THE YEAR IN MUSIC

By JASON BRACELIN

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

It was a year of fresh starts and vintage pleasures.

With a spacious new Joint opening at the Hard Rock Hotel in April, the Las Vegas concert scene got a boost of energy in the spring that carried through much of the year, culminating in a packed slate of fall shows that saw legends such as Leonard Cohen and Stevie Wonder hit town along with the rare stadium gig, with U2 returning to Vegas.

But who was the best of the best? Read on and find out.

1. LEONARD COHEN — To see this tower of song at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in November, on bended knee, giving voice to tunes that practically define the vocabulary of love and loss was a thing of almost as much beauty as the man’s repertoire itself. Unforgettable.

2. NEON REVERB — Akron/Family’s kaleidoscopic folk; The Warlocks’ mesmeric drone; the unbounded indie pop of locals Pan De Sal and Kid Meets Cougar — there were so many highlights over the latest two installments of this rising music fest, held at various venues across town in March and September respectively, that the only thing more patience-draining than narrowing them all down is waiting for the next Neon Reverb to get here already.

3. U2 — Too much is never enough — that’s pretty much the ethos that defines this city, and you could say the same thing about U2 and its tour stop at Sam Boyd Stadium in October. Whether it was setting new cuts such as "Magnificent" ablaze or leading the crowd in earth-shaking singalongs of favorites such as "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For," U2 proved once again that the stage can never be too big when it comes to these dudes.

4. JAY-Z — Jay-Z’s command seems effortless — you get the sense that the act of breathing is more laborious for him than taking control of a concert hall. He commits none of his rhymes to paper, and live at The Pearl at the Palms in July, his barbs and boasts were delivered with such unstudied nonchalance, he may as well have been reciting the alphabet.

5. SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR — It felt like it was raining sledgehammers at the House of Blues in June when the best extreme metal bill of the year laid waste to the place in a 10-band tornado of robot-armed blast beats, hyper technical shredding and, in the case of Ensiferum, bare chested dudes in kilts. Ridiculous. Great. Ridiculously great.

6. NINE INCH NAILS/JANE’S ADDICTION — If this concert at The Pearl in May was indeed Nine Inch Nails’ last Vegas show, as the band has quit the road, then NIN went out with the kind of big bang that normally results in the creation of a new galaxy. Somehow, a reunited Jane’s Addiction held their own. When bassist Eric Avery locked in with drummer Stephen Perkins, it was like two tectonic plates colliding.

7. ALLMAN BROTHERS — The fireworks that lit up the night sky between sets at the Allman Brothers’ gig at the Red Rock Resort pool in May seemed anticlimactic compared to the explosiveness onstage, as guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks turned smoldering embers of Southern soul into unabridged readings from the gospel of the six-string.

8. METALLICA — They eased up on the pyrotechnics a tad, saving the fire for their songs at the Mandalay Bay Events Center earlier this month with an athletic, in-the-round, in-your-face set. Though 5-foot flames did shoot up from the stage during the combat shock of "One," for the most part, it was Metallica themselves who brought the heat.

9. UNDERWORLD — They were literally giving tickets away at The Joint box office in August come showtime for these Brit electronica pioneers, but Underworld still performed like they were playing to a packed stadium, with frontman Karl Hyde spinning himself dizzy, harnessing a shape-shifting wall of equally buoyant and coruscating beats into one big, sweaty bear hug with the spare crowd.

10. ERIC CLAPTON AND STEVE WINWOOD — These two former Blind Faith bandmates reunited at the MGM Grand Garden arena in June for a night of rubber wristed blues jams, reminding everyone why chestnuts such as Big Maceo’s "Tough Luck Blues" and Jimi Hendrix’s "Voodoo Chile" remain the towering statements that they are.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

Life
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Army medic’s Afghanistan story told in new book
The graphic novel “Machete Squad” is based on journals written by Las Vegan Brent Dulak.
Las Vegas man talks about losing his wife
Dwayne Murray, 37, lost his wife, LaQuinta while she was at Centennial Hills Hospital. A jury awarded him $43 million last week after it said the hospital failed to perform the standard of care in administering a drug for her sickle cell disease.
Barber sets up shop in grandfather’s old shop
Andres Dominguez’s new barber shop is filled with memories of his grandfather, who ran the El Cortez landmark for more than 30 years. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like