On New Year's Eve Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas offered locals and visitors an alternative to the traditional chaos of The Strip, an eclectic mix of musical performances from Mike Xavier, Adelita's Way, and legendary rockers Living Colour!
Local Las Vegas rapper/hip-hop artist Mike Xavier started off the night, warming up the crowd with his classic '90's style hip-hop backed by what basically amounts to a jazz band, with a full ensemble including drums, bass, guitar, keys and trumpet. He is not your typical hip-hop artist, his rhymes, ranging from socio-political issues to every day emotional situations, flow smoothly and cleanly beautifully complementing his well-polished band's instrumentals. While he and his band perform regularly here in Vegas, this was my first opportunity to see them. I tend to stick to metal shows, but I do enjoy some old-school hip-hop if it's well done and this guy (and his band) absolutely kill it. I was very pleasantly surprised by their performance, enough so that I may just go out of my way to catch them again. They were that good!
Next up was local Vegas rockers, Adelita's Way, a band that I have followed closely since I first moved to Las Vegas in early 2011. I remember first hearing their name on local radio accompanying their song "Sick" (still my favorite), and was immediately a fan. I can't even count how many times I have seen them perform live, and not just locally, and I've had the pleasure of seeing them on Axes & Anchors and Shiprocked (music cruises) as well as Rocklahoma. Whether they are performing in front of a few hundred people in a small, local bar, or in front of tens of thousands of people at a huge festival, they always bring down the house! This night was no exception, rocking the crowd with hits like "Criticize", "Invincible", "Bad Reputation", and "Sick", as well as new material from their 2018 EP Live Love Life, like "Still Hungry" and "Drifting". Adelita's Way is an exceptional live band and one that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes straight-forward, hard-hitting, modern American rock.
The final slot of the night belonged to Grammy-winning rockers, Living Colour. Originally formed in New York City in 1984, Living Colour's music has a broad range of influences, from heavy metal, to funk, jazz, hip-hop, punk, and alternative rock. The band's current lineup consists of founding member Vernon Reid (guitar), Corey Glover (vocals), Will Calhoun (drums), and Doug Wimbish (bass). It has been 30 years since their debut album Vivid hit the shelves, and these guys still rock it just as hard as they did back in the 80's. Songs from that album addressed issues that are still relevant in today's socio-political environment, with topics such as human rights, discrimination, racism, and economic inequality. With 30 years of experience under their belt many of those original songs have undergone some changes when performed live, evolving into contemporary masterpieces. Not only is Corey Glover still able to sing the hell out of every song, every member of this band is a top-notch musician. Wimbish has the biggest pedal board I've ever laid eyes on, and is known for his incredible bass solos where he produces some mind-blowing sounds from his bass guitar. I once saw him take a beer bottle (from my son, in fact, who was in the front row) and play part of his solo using the bottle to work the strings. Calhoun has a drum solo where he not only shows his mastery of his instrument, but adds in some extra effects using an electronic hand drum and a looping pedal that is set up alongside his drum kit. He creates some crazy sounds with it! And then there's Vernon Reid, who simply shreds on guitar, I could listen to that guy play all night long. Living Colour put on a powerhouse set, stopping briefly just before midnight to count down to the new year, as Brooklyn Bowl staff passed out glasses of champagne for a toast, and at the stroke of midnight released a bunch of balloons from the ceiling above the crowd. Living Colour closed out their set with their 1990 Grammy winning song "Cult of Personality" and the title-track for their 1991 Grammy winning album, Times Up.
Living Colour Setlist:
Ignorance Is Bliss
Who Shot Ya (Notorious B.I.G. cover)
Love Rears Its Ugly Head
Elvis Is Dead
Type/Which Way To America
Cult Of Personality
Brooklyn Bowl put together a terrific lineup to ring in the new year. All three groups were fantastic and put on energetic sets for the celebratory crowd. It was a great way to finish 2018 and a stellar start to 2019! Cheers!
Mike Xavier photos from Rany Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Adelita's Way photos from Rany Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Living Colour photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos