LIB recap: Nico Vega makes it a family affair

Nico Vegas performs at Day 1 of Life Is Beautiful Festival.
Photo: FilmMagic

The band is probably best known not for any particular song, but for whom its lead singer, Aja Volkman, is married to: Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds. The group draws a solid crowd, and the Ambassador Stage’s sound is crisp and clear.

At first listen, Volkman almost comes off hoarse then belts her lyrics loud and proud. Her voice isn’t hoarse at all. It’s smoky and deep and bellows with ferocity. She’s a vocal powerhouse, backed by an even fiercer bassist and guitarist.

About halfway through the set, I can’t help but notice the woman next to me, who at “mom age” seems oddly out of place as she rocks out. I look down at her wrist and see a silver “Very Important” band around her arm. She’s all smiles. I strike up a conversation, and she turns to me with a beaming grin and exclaims, “That’s my daughter-in-law!” gesturing toward Volkman.

Her son, Reynolds, is watching too—not from the crowd, but tucked behind the speakers at the top of the stage. It’s a warm, familial moment, but onstage Volkman is getting ready for a song that’s anything but, titled “Beast.” She’s added a (hopefully faux) foxtail vest to her outfit, and during the guitar solo she’s dancing and spinning, tails flying. The military beat turns to a fast, Latin samba and everyone onstage jams for two minutes before returning the reigns to Volkman. On the last note, the bassist breaks his string, bringing the curtain down on the group’s cataclysmic performance.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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