Caleb Lindskoog and his band The Silver State pause after their first song last Friday night at the Beauty Bar. A Republic Services garbage truck is making its late-night rounds in the back alley behind the venue. The streetlamp over the outdoor courtyard continues to flicker at its own will, and Lindskoog takes this time to make a public-service announcement. “You have 15 days left to register,” he says, and lends his support to Barack Obama while gesturing toward the voter-registration table.
The evening is more about reunion than politics; the band has roots in Vegas’ local music scene. Lindskoog is joined by Brendan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Milne and Alex Stopa (the latter two taking the stage twice that night, also playing with Halloween Town). A mini high-school reunion of sorts is also taking place at the Beauty Bar. The Las Vegas Academy is only a broken beer bottle’s throw away from Fremont Street and the Neon Reverb festival. Lindskoog graduated from the magnet school more than a decade ago (as did Halloween Town frontman Ryan Pardey), and approximately a dozen LVA-ers are at the Beauty Bar for the show.
Continuing the melodic nature of the evening, The Silver State’s set brings to mind Lindskoog and Milne’s previous Vegas band, Expert on October (yup, the one with The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci). The crowd remains attentive to the skillful songwriting of The Silver State, despite pounding dance music drifting through the open doorway from the Beauty Bar’s main room.
The Silver State now calls Brooklyn home. “I was ready to leave when I got here,” says Lindskoog about living in Las Vegas, and the decision to move the band to New York was an obvious one for him. “I’m a product of my environment creatively, and it’s really difficult to exist in a resort community if you’re trying to do something bigger.”
However, Lindskoog’s mood isn’t all somber lamentations over the state of the local music scene. When asked about how it feels to be performing in Vegas again, he replies, “Well. I got really, really drunk, and I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while.” He grins, then is drawn away by another audience member who compliments Lindskoog on a great set and the homecoming, while PBR beer consumption continues for all into the wee hours of the morning.