GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

December 19, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | NOISE C O N C E RT MUSICAL COMPANIONSHIP It's easy to hear why The Black Crowes' live machine is still rolling on > STILL CROWING Chris Robinson, last Friday at the Joint. THE BLACK CROWES BY SCOTT HARRISON/RETNA; ULTRA VIOLET BY FRED MORLEDGE/PHOTOFM LO C A L S C E N E JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS he was either playing church music The Black Crowes will be able or the theme song from the Charlie to tour until they die. I can't recall Brown specials. Rich Robinson and the last time I've seen as diverse a Jackie Greene took turns showing crowd inside the Hard Rock Hotel. off their guitar prowess throughModern-day hippies, middle-aged out the night, with long, extended suburbanites and older corporate breakdowns. Solos often rambled cogs filled the venue, and listenon, to the delight of jam-band afiing to the Brothers Robinson and cionados, but some editing wouldn't their mates, it's easy to underhave hurt on songs like stand why. The Crowes "Wiser Time." It was a bit pull from Southern rock, awkward watching Chris blues, roots music, gospel aaacc Robinson stand up there and jam sounds to create THE BLACK with nothing to do on the their live show. You hear CROWES long instrumental breaks, all their influences—The December 13, though I guess a tambouAllman Brothers Band, the Joint. rine in every song would The Band, The Faces— be overkill. and you hear all the bands Set closer "Hard to Handle"— they've influenced: Kings of Leon, the Otis Redding cover and The Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Black Crowes' original breakout Zeros, My Morning Jacket. hit—was filled with life, along with A 90-minute main set showed off a seamless interlude of the Billy a bevy of skills. Lead singer Chris Joe Royal-penned/Deep Purple Robinson, looking as Jesus-y as ever, popularized "Hush." A solid night has a voice that's as strong now as came to an anti-climactic end with when the band broke big in 1990, a one-song encore, the Marvin soaring on "Soul Singing" and "She Gaye cover, "Baby Don't You Do It." Talks to Angels." Keyboardist Adam Bands that never stop touring have MacDougall sounded like a player to save something for tomorrow. out of place, in the best possible –Jason Harris way—on every tune it seemed like > START THEM UP Silence the Messenger plays Ultra Violet. A local acrobat sheds light on what it takes to throw shows Downhill from West Russell Road, nestled in a dark pocket of industrial beige, is one of the newest venues capable of but not exclusive to hosting all-ages music in the Valley. And that's the least complicated way to describe what goes on at Ultra Violet. In July of 2013, Stephanie Costello, a touring circus acrobat-turned-studio owner, began using her Ultra Violet Extreme Performance Art Center, a training facility for most things high-up and rope-hitched, as a place for bands to rehearse and perform. The space itself is colossal: three stories high, a cold cement floor that almost blurs in the distance, and silk ropes, swings and rings, all fastened to the ceiling—trade tools of high-flying circus performers. It's also the home of the Start Up Foundation, Inc., a Nevada nonprofit supporting Las Vegas performance artists that is also owned by Costello. "I just want to give Las Vegas entertainers a place to train and work on their art," Costello says. "But to do it you have to tip-toe through the tulips. Because those tulips are expensive." Here's where it gets tricky. Tonight's show is a fundraiser for the Start Up Foundation. The suggested donation goes toward providing equipment for artists, and renting ULTRA VIOLET out a facility for the fundraiser (in this case, Ultra Violet). 4544 W. Russell Tickets can't be sold, hence the donation. There are no Road #B, ticketfly. concessions on the grounds. A sound system needs to be com/venue/9555brought in specifically for the event. In other words, in orultra-violet-studios. der to throw events, one of Costello's companies must buy out the other. Ultra Violet isn't actually a music venue, but an open-format event space. The event is like a big, functional loophole—with a death metal soundtrack. Outside the office, in front of the rumbling speakers, the audience isn't aware of what has to happen for this to work. Everyone here is high school- and early collegeaged, mixed in with band members' parents, just coming out to support their scene. "This is our first show with our rhythm guitarist," David Ralyea, singer for the local metal outfit Insomnia Effect, howls down at them, "and it's his first show ever!" Las Vegas is so dismally devoid of venues at which new, all-age-demographic bands like Insomnia Effect can get real stage time. Ultra Violet (and the Start Up Foundation) is one of the few. And clearly, even calling it that is a stretch. –Max Plenke DECEMBER 19–25, 2013 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM 51_Noise 2_20131219.indd 51 51 12/18/13 4:11 PM

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