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Vegas bands kickstart live entertainment at Fremont Street Experience

Updated June 1, 2021 - 4:06 pm

It was six minutes before 3 a.m. when rock-cover band Alter Ego broke into “Kickstart My Heart” on Fremont Street Experience’s 1st Street Stage.

Moments later, at Main Street Station, hair-metal cover band Spandex Nation broke into the same song. The sound of the Motley Crue classic being played separately actually blended between the two stages.

Ten minutes after that, I wandered back to 3rd Street Stage at the D Las Vegas, where Zowie Bowie was between sets. Backstage, I told the band what had happened, leading with, “You aren’t going to believe this …” when I reached “Kickstart My Heart,” singer Jaime Lynch stopped me with, “Wait, we sang that, too. When was this?”

I said at about 3 a.m., and she said, “We all played that song at the same time.”

So it was magic on Fremont Street once more, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Whether planned or not, “Kickstart My Heart” was a natural selection for all of these bands, who kick-started live entertainment on the FSE after 15-month pandemic pause. As always, there was no cover for these musically muscular cover bands.

At the start of the night, the D Las Vegas and Circa co-owner Derek Stevens and FSE President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Simon took the stage, announcing the return of the FSE “Downtown Rocks” series. The first bands announced are 3 Doors Down and Seether, with the full lineup in the offing.

Also, FSE’s return of live entertainment (discounting the sidewalk buskers, allowed to perform the throughout COVID reopening) continues Tuesday night. Crush, Rock Steady, the Tony Marques Band, Velvet Elvis and 80’s Station are in the reopening lineup. So are the three bands that performed late Monday and early Tuesday.

It was a show to knock off the dust, for sure.

“I’m just glad to be off the couch and out of the house,” Zowie Bowie front man Chris Phillips said. “After the past year, I’m barely to make it to 4 p.m., let alone 4 a.m. Thank God for energy drinks, and vodka.”

Phillips’ band has played FSE’s primary 3rd Street Stage for nine years. At its peak, the crowd milling in front of that stage was shoulder-to-shoulder, and the same was evident at Main Street and 1st Street (official numbers are not yet available).

The crowd bobbed and weaved, and took on a more, um, colorful quality late in the night. For verification and examples, check the video and photos from my social-media feeds.

Afterward, Lynch rubbed her feet and said her voice was giving out from the four-hour performance. There were three set breaks, but it was still a heck of a challenging assignment.

“That was a lot harder than I thought it would be,” she said. “But it was fun, so fun.”

Phillips said, “I thought there would be absolutely nobody around for the last set, but people were still out there. It was a unique, one-of-a-kind night.” Morning, too. And a piece of Las Vegas history to forever stand alone.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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