Five heavy bands to catch at this weekend’s Las Rageous festival

A Perfect Circle is ready to rock Downtown.
Photo: Tim Cadiente

A Perfect Circle

The moody rock band led by singer Maynard James Keenan (of Tool fame) and guitarist Billy Howerdel has been a consistently interesting and idiosyncratic live act even during the 10-plus years in which it didn’t release any new material. Forthcoming album Eat the Elephant (which drops on the first day of Las Rageous) is quieter and mellower than any of the band’s previous work, with far more keyboards than guitars, but that doesn’t mean that this performance will be any less intense or intricate, and APC sets always include creative cover songs to augment the offbeat originals. Friday, 11:15 p.m.

Judas Priest

Do you really need a reason to see Judas Priest? These guys are heavy metal legends, and they could probably fill the entire festival with beloved songs from their extensive catalog. Rob Halford’s voice still sounds great, and even though veteran guitarist Glenn Tipton recently retired from touring due to health issues, he still contributed to every song on the band’s new album, Firepower. Priest’s set will certainly focus heavily on classics like “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight,” but Firepower has enough riff-driven firepower that the handful of new songs should fit right in. Saturday, 10:15 p.m.

In This Moment

The LA-based metalcore band has undergone a number of musical permutations, from goth to screamo to electro, and its most recent album, 2017’s Ritual, is pretty poppy. But singer Maria Brink is great at delivering soaring melodies along with snarls and screams, and the band’s riffs are still catchy, even if they’re a little less prominent alongside electronic beats. Plus, Brink brings a grandiose theatricality to the band’s live show (which one metal magazine described as “Rob Zombie meets Lady Gaga”). And since Judas Priest’s Rob Halford duets with Brink on Ritual’s “Black Wedding,” this would be the perfect chance for him to make a guest appearance. Saturday, 9:20 p.m.


Judas Priest might be the big classic-metal name at Las Rageous, but Saxon has been around just as long, and has quietly influenced nearly as many acts that came after. Anthems like “Denim and Leather,” “Power and the Glory” and “Princess of the Night” can still get fists pumping, and, like Judas Priest, Saxon has a new album out that captures some of the riff-tastic excitement of the band’s early work. Saturday, 8:35 p.m.


Of the handful of Vegas bands on the Las Rageous bill, the guys in Otherwise are probably the biggest hometown boosters, maintaining strong local ties with benefit shows and extended residencies. Their radio-friendly hard rock can be a bit overblown, but their enthusiasm is endearing, and bombastic singles like “Soldiers” and “Coming for the Throne” have an undeniable appeal. Friday, 5:35 p.m.

LAS RAGEOUS April 20-21, 5 p.m., $82-$412. Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, lasrageous.com.

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