x107.5 X-treme Radio Las Vegas presents Holiday Havoc 2011 featuring headliner Rise Against, and The Joy Formidable, The Naked and Famous, Middle Class Rut, and A Day to Remember, at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino. Las Vegas, December 7 & 8, 2011
Each year during the holiday season, x107.5 X-Treme Radio Las Vegas holds their “Holiday Havoc” concert event. This year, it was planned for Jane’s Addiction to headline the first night but just days before the event they had to cancel due to a family member’s illness. Instead of canceling that night all together, refunds were issued and the show was declared a free event with The Joy Formidable and The Naked and Famous.
Holiday Havoc Night #1: The Joy Formidable, fronted by Ritzy Bryan, a tiny blonde explosion of energy who pulls double duty as the vocalist and guitarist along with bassist Rhydian Dafydd, and drummer Matt Thomas, blew me away. As is often the case for music photographers, we were only allowed in the venue during the first three songs of each band’s set. I walked out at the end of the first three knowing I’m going to see this band every chance I get in the future. The Naked and Famous, from New Zealand, took the stage to close out the first night. I was familiar with their hit song “Young Blood” and their infectious electronic indie rock sound. I noted before their set that there appeared to be a keyboard on stage for every member of the band except the drummer. Vocalist Alisa Xayalith, Guitarist/Vocalist Thom Powers and Bassist Dave Beadle all three also played keys along with keyboardist, Aaron Short. Drummer Jesse Wood completes their lineup. The highlights of their show were “Punching in a Dream” and “Young Blood” but the crowd was going crazy their entire set. I don’t know what the music scene is like in New Zealand but the Unites States loves The Naked and Famous.
Holiday Havoc Night #2: Middle Class Rut started off the second night of Holiday Havoc. Their music is a raw expression of frustration that is very relatable, especially to the middle class where the band draws it’s name. Their hit song “New Low” was the highlight of their set. A Day to Remember took the stage second and the crowd went wild. Their set worked the crowd into a moshing, crowd surfing frenzy with the highlight of their set being their song, “All I Want”. Finally, Rise Against, took the stage and gave the crowd what they had been waiting for all night. Their latest album, “Endgame”, is so relevant at this time, especially the song “Make it Stop”, that addresses bullying. Rise Against played a lengthy set and left the crowd wanting more. The mosh pit that had started with A Day to Remember earlier in the evening was even wilder for Rise Against but in a good way, the crowd was fully engaged and enjoying the show, just as it should be. Kudos to x107.5 X-treme Radio for bringing five great bands to Las Vegas for another successful Holiday Havoc. Looking forward to next year!