Las Vegas 48 Hours Festival: The Best and Worst of the Debauchery, Bands and Backstage

Categories: Concert Review

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48 Hours Festival was insane. Picture this: more than 20 heavy-hitting rock bands, VIP pool cabanas in the middle of a Vegas parking lot, and lounges with such names as Debauchery and the Godfather, moonshine, strippers, and massages, all fenced in at the Luxor Festival Grounds in Las Vegas.

After learning that Tempe-based Eyes Set to Kill was playing the festival--and considering we desert-dwellers are only a mere five hours from Sin City--I decided it was a prime excuse to get some great live backstage views, provide a play-by-play for Up On the Sun readers, and, well, go to Vegas.

Dubbed the world's largest rock 'n' roll party weekend "Live from the Strip," the festival was solid, featuring tight sound, a mix of eclectic "pre" and "after" parties, and an energetic crowd always wanting more even though the sun was blazin' and temperatures were still in the mid-90s. Sets were kept fairly simple and classic: no video screens, backdrops were minimal, and Avenged Sevenfold was the only band that used pyro.

[Note: the festival started on Friday night at 11 pm with a pre-party at the House of Blues, featuring the Butcher Babies and Steel Panther. The schedule shown here technically started when we cruised into Vegas at noon Saturday.]

Hour 1

Arrival into Las Vegas. Shots of Sailor Jerrys and Jack Daniels commence.

Hour 3

We make it to the festival's back entrance, after somehow wandering through Excalibur and the Luxor, trying to find the easiest way to get to the fairgrounds. Obviously took some unnecessary turns, but ran into some amusing Jimmy Buffet concert-goers.

Hour 6

Black Tide, although energetic, delivers a somewhat unremarkable set with their old and new songs coming off as flat and generic. I must say it is intriguing that the band was formed when the frontman Gabriel Garcia was just 11-years-old, and signed to Interscope three years later. And the crazy little metal progidies definitely have a solid following with fans ranging from emo pre-teens to middle-aged couples.

Hatebreed causes some of the craziest mosh pits of the weekend hands-down, with no frills or hooks like the other acts. Note to self: Unless constantly checking over shoulder, you will be doomed to spend a set at the bottom of a crowd surfer doggie-pile.

Rap-rock sextet Hollywood Undead take over the main stage, supplying lots of content from their newest album American Tragedy. Perfect for those who miss the glory days of early nu-metal. Not so perfect for anyone who attended for actual rock music.

Sucks for Bullet For My Valentine fans; the band canceled.

Hour 7

Recent Revolver cover boys Five Finger Death Punch offer up their usual intensity and awareness of the crowd's needs, stomping around, pouring water over everything possible and head-banging.

On the song "Never Enough" Ivan asks every singer in the crowd to join in; mosh pits break out with lots of angry boys. Ivan shouts out to turn on the lights because he wants to see his family, and brings up any children with their parents onto the stage that he sees within the first couple rows, calling them sweetheart and announcing, "Give it up for the next generation of heavy fucking metal!"

During one of the last songs, Ivan tells everyone to crowd surf to the front of the stage to shake his hand, resulting in waves of fans surfing up, tumbling over and actually getting to shake Ivan's hand as he ran back and forth along the front of the stage while singing.

They also have a taste for theatrics. Singer Ivan Moody stalks the stage, declaring that they had been asked to cut their set short because of crowd violence. He perches on a speaker and defiantly insists that they will play one more song anyways. From my angle it doesn't seem that the crowd was excessively rowdy, and a quick web search later on reveals an almost identical scene played out at last year's Download Festival.

Hour 10

Discover that cocktail prices are lower than we thought while the food prices were higher. Sip on some drinks in the Godfather VIP Lounge, where massages are given for $2 a minute, strippers dance on two poles in the center with a long catwalk in between, and girls strut around in lingerie. A double Johnny Walker for $12? Yes, please.

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13 comments
CHARLIE
CHARLIE

What a bunch of 16 year old pussy!!!  Have Fun beating off to each others lame comments with your door locked so you have time to turn off the screen and pull your pants up before your mom comes in and you get in trouble for being a fucking judgmental retard.  I feel bad for Avenge that they have such crying bitchboy fans!

guest
guest

Dear writer, your apologies aren't honest first of all and secondly as a professional, you should know better than to write something and have it published before checking your facts but that is something your editor is also at fault with. Sure "more than 20 bands" played and you wrote it at 2 am. You're supposed to be a professional, so double check your work next time. The Avenged community already lost the Rev, we don't need to lose his mother too. Even if the mistake wasn't entirely focused on Avenged, any fans from any band that your mistakes would've been written on would have flipped out like we are. To correct YOUR work, the songs are called Afterlife and I Won't See You Tonight Part 1. Bat Country and Beast and the Harlot (as they are supposed to be written) aren't necessarily Avenged staples: Unholy Confessions and Chapter Four are the official staples. Your mistake's done and published, but the thing that is worse is that your apologies are insincere and futile. Better luck next time to you, I hope!

Nicole Borrego
Nicole Borrego

How does not buried alive and a little piece of heaven not work? The section I was in loved those two songs. My mom only goes to see them live to hear a little piece of heaven.

...
...

This is seriously the shittiest review I've ever had the misfortune of reading. "Walking into a dream" isn't a song it's Afterlife and it's I WON'T see you tonight not I WANNA see you tonight. Also he never said anything regarding the Rev's mom. It's called google, you should really learn to use it.

Laurenwise
Laurenwise

I'm sorry you feel it was unfortunate, but he did say something about the Rev's mother as I was there, on stage, watching it go down. I apologize for the two song names being wrong. After watching more than 20 bands and speaking about more than half of them, then writing the review at 2 in the morning on the way home from vegas to have it done by 9 am, can get a little tricky when you're tired. I will ask my editor to correct the song titles. 

Nicole Borrego
Nicole Borrego

I don't know if it was for Rev's mother. I was there and I thought they said they were playing the song for a friend's mother, it was the last song she heard before she died.

Dbagforever
Dbagforever

dont bother writing a review on such an amaizing band if your gunna screw up all the facts you fagot, quit your job and do sometyhing thta you actually know about

Cynder13
Cynder13

FYI - the other A7X song that was mentioned regarding Rev's mom == " I won't see you tonight, part 1 "Just sayin..

Danedwards
Danedwards

Yeah, and they HAVE played it live, bc I've seen it live twice. You'd think this person would get some facts strait (or at least names of songs" right before publishing an article.

Laurenwise
Laurenwise

if your read correctly, it says that the woman behind me said that she didn't think they played it live. She was one of the band members mothers, and was very emotional. I thought it was interesting that so many of their older family members were present discussing the music. Thank you. 

Aubrie
Aubrie

You mean Afterlife not Walking Into a Dream.

Brian
Brian

What the fuck is "Walking into a dream"? a cover? I have all Avenged's albums... never heard of that song.

Danedwards
Danedwards

hahaha yeah seriously, the whole a7x analysis is retarded.. "Classics like bat country and beast and the harlot". Def not classics. And she said they played "I wanna see you tonight"... Its called "I won't see you tonight Pt. 1", and yes they have played it live bc I have seen it live, twice. Get your shit together before writing a fucking article haha

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