This upcoming First Friday, 20 local musicians and bands will compete in a battle-of-the-bands-style event for a chance to perform at Life Is Beautiful in September. They will play on eight different stages across Downtown, beginning at 7 p.m. There will be no cover at the bars, which include Artifice, Bunkhouse, Commonwealth, Container Park, Inspire, Park on Fremont, Velveteen Rabbit as well as the First Friday main stage.
Since input from fans is important, we want to know: Which band do you want to send to the festival? Below is a brief description of each band scheduled to perform. Scroll down and vote for your favorite or click here to vote. You can vote for two bands, once a day until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, so come back if your favorite is falling behind. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 10.
Note: The votes are not the only factor that will determine who performs at Life Is Beautiful. However, First Friday organizers say that runners-up will not walk away empty-handed.
Update: Walk Off Hits, Wretched Sky and Shana Tucker will not be performing at the First Friday event.
This art-rock band, made up of three cousins and a life-long friend, cultivated their sound as they grew up in Las Vegas. With influences that include U2, Arcade Fire and Coldplay, Brumby’s music takes their listeners on a journey through music.
Jill & Julia
Sisters Jill and Julia are singers, songwriters and musicians who favor the country sound. However, they don’t shy away from folding in alternative and folk genres. The sisters have a record deal with Lamon Records in Nashville, and perform nationally.
Justin James Turner
Starting out in the local band Rush & Roulette as a guitarist, pianist and vocalist, Justin James Turner has performed all over the Valley. In May 2013. the band’s song “Hurt Like Hell” was featured on The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries.” Turner is still part of Rush & Roulette, but is also a solo acoustic artist hard at work on his new EP.
Though she is only 16 years old, local musician Megan Williams has been playing piano since the age of seven, and viola since she was ten. Since Williams started singing two years ago, she’s performed in Poland and Germany, as well as Las Vegas.
EDM DJ Bukka mixes everything from Lorde to Drake. Bukka’s sound mixes those sub bass, kicks and huge melodies that let us know that we’re listening to electric dance.
With a new album in the works, the trio Boiis (pronounced Boys) captures perfectly the eclectic feel of Downtown Las Vegas. A new wave band, Boiis reflects the idea that gender is a spectrum, and people should embrace who they are. The band blends electro-pop with a futuristic sound to create distinct music.
The Rockie Brown Band
Front woman Rockie Brown owns her retro style, and the band’s music reflects it. The Rockie Brown Band, known for their jazzy piano sound and fierce vocals, mixes blues and Motown into their saucy, wide-ranging sound.
Taking inspiration from legends like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Bob Marley, Cameron Calloway has quickly become a fixture on the Vegas open-mic scene. Calloway performed at the 2015 CES Convention, Container Park and The Downtown Project’s Sofar Sounds session.
LVA alum Brittany Rose always wanted to be a classical vocalist, but it wasn’t until she performed at the Stratosphere in 2013 that she knew that she had to be a professional performer. In her time at Berklee School of Music, Rose perfected her songwriting skills and her rich alto voice. Rose just released an EP, and is a regular performer at Tivoli Village.
A mix of country and punk rock, Nick Shelton, Chris Bitonti and Chris Berg were all former members of punk rock bands before forming Eliza Battle. Their Midwestern roots and flashy Vegas style unifies their music, which combines storytelling with hardcore rock.
Ryley Isakson, Jake Magness and brothers Andy, Aaron and Hunter Gorman describe themselves as “five songwriters extending the limits of alternative rock.” Their sound–one of wavering guitar riffs and catchy hooks–can be heard on their 2014 EP Criminal, as well as their newest project, At The Docks.
Fans of Jimmy Century
This San Francisco-born, Las Vegas-based band consists of vocalist Alicia Perrone and guitarist Victor Jones. Since the band’s birth in 2007, Fans of Jimmy Century has been featured on televisions shows ranging from “Gossip Girl” to “Law and Order: SVU,” both UFC fights and Forever 21 commercials. But, these groovy tunes are best played after hours, when the lights are low and morals are minimal.
There’s no way to describe these turntable-spinning, guitar-playing guys, with influences spanning from rock to hip hop. But one thing’s for sure: these guys have got soul and funk to spare.
Walk Off Hits
“We make you wanna’ dance,” proclaims Walk Off Hits’ website. Members Ross LaMarca, Spencer Sasarita, Rion Rogers and Will Bauer do just that. This pop group released EP For The Love Of The Game, featuring fan favorite “Miss Jones” along with other carefree and catchy tunes.
Marion Write cites some of his favorite artists as Nas and Mos Def. His sound is similar: lyrically-focused, with beats to match. Since moving to Las Vegas in 2000, the rapper has released multiple mix tapes, including his latest effort Black Gold.
Shana Tucker wears many hats: cellist, singer and songwriter. A Long Island native and Howard University graduate, she now plays the cello and sings the mezzo-soprano for Cirque du Soleil’s Kà. Her fan-funded and independently released debut CD, SHiNE, is set to be reissued and distributed this year by SUGO Music Group on the Jazz Urbane label.
Kella Bo Bella
At times, Kella Tijerina, singer/songwriter behind Kella Bo Bella, brings to mind a young Norah Jones or Colbie Caillat. Her music is soft. Her voice, strong. The sound is sultry. The lyrics, often seductive.
Wretched Sky sounds angry. Many of the lyrics sound like a tortured howl, with guitar riffs that sound equally aggressive. Their new album, Lunacy, debuts this summer. Hey, everyone needs to feel angry, sometimes.
Multi-talented performer Daniel Park made a name for himself by combining acoustic guitar with violin to create a unique sound. On top of that, the dude has some vocal chords. His debut EP, Sidewalk Guitar, is light and breezy, perfect for this scorching summer.