The Aruba’s two-stage extravaganza drew a solid crowd Friday night, so it was head-scratchingly strange to see the biggest band of the night— rootsy Glendale, California, rock outfit The Henry Clay People, the Rumble’s Neon Reverb headliner—performing to some 25 folks near the height of the party.
What happened? Hard to say, exactly. It didn’t help that Henry Clay went on in the showroom while Twin Tigers were still playing in the lounge (to that point, bands had strictly alternated between the two rooms). Also, even after Twin Tigers finished up, no announcement was made to those in the lounge that action had begun in the showroom. And it also could be that the Tigers’ aural assault left their audience exhausted and in need of some downtime prior to closing sets from local favorites A Crowd of Small Adventures and Hungry Cloud.
Whatever the reason, it was sad to see so many camped outside the showroom’s entrance—relaxing in chairs and chatting away—while a heckuva good band band that played Lollapalooza ’09 and will soon hit the road with Drive-By Truckers raged in front of hardly anyone. Guess who’s probably not coming back to Vegas anytime soon?