While walking aimlessly around a scorching, 100-degree Downtown Las Vegas, it occurred to me that the last time I had been here was 4 years ago at the markedly less sweltering 2014 iteration, a turning point that marked the moment that Life is Beautiful was given the number one spot in my running list of favorite festivals. With its great lineup, chill crowd, amazing food, and impressive appearances from the likes of Cirque du Soleil and other Vegas mainstays, it managed to outdo what had already been an impressive inaugural year back in 2013.
It goes without saying that Life is Beautiful 2018 had some very large shoes to fill. This year’s lineup, which included personal favorites Justice and The Presets as well as the introduction of a comedy roster featuring the likes of Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang and Michelle Wolf of White House Correspondents’ Dinner fame was decidedly strong so expectations were definitely high. The question is whether or not they were met.
Let’s run through how the event went with starting with…
The Headliners: Previous LiB lineups have been nothing to scoff at but 2018 might be one of the strongest yet. Festival heavyweights Arcade Fire and Florence + The Machine delivered electrifying sets that could be fairly likened to religious experiences while strong showings from a reunited N.E.R.D and The Weeknd peppered in a healthy amount of much-needed variety in the form of slickly produced hip hop beats.
The Standout Undercard: But large font headliners do not a festival make. Luckily this year’s undercard more than delivered. An energetic showing from Bastille may have been the most pleasant surprises of the festival.
St. Vincent delivered perhaps one of the strongest sets I’ve witnessed from her yet with her trippy visuals, enigmatic stage presence, and updated discography. No crowd surfing this time around but her always-on-point shredding skills more than made up for that.
This Article was written by Lesley Park
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