15 Acts To See At Psycho Las Vegas Music Festival 2022
Like zombies descending on the Strip, Psycho Las Vegas continues its unstoppable takeover of the tourist corridor this weekend. After three years at the Hard Rock Hotel (2016-2018) and two at Mandalay Bay (2019 and 2021, with a pandemic break in between), the music festival is moving to Resorts World, the slick casino-resort that opened its doors. doors in June 2021.
The three-day gathering (four if you include the Psycho Swim launch event; see page 8) will utilize six different Resorts World venues, including the Main Stage Events Center, the Ayu Outdoor Day Club and the Rose Ballroom on the third floor. and will once again emphasize metal at the top of the list. Norwegian black metal band Emperor (Friday), veteran thrash metal band Suicidal Tendencies (Saturday) and iconic Danish metal band Mercyful Fate (Sunday) headline, and will be joined by more metal favorites like Mayhem, High on Fire and Nuclear Assault.
But beyond the biggest names lurk an assortment of other sounds, heavy and otherwise, including rappers, singer-songwriters, shoegazers and electronic experimenters. Here are 15 acts of all types to catch if you can.
Marissa Nadler (Friday, 2:40 p.m., Rose Ballroom)The Path of the Clouds– should draw you directly to the singer’s Psycho set. His music, which has been coming in waves for nearly 20 years, has been labeled country-goth, chamber-folk and slowcore, but whatever it’s called, it sounds gorgeous to us. (Courtesy photo/Nick Fancher)“Bessie, did you do it?” – the haunting first track from last October
King Woman (Friday, 5:30 p.m., Rose Ballroom) Prolific frontwoman Kristina Esfandiari has dabbled in multiple genres, but she’s perhaps best at King Woman’s brand of crushing, soulful doom metal. The songs of the second release of 2021 Heavenly Blues are his most primitive, sounding as if they were written to be performed live.
GZA and inspection platform (Friday, 8:55 p.m., Ayu Dayclub) From his 2002 set at jazz club Blue Note to 2021’s Psycho performance of the classic album Liquid Swords, legendary rapper Gary Grice (aka The Genius, aka GZA) has been delivering memorable sets in Las Vegas for years, and having underplayed the Wu-Tang Deck cohort by his side should also help this one stand out. Worth noting: GZA will host a chess clinic on Sunday at noon on Psycho’s Famous Foods stage, placing him as a possible guest when Clansmen team Method Man and Raekwon for an 11:45 p.m. set at Ayu Dayclub later that night.
Soft Kill (Friday, 9:45 p.m., Rose Ballroom) With a deluge of fog and multicolored spotlights creating silhouettes of their bodies, this Portland-based post-punk trio put on one of Psycho’s most memorable 2019 productions. Dead Children RIP Citythe best record of his career, Soft Kill now has the songs to match.
Blood Incantation (Saturday, 4:05 p.m., Rose Ballroom) Psycho has more often booked legacy death metal acts, but with this Denver four-piece, the festival has pivoted to the kings of the current moment. Never afraid to push the boundaries of the genre, Blood Incantation swapped their usual progressive epics for a polarizing foray into ambient music on the latest release. Timewave Zero.
Ulver (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., Event Center) One of the hardest psycho acts to nail musically (and one of the rarest to catch on American soil), this Norwegian band have tried everything from atmospheric black metal to poppy synthwave in their 30-year history. existence. A recent setlist emphasizes post-2016 efforts, so start your prep session there.
Liturgy (Saturday, 6:55 p.m., Rose Ballroom) Author Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s music is more than highly experimental black metal; it is also the vehicle of a whole philosophy that she has drawn on through manifestos and a series of online conferences. She views liturgical performances as “sacred rituals” and they look as powerful as they look.
war paint (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., Event Center) Psycho might be mostly about the rattling of ribcages, but Beach House’s performance from the 2019 festival proved that a bit of calm can balance out this whole storm just fine. Step into LA’s Warpaint, the all-female quartet who burst onto the indie scene with 2010’s single “Undertow” and have been delivering dreamy alt-rock anthems ever since, most recently on May LP shine like this.
To doors (Saturday, 11:45 p.m., Ayu Dayclub) This veteran band from Gothenburg, Sweden, formed in 1990, is easily the most influential, if not the most creative, melodic death metal band of all time. The inclusion of At the Gates in a Psycho lineup seems long overdue – and the planned performance of the 1995 full album Soul Slaughter worth the wait, with.
Amenra (Sunday, 2 p.m., Event Center) These Belgium-based Neurosis sidekicks put on an all-encompassing performance, with haunting visuals that paired perfectly with their strong, punishing sounds and vocalist Colin H. van Eeckhout’s masterful stage presence.
lost paradise (Sunday, 6:30 p.m., Event Center) It’s a rare treat to see the inventors of the death-doom style live, especially in the United States. Despite being together continuously for 34 years and releasing 16 full albums, the Halifax, England legends rarely cross the Atlantic and haven’t since 2018.
The spirit world (Sunday, 6:45 p.m., Redtail) Led by Stu Folsom, the Vegas hometown heroes have toured the world in the past year since signing with Century Media Records, but thanks to cancellations caused by COVID, Spiritworld still hasn’t played here under its current form. From a local perspective, this western-themed metal set might be the most anticipated of the weekend.
Drain (Sunday, 6:55 p.m., Rose Ballroom) Fun and hardcore don’t always mix, but smiling and playing happily has helped propel these Santa Clara Californians to the top of their genre for the past two years. Drain sometimes brings pool floats and noodles to match the board shorts the members wear while performing what could best be described as apocalyptic beach thrash.
liars (Sunday, 7:30 p.m., Ayu Dayclub) Under the guidance of frontman Angus Andrew, the Liars have shifted shape across the music map – restless dance-punk, nihilistic noise-rock, moody electro-pop and beyond. But through it all, Angus’ artistic approach remained consistent and his charismatic stage presence remained undeniable.
Guillaume Basinski (Sunday, 8:20 p.m., Rose Ballroom) best known for Decay Loops, a series of albums from the early 2000s consisting of looping recordings on decaying tape, this Houston, Texas native continued to release uplifting music that could be alternately categorized as ambient, drone, minimal and experimental. It will be interesting to see what he brings to his Psycho performance.
PSYCHO LAS VEGAS August 19-21, $139/day, $349/fest. Resorts World, vivapscho.com.
Click HERE to subscribe for free to Weekly Fix, the digital edition of Las Vegas Weekly! Stay up to date with the latest Las Vegas concerts, shows, restaurants, bars and more, delivered straight to your inbox!