Cowabunga Bay complements its water rides with bands—and beats

Thee Swank Bastards guitarist Jesse Del Quatro rocks the Bay.
Photo: Wade Vandervort

Some things just go together. Hot dogs and baseball. Netflix and chilling. Pool parties and live music. The latter inspired the XPOZ Las Vegas crew to host the new four-week Swim + Sound concert series at Cowabunga Bay water park, which kicked off Friday in partnership with Smash Magazine and Viva Ska Radio, bringing a variety of genres to the park.

“We’re always trying to come up with new and exciting events that people are interested in,” says Cowabunga Bay marketing creative director Shane Huish. “A lot of people were asking us to do dive-in movies and live concerts.”

Instrumental surf trio Thee Swank Bastards was a perfect fit for the sweltering day and Cowabunga’s throwback theme, with guitarist Jesse Del Quadro blending his normal band uniform (a white button down, black tie and black blazer) with pool-dad chic (flower print trunks and sandals). His acrobatic fret work, accompanied by the locomotive pull of Courtney Carroll’s drums and the dizzying effects of Jason Aragon’s bass, complemented the energy of the nearby wave pool and its swimmers.

Last week’s Swim + Sound began with surf, punk and reggae outfits like the Swanks, Rayner and The Escapers, and will continue with a mix of rock, hip-hop and reggae, including artist like Asylum of Ashes, Late for Dinner and Lady Reiko. The event also features food trucks like Buster’s Dawg House and a booth by XPOZ, a local nonprofit aimed at keeping the music scene cigarette-free.

Swim + Sound isn’t the only new event coming to Cowabunga Bay this summer. Local electronic music promoter Ravealation is hosting Turbulence, a multi-genre, ticketed EDM event featuring California bass titan Getter on September 8. “There’s a lot of different moving parts,” says Ravealation director of business development Joe Borusiewicz. “The hope is to turn it into a lasting concept we can bring back year after year.” The full lineup will be announced gradually over social media and at rvltnevents.com.

SWIM + SOUND July 27, August 3 & 10, noon-10 p.m., free with water park entry ($12-$30). Cowabunga Bay, cowabungabayvegas.com.

Tags: Music
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