Day one of the Life is Beautiful festival is nearly at a close.
I am sitting in an off-green chair in my room in the El Cortez with the last sounds of a DJ playing some club song or dubmash or whatever the hell it is. It’s rattling my windows.
But it’s still beautiful.
Below my window there are still hundreds of people dancing and drinking and sweating and living and letting their essence and passion flow free.
Their music making my heart pound. The sun bright and sky blue. It all came together for a perfect daytime concert.
“Where my muthafukkin sinners at?” They asked to a reply of screams and cheers and fingers pointed towards Heaven in defiance. Welcome to Sin City, where everything and everyone is beautiful.
The blocked-off section of Downtown Las Vegas was magnetic. A current running through the hearts of everyone, leaping from mural to mural, stage to stage.
We took a side-trip and caught a powerful and uplifting talk by Stacy London on style, fashion, life, how to be yourself and how to find yourself. In Stacy we trust.
We stuffed our faces with sandwiches from Buddy’s and settled in to watch Tegan and Sara perform on the big stage.
The only thing about them that can rival their talent is how kind they are. Seriously. They were the nicest performers I have ever seen. As the sky became darker the crowd grew with intensity and Tegan and Sara closed it out with their already classic “Closer.”
Walking the streets. Buildings covered in fresh murals from artists I used to read about in lowbrow art magazines rekindling those old inspirations. The haunting sounds of The City and Color trailing along from a distant stage, almost like a whisper – don’t leave! Don’t leave yet! There is so much more to see!
Stopping to watch Baron Vaughn give a brilliantly scathing comedy set on a whim. Baron is a genius with a lot to say, and people need to listen.
A quick nap.
Then back outside.
We snuck into one of the fancy areas and were able to just sit and relax, enjoy the music. It’s strange going to a concert and experiencing it with all senses but sight. Sitting felt nice, nicer than standing and trying to see through everyone in front of us. But good performers don’t rely on you to watch them. They are musicians. They captured you with their sound from speakers. So it’s okay to just close your eyes, let your body relax and let the music wash over and through you.
The crowd cheered, the band played hard and with full hearts. Sparks fell from the sky.
The dance music outside is building in tempo. Screams. Bass shaking the ceiling tiles. It isn’t always glamorous in Las Vegas, but that’s not why we’re here.
We are here for experience. We are here for music. We are here for art and food and sunshine and moonlight and love and dance and bliss. We are here because life is beautiful and it demands to be lived without tethers or burdens.
So lay down your worries, throw your head back and scream and laugh and dance your asses off because life is beautiful.
Life is fucking Beautiful.