2022 Life Is Beautiful: Gorillaz, Lorde & More Best Moments From Day 2

Day two of Life Is Beautiful, the three-day music, art, comedy and food festival that enchants 18 blocks of downtown Las Vegas, produced electrifying performances from Gorillaz, Lorde, Coi Leray, Bob Moses and Orange County comedy brothers Chad and JT.

Saturday’s (September 17) theme for the day-to-night gathering of 170,000 attendees appeared to be the ultimate in fan interaction as many took their magic from the stage to the crowd.

The day started with Chad Kroeger and JT Parr from the Netflix hit Chad & JT Go Deep spread their shots at the Kicker Comedy Club. Life Is Beautiful’s comedy platform has flourished since its introduction in 2016, welcoming the likes of Michelle Wolf, Bob the Drag Queen, Sam Jay and Nico Santos. Taking the first performance slot of the day, Chad and JT packed an impressive crowd into the well-air-conditioned theater, a pleasant respite from the 90 degree temperatures outside. With a moral to every story, Chad and JT paid tribute to their recently deceased friend Froader, prophesying that he died from lack of energy in his life. Their message in this tale was “stoke or croak,” encouraging the audience to tap into the natural vitality that exists in Las Vegas. A low-fi PowerPoint presentation suggested taking advantage of Vegas’ many neural nutrients, including hedonism, bottle service, pool, parties, gambling and party drugs to avoid ending up like Froader and croaking from lack of firing. After passing Froader’s urn around the crowd, they promised to take him out to the festival for an afterlife stoke sesh. Later, the video showed them with the urn on the Fremont stage, dancing with Froader’s remains while enjoying a DJ set.

First up on the Downtown stage was Alexander 23, who delivered an outstanding performance in one of the toughest slots of the day. Their eye-catching graphics introduced them as the Beatles in the fine print: just kidding, it’s Alexander 23. The light pop sound was the perfect way to transition into the crowd, no doubt tired from the previous night’s festivities, which had the crowd leave after. 01.00 Alexander 23 gave a big sound that far exceeded what is expected from a trio. Given his seasoning since bursting onto the scene in 2019, he could be the new king of hulk rock.

After making a big impact on the 2022 festival circuit, Bob Moses was given the coveted sunset slot on the Downtown stage. Electrifying the growing crowd, “Tearing Me Up” sounded especially melodic as the warm breeze set in and welcomed the desert night. If ever there was a golden hour band – it’s Bob Moses.

Later in the evening, Lorde was pretty in pink and showed off her incredible abs in a strappy spandex bralette top and pants. She recalled how nervous she was playing the festival back in 2017. Her Stairway to the Sun theme, which has traveled the festival stage with her this year, is a visual stunner. Starting out with “The Path” and “Homemade Dynamite,” her growth as an artist shone brightly. Encouraging the crowd to “dance for our 15-year-olds tonight,” she jumped into “Ribs.”

Of her evolution, she said: “I’m 25 now, I’m blonde now and I’m wearing a hot pink outfit. We all change, we all go through phases and I love to celebrate all the phases I think they everyone is magical,” noting that when she was acting five years ago, she suffered from severe stage nerves.

She danced between ethereal and emotional, literal and musical. “Royals” got a thunderous response from the crowd and she closed with “Solar Power” rising back to her muse. “This song was written in a wet bikini after a long day at the beach,” she said, giving the crowd the ultimate scene-setting reference.

Damon Albarn and Gorillaz, also returning from the 2017 series, unleashed an energy on the crowd that has been unmatched throughout the weekend so far. Albarn raised his arms like a deity over his disciples, packing what felt like three shows into one. From “Cracker Island” to “MLS”, together with festival colleague JPEGMafia, to “On Melancholy Hill”, it was hit after hit. Gorillaz are always several steps above everyone else.

Albarn masterfully jumped between the instruments and then parted the crowd like the seas and took a walk among the people.

All four virtual Gorillaz members were present, their images perfectly timed to the music as well as guns, police badges, golden Xanax bars and the like.

Albarn loves to travel with a crowd, and Life Is Beautiful was no exception. “Désolé” brought Fatoumata Diawara onto the stage and her vocals tore up the audience as they stood at attention. De La Soul’s Pos performed for “Feel Good Inc” and it all ended with “Clint Eastwood.” Albarn donned a Luffy summer hat that he picked from an audience member and blew his large horn to mark a job well done. “I only blow this horn when it’s good. And it’s good tonight,” he said. “You’re damn lovely. Never forget what just happened.”

Over on the Bacardi stage, Alessia Cara — along with Blue Man Group — recalled her 2015 Life Is Beautiful moment, noting that it was the first festival she ever played. After that, Griffin and Kygo kept Bacardi packed until closing. Kygo brought out Gryffin during his set and they performed their new song “Woke Up In Love.” Gryffin killed it on the electric guitar. Known for his popular covers, Kygo put a spin on Tina Turner, the White Stripes and Jefferson Airplane.”

While both Gryffin and Kygo have residency at Wynn Las Vegas, the festival gave their fans a chance to see them outside the club and touch the under-21 crowd.

On the Fremont stage, Marc Rebellet closed the night with the Blue Man Group.

BACARDÍ Rum welcomed the main artist and the famous Puerto Rican singer and rapper Farruko to the stage. Fans flocked to CASA BACARDÍ to see Farruko perform his greatest hits, such as “Pepas” and “Relación”.

A fan-favourite moment of the day was the interactive McDonald’s ‘Golden Access’ experience with a performance by Coi Leray. Leray relaxed in the McDonald’s ‘Golden Access’ VIP Suite surrounded by fries and McFlurries – not a bad way to enjoy a music festival. Leray told Billboard that she hopes to one day have her own meal at the Golden Arches, as many of her contemporaries have done recently. She also shared that a second album is in the works and will be released in the coming months. A studio drop-in still left her giddy: “Two weeks ago I was in the studio with Missy Elliott. And she came to the session with me for four hours. She’s such an icon. She’s a legend. She gave me so many tips.And I look up to her in so many ways not only [in] music, but fashion.” Later that night, Leray bubbled up on the Fremont stage with a set that appealed to her TikTok crew. The rapper’s best bet was “Push Start,” her song with French Montana, and her new song “Fly S —”, ending with the vital sensation “Twinnem”.

Day two proved once again that artists thrive under the Las Vegas night sky, ramping up the energy to match the electric cityscape.


amritabazar.com

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