LIB recap: 5 thoughts on soulful blues-rocker ZZ Ward

ZZ Ward plays the Downtown Stage on Day 1 of Life Is Beautiful Festival.
Photo: FilmMagic

1. The second act to play LIB’s main Downtown stage blended soul, rock and blues— a great warmup for the rest of Saturday’s lineup. The artist had the audience on its feet and singing along to her rollicking tunes.

2. Ward played several songs off her 2012 Til the Casket Drops debut and also sprinkled the set with tracks off her earlier mixtape, including “Got It Bad” and set opener “OVERdUe.”

3. Ward showcased her several talents right from the start, as the multi-instrumentalist had an acoustic guitar strapped across her shoulder from the first track, which also included one killer harmonica solo. This chick seriously shreds it up on the blues harp.

4. Pipes on point throughout, she sailed right through her powerhouse tracks with rich, smoky vocals. What was somewhat disappointing: that she seemed to stay away from the more delicate songs off her most recent release. “Last Love Song," for example, would have been a fantastic inclusion. Here’s hoping she returns soon to take the stage solo.

5. It really was a shame that Ward’s fun, funky set came so early in the afternoon. With her vocal talent, superb stage presence and grooving, soulful tunes, the artist definitely proved herself worthy of a later set time. End even though she was the second to play the stage, the sizable crowd eventually reached beyond the centrally located sound booth.

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Mark Adams is the Web Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, overseeing the magazine’s EPPY Award-winning website. He previously served as ...

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