Life Is Beautiful kicked off on Friday within the coronary heart of Las Vegas, with 1000’s of festival-goers scurrying to the Sin City for the buzzy three-day present that turns Vegas’s eclectic downtown right into a psychedelic desert amusement park.

The Life Is Beautiful footprint takes up 18 blocks of downtown Las Vegas, an space of city as soon as identified for affordable drinks, seedy motels and a string of pawn retailers. However, this slice of Vegas has changed into a hipster haven identified for funky artwork installations, home-grown farm-to-table eating places and, low-cost drinks. For three days yearly, that space transforms into the house for 150,000 pageant followers, as they traverse between seven levels, comedy golf equipment, reside artwork work, silent discos, pop-up bars and beer gardens, interactive 3D murals, an open-air market, and high-end culinary installments. All of this, after all, as followers basked within the 90-degree warmth.

Arctic Monkeys, Charli XCX, Wet Leg and Shaggy have been just some of the highlights of day one, however examine again on our protection all through the weekend, as superstars together with Jack Harlow, Lorde, The Gorillaz, Beach House and Calvin Harris will all be enjoying the fest.

Note: Rolling Stone bought a majority stake in Life Is Beautiful in February 2022.

Welcome Back, Arctic Monkeys

Walking as much as the stage to some heavy jazz, the Arctic Monkeys emerged for his or her Life Is Beautiful headline set – the band’s first U.S. present since 2018 – solely to start out with the heaviest hitter doable, maybe the perfect identified riff of the previous decade in “Do I Wanna Know?” 

The band would spend the next hour and a half strutting their approach by way of their signature swaggered, fuzz-guitar-laced catalog, from AM-era classics like “Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?” and “Arabella”  to their newer tracks like “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” and “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am.” Alex Turner and firm, taking the informal rockstar look in button down shirts and denims, didn’t cease to work together with the group a lot past the occasional examine in, as a substitute powering from observe to head-banging observe one after the subsequent. Other highlights included Suck It and See standout “That’s Where you’re Wrong” together with “The View From the Afternoon.”

After wrapping with “505,” they got here again with a rip-roaring encore of “One Point Perspective,” their first hit “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor,” and their basic “R U Mine,” bad-ass riff and all.

The Church of Wonderland

Arguably the largest EDM act of Day 1, Alison Wonderland’s set was mass-produced, as most EDM acts are. Although she was going up in opposition to the headliner of the night time, Arctic Monkeys, Wonderland didn’t lack assist — followers overflowed out of her lined stage space and stayed till she completed at 1 a.m. “I positive am feeling one thing proper now,” the Australian producer stated earlier than welcoming all new followers to the “Church of Wonderland.” Lasers, lights and pyro lit up the stage and tented space as she performed her remix of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.” Via those self same lights and graphics, the temper turned extra sinister for 2015’s “U Don’t Know,” which was written about despair. “Fuck despair,” she flatly stated. She had nothing to be unhappy about along with her set and the horde or adoring followers.

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Alison Wonderland (picture by Skyler Barberio)

Skyler Barberio

Charli XCXcellent

Charli XCX closed the Huntridge Stage with an electrical set. Flanked by Grecian pillars and dramatic steps, the Brit sang “Lightning” to start her Life Is Beautiful expertise. The stage appeared applicable for XCX, who noticed unbelievable crowd interplay with “I Love It,” her track with Icona Pop. Both she and the group sang with vitality. One of the few acts who had backup dancers, XCX matched their strikes. XCX, ensuring her crowd was feeling confirmed off a deep catalog all through her set, rolling by way of eagworms like “Boys,” and “Unlock it,” and operating by way of her newest single “Hot in It,” a collaboration with Tiësto. Even with a run of hits as spectacular as hers, XCX was at her most iconic with “Vroom Vroom.”

The Elephant within the Room

Cage the Elephant frontman Matt Shultz wore many hats throughout the band’s efficiency, fairly actually. Switching between a bucket hat, glittery cowboy hat and baseball cap, by the top of the present, he settled for a crown of flowers, wanting like a rock god as followers hoisted Schultz up by his shoeless ft. 

It feels unusual to name Cage the Elephant the veterans of their style, however 15 years into their craft, they’d among the many tightest units of the night, highlighted by hits like “Trouble” and “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” “Come A Little Closer” and “Cigarette Daydreams” together with fan favorites like “Telescope” and “Spiderhead” from their 2013 album Melophobia. Shultz was as frantically excessive power as ever, dancing throughout the entire stage, altering garments, stripping and stage-diving his approach by way of Cage’s whole set.

T-Pain, The Hitmaker Unmasked  

T-Pain reminded everybody simply what number of songs he has in his repertoire, and it’s spectacular. The rapper started his set by singing samples of huge hits he’s been featured in, together with Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow,” DJ Unc’s “2 Step Remix,” Lil Wayne’s “This Way That Way,” Chris Brown’s “Kiss Kiss” and Kanye West’s “Good Life,” amongst many others. Pain, a late alternative for Migos, was all enterprise, ripping by way of this plethora of hits, too.


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T-Pain (picture by Skyler Barberio)

Skyler Barberio

 During his hour-long set, Pain used a big block of his time to pay homage to his time as “The Monster” on “The Masked Singer,” even performing a number of of the songs that earned him the win on the present, together with Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman,” Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” and Sam Smith’s melodic “Stay With Me.” Auto-Tune, be damned. “Thank y’all for nonetheless fucking with T-Pain in 2022,” he stated earlier than ending. “I’ve been on the sting lots of instances and I respect you all exhibiting up. I don’t take this shit with no consideration.”

