The Bleachers’ Saturday night set ended with Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.” And no, the Vegas trio didn’t work up a cover version for Neon Reverb.
Confused, so were The Bleachers, the crowd and even co-organizer James Woodbridge when the Beauty Bar’s soundman cut the night’s opening performance off abruptly—and, seemingly without warning—after just 30 minutes, at 10:40 p.m.
Apparently concerned over the creeping lateness of the fest’s first two nights (Thursday at Beauty Bar being an especially egregious case of bands starting well after their intended start times), the venue stuck to a tight schedule on Saturday. The Bleachers went on around 10 minutes late, at 10:10, so their 40-minute slot whittled down to half-an-hour. And, as they were preparing to launch into a (final?) number, the band found itself chased offstage by Hendrix’s classic Dylan cover. To quote several attendees, the move felt “cold,” to say the least.
Afterwards, Woodbridge and bassist Marco Brizuela shared a hug to indicate there were no hard feelings on that end, and frontman Joe Maloney later said all the right things, like, “It’s no big deal; all part of the business” and “We had a great time.”
Still, in a festival that saw music routinely running until 3 and 4 a.m., shaving off 10 minutes from one of Las Vegas’ best bands seemed completely unnecessary.