I was really excited about day 2 of Psycho Las Vegas Festival this year, with a fantastic and diverse line up that included some of the best in metal, punk, psychedelic, gloom and sludge bands out there.
This was the first time this festival was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, and the main stage for the bigger bands was the 12,000 seat Mandalay Bay Arena, the largest venue I have seen Psycho LV Fest use. With its massive stage and lighting, the Arena was a perfect place to showcase the headlining acts. The House of Blues was also included in the venues used for the festival throughout the weekend, as well as the Mandalay Bay Beach and the Rhythm & Riffs Lounge on the main casino floor.
The Rhythm & Riffs lounge was packed when I got there, and since the stage is really low and the fans jammed up tight against the stage it made it pretty hard to see the band playing, unless you were on the rail. A big list of bands played the lounge for the first full day kickoff, including ROYAL THUNDER, L.A. WITCH, SPINDRIFT, ELECTRIC CITIZEN and LED ZEPPELIN 2. The music started at around 1pm and continued until 2am in the lounge, and fans ran back and forth between the sets from the lounge to the HOB and arena to catch their favorites.
The Mandalay Bay Beach was a gorgeous setting for the outdoor stage, featuring a wave pool with sandy beaches where fans could sit back and relax, or jump into the cool water and swim, or just stand and watch the bands playing. The Beach stage stage is built out in the water and is about 20 ft high, easy to see all the action and fun to watch even in the heat. The friday lineup for the beach stage included YOB, COLD CAVE, FU MANCHU, BAD RELIGION and PERTURBATOR, an eclectic mix that drew huge crowds as the day wore on. In between sets the fans could head back into the AC and cool down, grag a show inside at one of the indoor stages before heading back for more sun and fun.
The House of Blues hosted CANDY, HANGMANS CHAIR, ILSA, DEVIL MASTER, GLASSJAW, GOATWHORE, NOTHING and closed out the night EN MINOR. The best band of the day for me was extreme metal's Goatwhore from NOLA, and the most anticipated for the day was the new side project by Phil Anselmo called En Minor. En Minor is a departure from the type of bands Anselmo has previously been involved with, and is a very deep, dark personal endeavor that is more of a intimate show than a large stage event. Anselmo even shocked fans by coming out onstage wearing a suit. En Minor was a very interesting collaboration of Anselmo and musicians from around the New Orleans area.
On the Mandalay Arena Main Stage Friday the lineup include some heavy hitters with THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN, GRAVEYARD, GODSPEED YOU!, BLACK EMPEROR, HIGH ON FIRE and ELECTRIC WIZARD. The first band to play in the arena was Arthur Brown, who at 77 years young looked and sounded as good as ever, and brought his eclectic and psychedelic band once more to Psycho Las Vegas lineup. Arthur Brown is best known for the song "Fire" which he closed out his set with. Graveyard is a psychedelic / doom band from Sweden, and Godspeed You! Is an experimental spacy sounding band out of Canada, who both played in very dim lighting, and Godspeed You! with film projectors showing old video clips above them as they played on the massive stage. High On Fire was amazing, and is fronted by Matt Pike, who also front’s the band Sleep. Closing out the first full day in the arena was the band Electric Wizard, who hail from Dorest, England, and are a very heavy stoner / sludge sounding band, and who may have been the heaviest band of the entire day.
Day 2 of Psycho Las Vegas came to a close after a total of 23 bands, who played in 4 different venues. It was time to head home, eat, rest and get ready to do it all over again for Day 3 with some even bigger names filling up the stages.
En Minor - Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
GOATWHORE - Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Bad Religion - Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
High on Fire - Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Arthur Brown- Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Nothing - Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
YOB - Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos