Not so long ago, the days surrounding California’s annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival used to be the best time to be a music fan in Las Vegas. From headliners like Tool and The Cure to hip, smaller-font names like Robyn and Spiritualized, hordes of acts that otherwise might not have played Southern Nevada booked gigs here, creating a sort of mini-festival for locals.
That spillover excitement has lessened somewhat in recent years—in part because Las Vegas has grown in stature to the point where many of those type of acts now stop here regularly; and in part, some would argue, because Coachella now focuses more on mainstream bookings and less on left-of-center gems.
Still, the Coachella runoff is in full effect again this month, offering up some solid options and a few intriguing ones.
Iceage (April 12 at Bunkhouse Saloon) The Danish art-punks were scheduled to play a cave show here in 2011 but canceled the gig, so this marks Iceage’s Vegas debut at long last. All four of the band’s albums—the past three for Matador Records—have been interesting and powerful, and frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt brings a magnetic, theatrical presence to the stage. Bonus: Pelada, a much-buzzed duo from Montreal featuring Spanish female vocals atop techno beats, is on this bill but not Coachella’s.
Weezer (April 12, Mandalay Bay Events Center) Whatever one might think of the alt-rock veterans’ two 2019 LPs—the “Teal Album,” featuring covers of hits by Toto, Michael Jackson and others; and the all-original “Black Album”—this live pairing with the Pixies should make for a fun night out.
Kero Kero Bonito (April 13, Bunkhouse Saloon) This easy, breezy U.K. trio fuses shimmery synths and electronics with poppy, indie-rock hooks. Singer Sarah Perry’s ethereal vocals and dreamy lyrics (she’s a poet, too) feel as though they’re transporting you to a warm coastal city, so keep your sunglasses handy.
Chvrches (April 16, Brooklyn Bowl) Singer Lauren Mayberry belts every emotionally charged lyric atop the Scottish group’s catchy electronic rhythms. Will she top last year’s Life Is Beautiful performance—made extra memorable by her “Patriarchy Is a Bitch” shirt? There’s only one way to find out.
The 1975 (April 16, the Joint) “Truth is only hearsay/We’re just left to decay/Modernity has failed us,” Matthew Healy sings during his English pop-rock band’s takedown of contemporary society, “Love It If We Made It.” The show is sold out, but you can still grab tickets on Stubhub for around $90.
Still Woozy (April 16, Bunkhouse Saloon) Sven Gamsky knew what he was doing when he named his one-man project. Still Woozy’s sexy, playful sounds make us feel like we have sea legs, in a good way. The Oakland singer and producer has released seven singles since 2017—give them a spin on Spotify before you head Downtown for his live set.
Turnover (April 17, Vinyl) This Virginia Beach trio began life as a Warped-y pop-punk outfit before evolving into the sunny indie-pop band behind latest LP Good Nature.
Sales (April 18, Vinyl) Orlando duo Lauren Morgan (vocals/guitar) and Jordan Shih (guitar)—augmented in concert by a drummer—build stripped-down pop songs around simple hooks and heartfelt lyrics.
Dillon Francis (April 18, Encore Beach Club) All you have to do is watch the video for “Look at That Butt” (featuring badass artist Jarina De Marco) to know you don’t want to miss this Wynn nightlife regular between Coachella weekends.
DJ Snake (April 21, Encore Beach Club; April 24, Intrigue) The “Taki Taki” DJ brings the rhumba to Wynn.
ALSO Zedd (April 19, Omnia); Diplo (April 20, Intrigue); Gorgon City (April 21, KAOS); Bad Bunny (April 25, KAOS); J Balvin (April 26, KAOS).