Shaking It With Shaggy 

 In what grew to become a theme by way of the day, Shaggy requested the group for marijuana and then performed the “Cops” theme track. Nodding to a different smash that may be carried out later, he joked, “If you get caught with that shit you inform them it wasn’t me.” Shaggy later toed the road of humorous and crude whereas placing a microphone in his pants and talking of being pregnant. The bit labored, however in all probability went on too lengthy. Still, the reggae-tinged rapper delighted the plenty with “Angel,”  and even performed Frank Sinatra songs from his new album, “Com Fly Wid Mi,” which was produced by Sting. “These aren’t simply any Sinatra songs, however reggae variations,” he stated. He then went again to the fan favorites, together with “Luv Me, Luv Me” and “It Wasn’t Me,” which noticed a heavy dose of pelvic thrusts. In actually bringing house the that means of his ultimate track, Shaggy flashed an image of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Of course, he replied, “It wasn’t me.”

Getting a (Wet) Leg Up

British indie rock duo Wet Leg exploded onto the scene this yr off the again of their delightfully cheeky eponymous first album and two lauded singles “Chaise Longue” and “Wet Dream,” and their Life is Beautiful debut was simply as enjoyable. Irreverent, high-energy and humorous, Wet Leg (who inexplicably walked as much as the stage as their set started to the sounds of the Shire from Lord of the Rings) wooed the group with screams, groovy guitars and an impeccable skill to weave post-punk sounds with the right degree of raunch.

“What a pleasant shock to see so many individuals right here,” lead singer Rhian Teasdale says politely to the cheers of the group eagerly ready for the subsequent track. Getting slightly below an hour on the Huntridge Stage, Wet Leg made essentially the most of each minute. Teasdale evokes smirks when singing “Wet Dream,” and she breaks into some type of pseudo yodel on “Supermarket.” “Obvious” was one of many set’s standouts, between the gradual burn towards the observe’s crescendo and the track showcasing the the band’s willingness to experiment with stranger sounds just like the theremin (or some kind of theremin-sounding synthesizer.)

Finishing with viral hit “Chaise Longue,” the group erupted as Teasdale sang of “getting the large D” at school and evoked Mean Girls asking if “your muffin was buttered,” and “would you want us to assign somebody to butter your muffin?”

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Oliver Tree (picture by Skyler Barberio)

Skyler Barberio

Oliver Tree Returns To His Roots 

The crowd for Oliver Tree was considerably youthful than that for different acts, doubtless because of TiokTook. The singer/social media persona arrived on stage on a scooter and launched into “Forget it.” “We didn’t suppose anybody would present up,” he stated. Tree, who recalled dwelling in Vegas till he was 8 years previous, feigned ending his set after two songs, and frequently requested if the group needed “yet one more track” after practically each track. While donning his customary purple and pink jacket and blonde wig, Tree stated he was “heating up like a pork chop within the oven.” He added, “I’m taking this silly fucking outfit off.” Tree then doffed the jacket and saggy pants to disclose a white and turquoise sweatsuit, which was doubtless each bit as heat.

He after all sang “Life Goes On,” which gained famed on TiokTook in 2021. “If you don’t know what TiokTook is, it’s an app made for individuals 1-to-4 years previous,” he joked. Continuing his tongue-in-cheek method, he later wearing nation western apparel and sang “Cowboys Don’t Cry” on a life-sized plastic cow, and he additionally performed a guitar bigger than him for “Miracle Man.” He referred to as it the “world’s greatest guitar.” The Guinness Book of World Records was not readily available to confirm.

Vegas Loves Its Coin

As the solar started to setting behind the highrise condos and inns of Downtown Las Vegas, Coin entered the chat. The Nashville-based four-piece introduced its fashion of pop-rock-funk, which was particularly pronounced with the ear-worms “Cutie” and “Talk Too Much.” Halfway by way of the set, video screens confirmed footage from a camera-mounted drone, which was flying over the crowds. “Welcome to Dystopia,” lead singer Chase Lawrence stated of the voyeuristic footage, which performed all through the track “Brad Pitt.” Clearly embracing the manufacturing, lyrics and track titles usually flashed on screens bending the group. “You ever love somebody a lot it hurts?,” it learn at one level. Lawrence wasn’t completely on board for all of the know-how, although, joking {that a} livestream on Twitch was “terrifying unnatural.” Speaking of terrifying, simply earlier than the top of the set, Lawrence climbed up the stage scaffolding untethered for a greater view of the group. Dare we are saying Coin’s set was… cash.

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Blu DeTiger (picture by Skyler Barberio)

Skyler Barberio

Blu DeTiger Shows Her Stripes

Yes, Blu DeTiger is her birth-given title, bear in mind it. Gen Z’s queen of the bass delivered funky bass traces and dreamy vocals on performances of authentic tracks like “Cotton Candy Lemonade” and “Figure it Out,” and additional gained the group with a enjoyable mashup of the Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.,” OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson” and MIA’s “Paper Planes.” DeTiger completed with cheeky jam “Vintage” teasing about how she wants “a classic boy for her outfit.” DeTiger showcased the identical prowess on bass that’s gotten her notoriety on TiokTook and gained her alternatives to work with Olivia Rodrigo and Chromeo.

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