Moksha stretches out along Binion’s rooftop

Moksha is cool, even when it’s hot out
Photo: Laura Davis

"This is like trying to follow the Goonies' treasure map—if we push the wrong button the floor's going to fall out beneath us," my elevator companion says as we climb into our second lift of the night on Saturday. We aren't seeking buried gold, though; we're simply trying to navigate our way to the roof of Binion's, to check out local funk/jam band Moksha's second show of the weekend.

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We reach our destination, where we're met by a security type wearing a Mexican wrestling mask (he loves lucha libre, he explains). Dodging past him, we join a mellow crowd, swaying its hips and passing its herb while lounging around a small pool. No one's wearing swim trunks in sight, but halfway through the set—which features songs averaging eight-to-10 minutes in length—someone finally gains the (liquid) courage to jump in and cool off. If the temperature gauge flashing beneath the hotel's giant spinning B is to be believed, it's still 95 degrees as midnight approaches.

As for the untraditional choice of venues for the quintet's third-anniversary celebration, Brian Triola, keyboardist and one of three vocalists, explains: "The vibe and energy up here is great, and the sound's great 'cause there's no enclosure." The band itself sounds great, keeping its cool despite perspiration running down the musicians' faces. With the bright lights of the Strip in the background, and with help from new singer Sam Lemos and a two-piece horn section on a couple numbers, Moksha jams well into the wee hours of the night. Sweat be damned.


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