Psycho has its origins as a one day event; Psycho de Mayo 9 years ago in Santa Ana, California. The event would quickly become a multi-day event and make a second home in Las Vegas and the Hard Rock Casino for August 2016.
At the time I was intrigued by the festival's lineup... But it was the following year that would grab my attention. It would also start my yearly tradition of failing to secure tickets. Either strapped for cash or only having the funds after tickets were sold out.
The 2019 edition would see the festival move to Mandalay Bay due to the Hard Rock being sold to Virgin. Which I thought would be great for me as I had more experience navigating their property. Spoiler alert: it wouldn’t fucking matter in the slightest.
The 2020 lineup would be announced and I immediately knew it would be my year! USA exclusive performances by the likes of Mercyful Fate, Emperor, and Ulver. Other bands such as At The Gates and Down were each celebrating an important anniversary.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic festival organizers delayed the event to August of 2021; promising to keep the lineup as intact as possible.
And they tried - even adding a few more bands from my bucket list to sweeten the deal.
Unfortunately due to continuing issues with travel, the bands from Europe who I was most interested in seeing all cancelled due to issues with VISAs. Though to make up for these last minute cancellations; festival organizers had managed to get bands such as Exodus and Goatwhore to fill the void.
It was all a moot point as I wasn’t going to be able to attend anyway. Real life can be such a buzzkill.
So pulling onto Las Vegas Blvd after work one night and seeing the ad for Psycho Las Vegas 2022 is how I found out that the festival would find its third home in Las Vegas; at Resorts World this coming August. The European bands I was most excited to see are all booked - many for the third year in a row. Third time’s the charm?!
I won’t talk about each and every band I’m excited to see. There will be plenty of time to gush in the next three months. However I do want to make special mention of a few acts here…
One of the aspects of Psycho that has kept myself interested every year is that the festival has really embraced the extreme metal that I love. Particularly black metal acts. American bands such as UADA and Wolves In the Throne Room have made previous lineups. But I’m more likely to see them in this country.
Bands like Satyricon; who I’ve seen just once at the last Vegas show I attended before leaving the city for eight years. They had been performing in support of Cradle of Filth for that tour. I remember Satyr and Frost being rather kind to eighteen year old Ethan back then. I still have the signed poster - it’s currently hanging up on my wall.
Emperor on the other hand; after reuniting only scheduled three tour dates in the U.S. I never begged my parents for much of anything as a teen and never for anything that I would consider unreasonable today.
However I begged my parents to allow one of my older friends and lover of black metal to drive us to Los Angeles to see Emperor. My mother pointed out I was fifteen and that they would be back again. For years I would give her shit for that. They only returned to North America for one-off festival dates twice since then. Trips I had tried to make happen both times to either Montreal and also for the 70,000 Tons Of Metal. Harder to justify then gas money for a road trip to LA but I tried.
All this to say that seeing established Black Metal in Vegas is still a rare event. Psycho is the exception that proves the rule. If my real life allowed, for it I might have been going on road-trips to see Mayhem or Watain.
So thankfully there is Psycho Fest; and while I’ll continue to miss tours like that Rotting Christ headlined this year; or the package of Uada, Ghost Bath, and Sylvaine I keep being reminded of recently.
Also occasionally I’ll be lucky and see 1349 come through but this year I put down the money to purchase two three day passes for this year's edition of Psycho. Hopefully that will fulfill my black metal wishes for a time.
Unless they all cancel again and then I might cry like my year old son.
Stay tuned for more pieces focusing on some of the acts coming to Lost Wages, Nevada this summer for Psycho 2022. I promise it’s not going to be all black metal acts.
For more official info as well as ticket availability, head on over to this link here: VIVAPSYCHO