Viva Las Vegas day one
The US trip continues. After a day in Manhattan with John Howard and Mick Wakeling, during which we walked the High Line and paid our respects at the 9/11 memorial, John and I flew to Las Vegas, where we met up with Alan Lloyd and Dave Thomas. Day one was spent walking along the Strip and taking a look at the evening entertainment on Fremont Street, ahead of the real reason for our visit, possibly the world's greatest rockabilly festival Viva Las Vegas.
The first day was fairly low key, with no really big names, but there was plenty of good music to be had. First up was Baby Jai, from London, playing with The Infernos, a decent enough start, which was followed by the Twilight Drifters, an excellent band from Sacramento, who had a varied set. Next up was Silvertooth Loos and the Witch, a raw rockabilly band wearing masks who attacked their set with aggression and force. Loud but effective. With two stages in operation the music was continuous and the next act, Jimmy Dale, was rather special, with a great voice on a series of Faron Young flavoured country and rockabilly numbers, including Black Car, One More Whisky, Girls Girls Girls and Sugaree. I must check out his new CD Heartaches and Honkytonks.
Next up were British Doowop group the Extraordinaires, four young men with an excellent stage act and good voices, not helped sadly by poor sound. Possibly the best act of the night was T J Mayes, a Wild Records artist with a good voice who handled a selection of blues and rock and roll numbers with confidence and who was backed by a good band, which included Jimmy Dale on guitar and harmonica. Finally the main stage presented Lance Lipinski, an impressive Jerry Lee Lewis styled pianist and showman, who fairly bounced around the stage with such numbers as Rip It Up, Rocket 88 and, from his latest CD, Love Fighter. Dressed in sparkly red jacket he showed why he made a name for himself playing Jerry Lee in The Million Dollar Quartet stage show. It was theatrical, but good fun and an excellent way to round off the evening.