On Saturday October 22, less than an hour before the main gates for When We Were Young were to open; it was announced that this day’s show would be canceled due to an extreme wind warning. People who had come to Vegas from all over just for this festival, and people were absolutely devastated. Some bands began to scramble to try to make it worth it on some level. All American Rejects ended up playing Soulbelly; Senses Fail, Saosin, Bayside and Thursday played the Sand Dollar Downtown; Bring Me The Horizon played The Pearl with Knocked Loose, Hawthorne Heights, Armor for Sleep and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus PACKED The Strat; The Wonder Years played at Rockstar Bar; and KITTIE did a meet and greet at the Hard Rock Live on the strip; as well as packed the Sand Dollar on Spring Mountain.
My phone was blowing up with all sorts of notifications from colleagues, friends, and family. This was one of the most crazy things I think I’ve ever seen unfold all at once. At the same time, I watched my local venues and promoters bust their asses to make sure people knew about these pop up shows that were happening all over the city. Each and every pop up show ended up being at capacity; and it was at this moment that I was extremely proud to call myself an active member of this scene. This city really did their best to pull it all together for the fans.
Time to fight the crowds…
Because most of these pop up shows were free, I decided to get my camera together and attempt to hit up Kittie at the Sand Dollar on Spring Mountain. 20 minutes after I left my home, I got word that I would be good to go for photo/press. It was a race against the clock at this point. I had never been to this location before and did not know what parking would look like. Thankfully I got to the venue, secured a parking spot, and made my way to the line outside the door. I patiently waited in the line and when I got to the front, I told them who I was and I was let in. At this point they were only letting people in as others were walking out. They were completely at capacity at this point.
I walked into the bar, and started making my way around through the open spots in the crowd. I was there about an hour before Kittie was scheduled to take the stage. Thankfully I managed to get a spot just one person back from the right side of the stage and I was happy with this. (Later on the couple in front of me let me sneak into a little spot where I could get some really interesting shots!) The whole crowd watched as the ladies of Kittie set up their equipment, and then we waited until 9PM hit.
I will fully admit that I never got heavy into Kittie. But when they announced their pop up show I had this moment where I definitely needed to check out (arguably) the most metal band on this year’s WWWY lineup. Because I’m not a diehard fan, I couldn’t name off the songs or anything like that, but here’s a setlist snagged from setlist.fm.
- Cut Throat
- What I Always Wanted
- Mouthful of Poison
- Burning Bridges
- We Are the Lamb
- Never Again
Now, I’ve been to plenty of small venues and bar shows in the last decade plus, and this show was by far one of the craziest I’ve seen. The ceilings in the Sand Dollar are low, and the bar was appropriately decorated for Halloween. Before the show even started you could see people getting their energy up and ready. I’m also going to point out that this venue is definitely not set up for mosh pits or crowd surges of any kind. With any heavy music though, these kinds of things are only bound to happen. After watching an interaction between security and a crowd member in the middle of the crowd, I was curious as to just how they were going to handle this energy, and if they were prepared to do so.
Not exactly the safest place for heavy music… but…
Maybe 20 minutes or so into the set, I see a crowd surfer make their way over the crowd. Remember- this place is SMALL and it is definitely not the place for something like this to be safely done. I have to give major props to the guys doing crowd control though. As I said, I was curious as to how something like this would be handled, and the venue staff handled it phenomenally. I believe it was a separate incident, but another person in the crowd ended up losing consciousness. This caused a stop in Kittie’s set, but just until this person regained consciousness. After a few minutes, Kittie resumed their set, and they did it flawlessly.
For a one hour pop up show in one of the smallest venues here, these ladies packed a real punch for the fans, and it was absolutely an evening to remember! It was definitely a “you had to be there” kind of experience. At any rate, Kittie definitely made a fan out of me!
Our guy Taylor reviewed Kittie’s Origin/Evolutions documentary a few years back, check that out HERE!
To keep up with the band and all they’re doing, head on over to their Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twittter.
Live photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2022. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.