Four Stages and a Wedding - Recap From a Wild PSYCHO LAS VEGAS Festival Weekend
PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019 is officially in the books following a weekend at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino overflowing with ripping tunes, long hair swinging in head banging action and overall musical shenanigans for all things rock and metal. Over the course of the festival weekend, plus its Thursday pre-party, more than 70 bands took over the stages at Mandalay Bay from the Events Center to Mandalay Beach, House of Blues and Rhythm & Riffs Lounge. This was the first year the festival took place at Mandalay Bay.
Thursday, Aug. 15 got people in the mood for what was to come with PSYCHO LAS VEGAS' annual pre-party, Psycho Swim, at DAYLIGHT Beach Club for the dayclub's first all-day band takeover. Fans were quick to get in on the action and in the pool for a day with bands including heavy rockers Lucifer and alt-metal veterans Corrosion of Conformity with their bluesy metal to close out the night.
Friday, Aug. 16 kicked off at House of Blues with eager fans to check out Candy whose hardcore set paved the way for Events Center opener, the legendary Crazy World of Arthur Brown setting the tone for the insane weekend that was to come with the day's highlights including Bad Religion at Mandalay Beach and fest-favorites High on Fire filming an upcoming music video in the Events Center while Spindrift delivered a psychedelic twist to the evening in Rhythm & Riffs and occult doom metalists Electric Wizard closing the night with a performance on par if not better than their first visit to PSYCHO LAS VEGAS a few years back.
Saturday, Aug. 17 took PSYCHO LAS VEGAS to the extreme with a heavy stocked Events Center in addition to a slew of black metal and death metal greats including Mork starting the day at House of Blues to Triumph of Deathwith their first U.S. performance to Mark Lanegan at Mandalay Beach providing a brief respite from the heavier bands where he was joined on stage by Cold Cave lead Wesley Eisold for Lanegan's "Playing Nero" off his upcoming album Somebody's Knocking. The crowd was ready and rowdy for the founders of horror punk themselves The Original Misfits where Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein gave a memorable performance that had fans signing along in an epic set in the Events Center. As if the day's impressive lineup wasn't enough, it was celebrated even further with High on Fire's front man Matt Pike's wedding to Alyssa Maucere in an intimate ceremony at the Silver Wedding Chapel at Mandalay Bay.
Sunday, Aug. 16 started with the 2nd Annual PSYCHO LAS VEGAS Blackjack Tournament where the winner took home a prize package valued at $36,000 including a custom Harley Davidson Chopper, rare Relapse Records package, Dunable Guitar and amp, and much more. Bands then took the stage that afternoon beginning with doom metalists Warhorse at House of Blues and onto the likes of Scottish post-rockers Mogwai delivering a beautiful performance in the Events Center, followed by dream pop band Beach Housewhile Truckfighters and 1349 got loud at Mandalay Beach. The evening was capped with a surprise performance by hardcore punk rockers Integrity at House of Blues, followed by Opeth in the Events Center who delivered a powerful performance - their only U.S. show of 2019! None other than the immortal party animal himself, Andrew W.K., took to the DJ booth to close out the night and the festival as a whole inside Rhythm & Riffs Lounge where folks danced and sang their way to end an amazing four days only to get ready for PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2020!
Photo: Matt Pike of High on Fire weds Alyssa Maucere during an intimate ceremony at PSYCHO LAS VEGAS on Saturday, Aug. 17. Danger Ehren Photography