September 21, 2019 – Backstage Bar & Billiards – Downtown Las Vegas
In the middle of Life if Beautiful weekend; we had the opportunity to see Redlight King and Zack Lopez & The Cartel play an intimate performace at Backstage Bar & Billiards.
Let me tell you guys, I completely forgot that this past weekend was Life is Beautiful. Mainly because that festival just isn’t my thing. I was mildy inconvenienced by not having access to my regular parking places close by; along with a hefty $20 fee in a dirt lot which felt like it was a mile away from where I was actually supposed to be. Thankfully, this was really my only inconvenience for this night though.
Kicking off the night were the four piece, Zack Lopez & The Cartel. This Sacramento based four piece performed exceptionally well in my opinion. They’ve got great elements of that good ole rock and roll that people might think doesn’t exist anymore. (HINT! IT DOES.) I really dug the twangy vocal style, it reminded me of some kind of blend of classic rock, late 80’s and 90’s alternative rock, with a punch of punk in there.
Zack Lopez and the Cartel Gallery:
This was only a two band bill. Redlight King went on sometime around 11pm, maybe a little earlier. These Los Angeles rockers have spent a pretty good amount of time making their mark in the industry. With that said, I’m going to go out on a personal critical limb; it’s likely the only reason I hadn’t heard of them until this show is because I don’t listen to radio of any kind, really.
Redlight King Gallery #1
Despite not having heard of them before, I really loved the bluesy-rock vibe this band has. As someone who grew up on Led Zeppelin; (Along with the deep cuts of The Yard Birds!) and countless other legendary blues-rock bands that are now just considered largely as classic rock; I found it SO easy to bob my head to all of the music I heard these guys play. Since I didn’t snag a photo of a setlist; and I can’t remember all the titles of the songs that were played; I will tell you guys that upon listening to their Spotify, I really felt connected to songs such as “Bullet in my Hand”, “Old Man”, “Wipe the Floor with You”, and their most recent single, “Lift the Curse.”
A special highlight of their set was the playing of Rush’s “Working Man.” This wasn’t just an ordinary cover, though. They specifically stated that their version is personalized to them. This is apparent, they bring their brand of blues rock to an already blues rock song; and it pretty much brings some more intensity to the already amazing track.
The guys in these bands are out on the road until 9/30, but if you ever get the chance to see either of these outfits, you won’t be disappointed. Especially if you love that blues influenced rock! We were fortunate to catch them in such an intimate setting!
Redlight King Gallery #2
Until next time!
All live photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2019, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.