Find fellow house heads at the Fremont Stage for Solardo. Also playing an after-festival set at Discopussy on Fremont East, the Manchester, U.K. duo of James Eliot and Mark Richards will be dropping legit house and tech, drawing from their 200+ releases and remixes. Dubbed “The Kings of The Underground,” catch them for a proper sunset set.
An old-school raver from the ’90s NYC scene, Bexxie ultimately stepped behind the decks only a few years ago. However, her brand of modern dance music has earned her placement on numerous Spotify Editorial playlists and racking up millions of plays, plus releases on prominent electronic labels from Anjunabeats to Toolroom.
Forget everyone praising Beyonce and Drake for spurning a recent interest in house music—it’s been here all along and never went away. Case in point, check out Kaleena Zanders. The singer, songwriter, and producer features on the Rising Stars stage but may already sound familiar after her empowering anthem “Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been” was selected for a 2018 Toyota Super Bowl commercial as well as being in rotation during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Listen to her latest, “ME WITHOUT U,” to get a sense of the vibes before LiB.
The music scene in Las Vegas is more than Just The Killers, Panic! At the Disco, and Imagine Dragons; there’s been plenty of genuinely talented bands in the city to rival the big names. The local Vegas scene continues to pay its dues, but thanks to the Rising Stars Stage, more musicians are getting some facetime in their hometown. One such act is Arrlo, who captures that long-beloved alternative rock that Las Vegans love, while updating the message to explore subject matter that includes self-acceptance, oppression, and LGBTQ+ stigmas.
Another local talent to check out is Vegas native Tanna Marie. With a goal to share her message of love, courage, and confidence, the literary artist fuses R&B, poetry, and rap. Her music has even been featured at Vegas Golden Knights games and previously at Life is Beautiful—but only in a friend’s D.J. set. It’s Tanna Marie’s time to shine at the festival when she gets her own spot on the lineup.
Vancouver’s Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, known as the electronic duo Bob Moses, celebrate a decade of taste-making in the underground scene. As the sun goes down Saturday night on Life is Beautiful, their moody-yet-danceable ambiance is not just for electronic music fans but can woo rock loyalists alike thanks to their Grammy-winning stellar songwriting and crossover ability into the alternative world as well.
Amidst all of the fresh DTLV artwork that everyone should take the time to explore, other noteworthy music we’d like to catch include: always having a great time with DJ Dan, the chiptune stylings of Decaying Tigers, local Vegas teen sibling trio of The Dollheads, supporting collectives such as The Trash Pandas and The Disco Divers (all regular spinners at hip Fremont East District venues), checking out “The Kicker Comedy & More” stage (especially Atsuko Okatsuka), making time to “Leave it on the Dancefloor” for Rico Nasty, and then planning to close out the whole experience Sunday night with a dreamy set from Said the Sky.
Check out the Spotify playlist of our 2022 Life is Beautiful picks.
Originally published by Festival Insider.
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