Five thoughts on Leopold and His Fiction’s November 17 Artifice show

Leopold and His Fiction’s Daniel James performs at Artifice.
Photo: Spencer Burton
Jason Harris

1. The best way a Downtown bar can cut a band’s legs out from under it before it starts is to have a ridiculous delay in set times. Leopold and His Fiction was scheduled to go on at 11. The band takes the stage at 12:55. On a Sunday night. It makes a dead crowd even deader.

2. When the band was first introduced to Las Vegas (through Neon Reverb) it hailed from San Francisco, evident in its big psych-rock sound. Now based in Austin, Texas, Leopold takes a more rootsy approach tinged with punk influences, something from which more of today's Americana bands could benefit.

3. Daniel James is such a charismatic singer and filthy guitar player, it's a wonder he’s not playing big rooms on the Strip. Often singing with an arm in the air, waving a single finger at the audience, he’s like a rock ’n’ roll cult leader.

4. “Better Off Alone” is so soulful it could have been a Sam Cooke song. As if channeling “Bring It on Home to Me," it makes for an exciting change of pace that shows the band's versatility, thanks in large part to the skilled hands of bass player Shaun Gonzalez and drummer Trevor Wiggins.

5. Gone are the days when James would solo through the crowd, stomping around like a Tasmanian devil with a guitar strapped to his shoulder, not that this crowd would have noticed anyway. Hopefully next time a bigger, more responsive audience will be there to see this. No matter what time this band goes on, it's always worth the wait.

  • “This record has very little insecurity. It was a blast to make, and it’s really fun to play live.”

  • Anyone who discovered COC at the band’s popular height should be satisfied with this effective return to the familiar.

  • Bassist Nate Brenner partners with leader Merrill Garbus for an approachable and dancey record.

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story