First annual Scars and Stripes Festival successfully enters the Las Vegas Summer concert market.

It’s finally Summer and that means it’s festival season.

In recent years Las Vegas has hosted many and June 3 brought the First Annual Scars and Stripes Festival to the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.

The festival, running on the heels of the just passed Memorial Day weekend sought to thank our former and acting military for a job well done.

The festival featured 17 bands playing over the course of over 12 hours, various booths supporting veterans affairs, and a smattering of bars and food tents and trucks.

The first third of the show relied on the most popular Las Vegas local rock bands. From opening act Charcoal Tongue to local crowd favorite Honor Amongst Thieves, the hometown bands drew a respectable crowd despite the early set times and increasing heat.

The middle portion of the festival featured a standout acoustic set by former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Goutier and moved into decidedly heavier territory with Otherwise, Black Stone Cherry, Chrysalis, Moscow, Lansdowne, Shamans Harvest, Devour the Day, and culminating with 10 Years.

With the Vegas sun still relentless, the crowd had a tendency to ebb and flow. Despite the fest originally billed as No Re-Entry, thankfully this was revised, as it was necessary for fans to be able to seek refuge in nearby casino A/C just to recharge. Kudos to the promotor for changing that policy. It certainly allowed the crowd to stay for the long haul and catch all of their favorite acts without passing out in the process.

At 7:10 the first of the headlining acts, Pop Evil, took the stage. By this time the sun was starting to wane a bit and this band commanded the stage as they always do. Pop Evil has a seriously dedicated following and this show was no exception. The energy between crowd and performer was electric.

Segway into festival mainstays HellYeah, with an equally ravenous crowd. With former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul as a part-time Las Vegas resident and full-time Las Vegas rock scene supporter, these HellYeah gigs tend to get even crazier than other cities these guys play in and the Stars and Stripes performance was no exception.

At about 9:30 Asking Alexandria graced the stage, with on again/off again frontman Danny Worsnop tearing off his ripped pants and playing the rest of the set in boxer shorts. Wouldn’t expect anything less from Worsnop, or the rest of the band and that same sense of unabashed abandonment resonated throughout their entire set. Loud and unapologetic, AA did as they always do, murdered that stage.

As AA retreated and the stage was prepared for headliners 3 Doors Down, an obvious shift in crowd dynamic was taking place. HellYeah and Asking Alexandria fans shrank back and the 3 Doors Down fans moved forward. It made perfect sense, even when the overall lineup itself seemed a little mismatched, but the crowd was copacetic and there definitely was a fan overlap of course.

3DD took the stage just about 15 min late, but all was forgiven as their signature, fine tuned, melodic rock rang through the crowd. The sound was warm and enveloping, just like the band itself. The set was typical of these guys, but that’s not a bad thing. 3DD is consistent. Like a neighbor you can always count on. The band is musically solid in every way, genuine, and fulfilling. A perfect set to close out a long, blistering Saturday in Downtown Las Vegas.

All in all, it looked like Scars and Stripes was a success as far as festivals go. With all the competition for entertainment in Las Vegas on any given day, the festival held its own, and we look forward to the Second Annual Scars and Stripes Festival to grace our city next year.

Scars and Stripes Festival
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Event Date: 03-JUN-2017