Bloc Party's Kele Okereke feeling itIn a stifling 100+ degree heat at night, close quarters with hundreds of tipsy, impatient concert goers at an outdoor show may not sound like the best idea. But when there are three pools next to the stage and an incredibly rare natural event cooling your down (not to mention alcoholic ice cream bars), it sure beats yet-another huddled indie venue show.
UK rockers Bloc Party and singer Santigold were on the bill for last Saturday's Samsung-supported concert series at the endlessly chic Cosmopolitan Hotel's BLVD Pool in Las Vegas. But the show was pushed over two hours later than it's scheduled start time because the usually flesh-searing desert heat decided to take a break (kinda) for a unusual turn of weather—rain!
After a four years since their last album, and rumors that lead singer Kele Okereke was leaving the band (a complete joke that got out of hand), concert-goers were surely not pleased to be waiting another few hours to see Bloc Party's return to playing live. Sitting down with bassist Gordon Moakes before the show, he told Y! Music, "When we took time off, we weren't sure if we'd make another record... We learned what it was like to not be Bloc Party and being on tour constantly, like passengers on a train that's been full-tilt. [With this new record] we're trying to drive the train. We came back refreshed and wanting to make a record we all had a stake in and cared about, literally."
Stagehands scrambled to cover the fully-exposed equipment against rain and lightning as the packed crowd grew restless and increasingly wet themselves. Already, concertgoers had to be held outside the venue over for over an hour to allow Santigold to soundcheck during a quick break in weather, as her earlier soundcheck was rained out. Luckily the new Galaxy S III, which is a total iPhone killer, kept us journalists pleasantly occupied in the meantime. Camera option that auto-edit flaws from your drunken bathroom self-portraits? Sold!
Almost two and a half hours past the start time (and after a faux start where the sound kept fuzzing out), Bloc Party triumphantly hit the stage to a damp, ravenous audience. Gossip spread quickly that opener Santigold was completely bumped from the show because of the delay and had angrily left. "She's a diva. M.I.A. would never do that," postulated some well-heeled ladies at the show. Even DJ Them Jeans, who was scheduled to play before the bands, hadn't even arrived due to a cancelled flight because of the rain.
Displayed on the jumbotron facing the entire strip, lead singer Kele Okereke greeted the rejoicing audience and jokingly apologized for bringing foggy England's weather with them. Playing through spurts of rain, Bloc Party fully made up for all the delays rocking harder than a Vegas jackpot, Kele jumping into the audience to grab a flashing light stick and (OMG) covering Rihanna and Calvin Harris' mega-hit "We Found Love" before transitioning into their 2007 single "Flux". Love in a hopeless place? What could be more hopeless than Vegas in the rain!
Just before walking off stage after the unbelievable set, the band alerted the crowd that Santigold would indeed be performing! At 1am, the Jeremy Scott-clad singer and her dancers hit the stage. Santigold quipped, "I'm not trying to play this show, but I am playing this show"—probably still a bit upset about almost getting completely cut. Although much of the crowd had dissipated, those who stuck around reveled during Santigold's set, and were invited to jump on stage with her. Pretty appropriate given that her latest, sexy, dubby single "Disparate Youth" starts with the lyrics, "Don't look ahead, there's stormy weather / Another roadblock in our way / But if we go, we go together".
Sometimes waiting longer just makes the treat sweeter, and the rain made Santigold go from being a regular opener to the cherry on top. A rare night that Vegas partiers are no doubt talking about at the office today (I know I am!).
Bloc Party's first album after a four year hiatus, Four drops August 20th. Santigold's latest album Master of My Make-Believe is out now.
All photos taken with Samsung's Galaxy S III smart phone, y'all. Check out more photos on Yahoo! Music's official Instagram! User: yahoomusic.