Now in its fourth year, the annual Psycho Las Vegas Festival took place this past weekend at its new home at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. With over 70 bands on four stages throughout the property, the event has reached new heights and offered something for everyone in attendance.
The fest kicked off with the Psycho Swim pre-party, which included eight bands playing at the Beach Club pool area, where many fans braved the 100-plus degree heat for Corrosion of Conformity, Lucifer, Danava, ASG, Primitive Man, Howling Giant, idle Hands, and Thrown Into Exile. Afterward, many hit the Rhythm and Riffs Lounge for Yakusa, as well as the all-female Motörhead tribute band Motorbäbe.
Day 1 of the festival started with LA Witch in the lounge, followed by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in the event center, drawing a number of attendees out of their hotel rooms early. Highlights from the day included High on Fire, (with Gaytheist’s Nick Parks on drums), Electric Wizard, Bad Religion, and Phil Anselmo’s new very Nick Cave-inspired project En Minor, who were playing just their second show.
On Day 2, the festival got off to an early start with Danava in the lounge, followed by Old Man Gloom at the event center. Making their North American debut, Tom G. Warrior’s Triumph of Death put on a crushing set of Hellhammer songs and were quite possibly the heaviest set of the entire weekend. Carcass then put on a heavy set of their own, followed by the eclectic bill of Mark Lanegan, The Faint, and The Black Angels over at the Beach Stage.
Taking the place of Megadeth — who unfortunately had to withdraw from the festival due to Dave Mustaine’s battle with throat cancer — were The Original Misfits, who undoubtedly drew the largest crowd of the weekend at the Event Center, and had the entire venue singing along (unfortunately, no photography was allowed during their set). The evening was not over yet though, as Full of Hell and The Obsessed closed the House of Blues lineup, before Led Zeppelin 2 played covers of the legendary band over at the lounge.
After last-minute addition to the festival, Weedeater hit the main stage, the final day of this year’s installment was highlighted by reunited Bay Area thrash legends Vio-lence, who absolutely destroyed the House of Blues stage with a set that turned the entire floor into a giant circle pit. The day was just getting started though, as Truckfighters, 1349, Deafheaven, and Kadavar played the Beach Stage.
The “mystery band” of the festival turned out the be hardcore veterans Integrity, and they definitely lived up to the buzz that had been circulating throughout the weekend. Satanic doo-wop band Twin Temple followed, while the headliners of the day Opeth drew a huge crowd to close out the main stage.
By the time it was all said and done, this year’s Psycho Las Vegas was a smashing success, and has officially established itself as one of the premiere festivals for heavy music in America.
Photo Gallery – Psycho Las Vegas 2019 (click to enlarge and scroll through):
All photos by Raymond Ahner (@raymond_ahner)