The final day of a festival is often a mix of emotions — mostly exhaustion and exhilaration, tinged with bittersweetness about the festival coming to an end. Certainly that was the case last weekend (Sept. 23-25) after a very successful Life Is Beautiful, which is rapidly becoming one of the best music festivals in America for its musical diversity and down-to-earth vibe.
Day three left festival-goers saddened to be departing downtown Las Vegas, though it also left them with a lot of great memories, regardless of their preferred style of music. Jimmy Eat World, Young The Giant and The Lumineers graced the alternative-oriented Ambassador Stage last night (Sept. 25), while Chromeo, Flume and Major Lazer led crowds in a dance party of spirited last-night hoorahs at the Downtown main stage.
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The always-entertaining Major Lazer, clad in UNLV jerseys, entered in a giant hamster ball, much to the delight of the tens of thousands who stayed in the area following a fun-filled set of electro-pop hooks from Chromeo and the heavy, atmospheric beats of 2016 festival breakout star Flume. From the hamster wheel to confetti guns, Major Lazer did not disappoint with their favorite-filled set — featuring, of course, their 2015 mega-smash “Lean On.”
Over at the Ambassador stage, folk-rock stars the Lumineers performed a triumphant closing set. The band’s 19 songs encompassed hits like “Ophelia” and “Ho Hey,” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in the middle of the set. They closed out just before 12:30AM with a superb rendition of “Stubborn Love.”
Just before that final set, Jimmy Eat World — who are about to release their Integrity Blues album next month — delivered a crowd-pleasing mix of rock classics, culminating with their Taylor Swift-approved 2001 crossover breakthrough “The Middle.” Other highlights included “Big Casino,” “Pain” and “Sweetness.”
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Jimmy Eat World were preceded by the invigorating Young The Giant, who mixed new songs like “Something To Believe In” (from their strong 2016 LP Home Of The Strange) with favorites like “Cough Syrup” and “It’s About Time.”
Back on the main stage, Third Eye Blind led a soaring nostalgic sing-along with “Semi Charmed Life” and “How’s It Going To Be,” proving that the late ’90s were alive and well in downtown Las Vegas.
Other highlights of day three included the powerful vocals of “River” singer Bishop Briggs, the floor-filling dance-pop sounds of Duke Dumont, and a joyous performance from Canada’s Strumbellas, who delivered one of the strongest sets of the day — even inspiring chants of “Simon,” for lead singer Simon Ward, in between hits “Spirit” and the new “We Don’t Know.”