Life Is Beautiful turns 7 this year, which means Life Is Sh*t does, too. What began as a counterculture statement—about festivals with corporate sponsors and mainstream headliners—has become an annual Vegas tradition of its own. And with ’70s British punk icons The Vibrators topping this year’s bill, Life Is Sh*t continues to solidify its unexpected standing.
“Maybe the first year it was a joke, a little bit of a f*ck you, but it’s grown into its own thing,” says Tsvetelina Stefanova, who organizes LIS with James Adams and Jack Evan Johnson. “The Vibrators are the biggest headliner we’ve had, definitely the one with the most history. Thinking back to high school, every punk had a Vibrators patch on their jacket.”
As usual, the majority of the Life Is Sh*t bill will spotlight some of the local scene’s most interesting acts—from longtime Vegas band Black Camaro to next-gen names like Laabradoor, World Tension, Spring Breeding and Peachole. “It doesn’t matter what genre you are, it’s all about community and that DIY feel,” Stefanova says.
Also returning to the Dive Bar—LIS’ home since its inception—will be Johnson, the fest’s founder, now based in Nashville. He’ll play a solo set and one fronting Dangerboner, a group that reunites annually for the occasion. “Last year they practiced once before the show. The less they practice, the better they sound,” Stefanova laughs.
Another cool Life Is Sh*t tradition: Door donations and proceeds from an on-site raffle go to Girls Rock Vegas, a local entity dedicated to “empower[ing] girls through music creation and performance.”
LIFE IS SH*T September 21, 4 p.m., donations requested. Dive Bar, 702-586-3483.