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By Patty Fantasia
Photo credit: Patty Fantasia

Indie Bands Rock the Crown

On Thursday August 26th three local indie bands, The Lazystars, Left Standing and Theory of Flight, who continue to rock out in concert performed live at the Crown Nightclub and Theatre in the Rio Hotel. One of the more refreshing and interesting aspects about attending this show was finding out more about what goes on behind the music and discovering some of the common traits all of these performers share. Surprisingly enough, the qualities that topped the list aside from their musical talent are friendship and loyalty.

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Left Standing

 

The Lazystars, who have only been together about two and a half years, opened the show with their unique and distinct sound. Hardly new to the music scene singer/songwriter Dave Hawkins may be remembered for his three year stint with Psychic Radio and Brian Havens was the drummer for The Killers. Rounding out the band are Joshua Jackson on Bass and David Meeks on Guitar. After performing the popular Pictures and Photographs the band went on to the special She Knows Everything, which was inspired by Havens’ Mom, Janet Franco-Kelly, the group’s unofficial den mother. Proudly watching from the sidelines, Kelly is an author and the host of a local radio show. The LazyStars manager Jeff Grinstein arrived at the Crown early setting up a photo shoot for the band with models supplied by Pat Swift from SwimsuitsForAll.com. Pat’s plus sized models Hather, Michyl and Inbal enjoyed having their pictures taken backstage before settling in to enjoy the music. Swift, who is referred to as the Fashion Ambassadress at Swimsuits For All, believes the promotion was a natural. “You never think of rock bands with large sized women, just skinny girls,” she explained. However, that thinking is just a myth in her opinion. “What’s cool about rock bands is they’re artists. They don’t see the size. They see the beauty and the art in the beauty,” she added.

Another coup for the LazyStars was recently being named in the top 15 on Seven Magazine’s Most Likely to Make it List. Next on their schedule is getting ready to go into the studio and record.

The second band on the bill, Left Standing has a new album “Brand New Day” set for release on September 7th, and the show provided a great opportunity for an advance preview. Combining hard driving rock with soulful guitar melodies, it’s obvious how much they enjoy making music together. Aside from performing, these men have been together for 12 years and think of one another as family. In fact, vocalist Beau Stewart’s sister celebrated her 21st birthday watching her brother’s band perform. She was treated to a box of cupcakes while Beau and the band made up of Danny, Chris and Jesse Pino and Zak Weidle, led the audience in a chorus of Happy Birthday. Stewart mentioned that he had been looking forward to the concert at the Crown because “their sound system is hart to beat” and also because of the size of the stage. “It’s nice to have a lot of room to rock out,” he commented.

Hard core veterans of the road the band toured the East coast for four straight years and are now hoping to visit the western states to promote their new record, a task made more challenging by the fact that they aside from performing they also hold down day jobs in construction. “I don’t regret one minute of it,” Beau said about the time he’s spent journeying from town to town. Admittedly one of the reasons for this enjoyment comes from the close relationships he and the other band members share. “You’re pretty much family.” he laughed going on to say that there’s a lot of fun, hard work and arguing when you’re spending so much time together. However, these guys love performing. They would prefer to concentrate solely on making music but acknowledge the need to pay attention to the business side of their work as well. Building an audience and finding new distribution methods for their songs has proven to be a necessity. One method they are trying out along with their own website is filmmaker Tracy Garner’s new ecommerce and social networking platform NOMOSA, which according to Beau they are very excited about.

For Theory of Flight, the evening’s headliner, this was their first time in concert at the Crown, although they have played before at the Rio. Singer Beau Hodges, who is a Prince fan, was looking forward to doing a show in the same space where the famous artist performed Kicking off a good week for Beau and fellow band members Vince Casas, Tyler Williams, Stephen Goodrum and Joey McMahon, the Sunday before their appearance at the Crown they won the Vegas Star of Tomorrow Award sponsored by Vegas Rocks at the Hilton.

Friends before starting the band, they agree that being close friends plays an important role in their success. Hodges stated simply, “We all just care about each other”. He went on to say that while talent is one thing, being able to be with people you can pack up and travel with on the road in a van and get along with through the good and bad times means much more. “You have to be able to laugh at yourself,” he concluded.

The band is currently solidifying tour dates for this fall to promote their album “Within Reach” and will be doing another show locally at The Black Door on September 12th. Beau admitted it’s cool to do music and see the world with people you’re close to and said that now Theory of Flight has played in almost every state. “We’ve had a lot of amazing people. They believe in us.” he reflected. “We really work hard to be men of character,” he added commenting that people lose touch with the importance of friendship and integrity. These gentlemen of rock and roll offered an example of this philosophy during the concert when they dedicated a song to Left Standing, who stayed and joined the audience after their set, to hear them play.

Three local bands, all of whom have talent, drive and determination. This week they performed at the Crown in Las Vegas, next week hopefully the world.

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Photo credit: Patty Fantasia

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Photo credit: Patty Fantasia

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Photo credit: Patty Fantasia

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Photo credit: Patty Fantasia

 

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