City Soundtracks presented by Gibson is making its inaugural appearance inside Freedom Beat on November 9 and 10. Freedom Beat teamed up with Gibson to create this “musical road trip” making its first stop in Seattle: Home of Grunge.
The minds behind the event are Patrick Genovese and Nick Mattera, of the local band Strung Out Sessions. We sat down with them to get more insight into the conception of City Soundtracks and learn more about their own musical backgrounds.
When and where did you get your start as musicians?
Patrick Genovese: I grew up in a musical household, though I did not pick up the guitar until college in the early ’90s, of course! I started my first band, Exit 12 with my brothers.
Nick Mattera: I’d been playing guitar since I was 9 or 10 years old. I got my 1st guitar as a gift for my 1st communion. Starting playing in my group Big Bad Zero when I was 23 years old and we signed a record contract shortly after.
Tell us what we can look forward to during City Soundtracks
Patrick Genovese: Nick and I hope to turn back the musical clock for a few days and celebrate the music that spawned from the Seattle area. You’ll hear music from artists who changed the musical landscape forever and whose music is still relevant and revolutionary over 20 years later. We want this to be inclusive and hope to share stories and great memories.
Nick Mattera: Go back in time to the days of organic music, no tracks just real guitars, real vocals. The grunge era of flannel shirts and raw rock ‘n’ roll.
How has the music of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc. influenced you as musicians today?
Patrick Genovese: Jim Croce, CSNY, Steely Dan and the iconic bands from the ’60s and ’70s, the bands you mentioned spoke to my generation. MTV Unplugged had me hooked from the get-go. I had just begun learning a few chords on the guitar, and those tones were just mesmerizing. The vibe was incredible and has influenced me in many of my projects to this day. Our Strung Out Sessions shows were a complete nod to that era.
Nick Mattera: Those bands have helped me to stay true to honest lyrics and keep things simple when writing original music. Those bands and their songs are iconic and will remain classics because each song had a meaning and something you could relate to.
How did you go about selecting the Las Vegas musicians to recreate this historical catalog?
Patrick Genovese: We’ve reached out to many of our musical friends and colleagues who share similar paths and stories. It’s always great to hear how others interpret these songs.
What was your favorite part of the ’90s?
Nick Mattera: Discovering these bands which had their own style and going to concerts in Southern California and actually seeing them perform and watching them go from an underground band and cross over into superstar acts.
Always fresh. Always fun.
Weekends brought a slice of the good life to Downtown Las Vegas with the Summer of Citrus — Downtown’s biggest rooftop pool scene. Parties day and night, refreshing drinks, and free entry — Citrus Grand Pool Deck was the place to be in Summer ’17.
Official Women’s Rugby Pool Party
Pool season at Downtown Grand officially kicked off with the USA Sevens Rugby Women’s Championship Pool Party in early March. The finalists of the tournament and their fans flocked to the rooftop for a night of swimming, photo ops, dancing, and games.
Old School by the Pool
Starting in May and going all the way through the end of September, Old School by the Pool —hosted by Old School 105.7 — took over the rooftop every Thursday night with the best R&B bands Las Vegas has to offer and a crowd that never stopped grooving. This was the place to be every Thursday night with attendance growing every week reaching over 1,000 people.
Friday Night Dance Party
It became clear early on in the summer that locals had to rush out of work early on Fridays to hit up our happy hour with Kayla from KLUC’s Morning Zoo. Half off drinks and appetizers were great, but Kayla quickly showed us her generosity by handing out a slew of free drink tickets every week! DJ Davey the Showkiller amped up the party by playing all our favorite tunes. The best part of all? With 98 cent beers until 9 p.m., you can fund your entire night purely from those easy side hustles you’ve been working on or with that safe driver’s check you received last month. With costs that won’t break the bank, it’s easily the best way to pregame for your weekend out Downtown.
Official Life is Beautiful Daytime Pool Party featuring Capital Cities
Perhaps the biggest blowout of the year was our Daytime Pool Party during Life is Beautiful weekend. The roof was literally shaking with hundreds of people dancing to “Safe and Sound.” Ryan Merchant of the band even climbed into the crowd singing the hit song alongside some of his biggest fans. The band even stuck around after the show taking photos with fans and signing autographs. It was the best and ONLY way to kick off Day Two of Life is Beautiful.
Drink, Eat, Tan, Repeat
Offering free entry to all, Citrus Grand Pool Deck was the perfect place for Downtown Las Vegas tourists and nearby locals to soak up some rays and have a little fun. With drinks costing just $10 or less and a food menu created by Celebrity Chef Scott Commings, winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 12, it wasn’t uncommon for people to waste an entire day lounging poolside.
Gibson Presents City Soundtracks: Sounds of Seattle
Why do some cities never sleep? The music is just too good. From underground venues to beer gardens and music halls to arena stages, some places rock out 24/7 with a style all their own. Jazz belongs to New Orleans. Nashville waves the country flag. Motown grooves in Detroit. Seattle has grunge.
In these musical meccas, the soundscape is more identifiable than the skyline. To celebrate these diverse sounds and legacies, Freedom Beat and Gibson have taken the musical reigns and are launching a new live music series: City Soundtracks Presented by Gibson.
Seattle Sounds Meet Downtown Las Vegas
Freedom Beat, Downtown Las Vegas’ home of tastes and tunes, will begin this musical series with a two-night event on November 9 and 10. The focus is on Seattle, where the grunge and alternative rock waves began on the amps of legendary bands such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and of course Nirvana.
Curated by Nick Mattera and Patrick Genovese from Gibson — lead of local sensation Strung Out Sessions — and featuring some of the best musicians in Las Vegas, City Soundtracks inaugural session will serve as an ode to the MTV Unplugged sessions from the ’90s. The live music event will host three main stage performers along with a slew of guest performers, each possessing a unique talent specific to Seattle’s featured artists, allowing for an unmistakably familiar cover of the best songs from each catalog.
Relive Your Favorite Seattle Hits in Downtown Vegas
Along with the musical tribute to this groundbreaking scene that sparked a generation, fans will get an intimate peek behind the curtain as Genovese regales fans with famous — or infamous — stories and trivia behind each song. Also, guest requests will be encouraged throughout the night making this a genuinely immersive concert experience.
In addition to live music, guests looking for the full Teen Spirit experience can book the ’90s Grunge Room Package November 9 – 12. Complete with a ’90s survival kit including band posters and cassettes, this package will score you front row seats to the show and $100 dining credit.
Grab your Doc Martins, throw on your flannel shirt, and get ready for a night of grunge as we celebrate the American music scene at Freedom Beat.
Designed to feed the soul and the senses, Third Thursday on 3rd has become a new staple in Downtown Las Vegas with the best of art, food, and fun. In celebration of the spookiest month of the year, we’re taking it up a notch with a unique rendition of Third Thursday on 3rd: Freak the Street.
While there might be countless Halloween celebrations taking place throughout the city, here are five reasons you need to make Freak the Street your priority:
1. Cold Hard Cash
We know you worked hard putting together your costume, so we want to reward you for doing so. The best overall costume will take home $1,000 in cash! Second place will receive $300 cash, and third place will get $200 cash. Prizes will also be awarded for the Best Group, Funniest, and Most Unique costumes, so there are a few chances for you to walk away with extra money in your pocket.
2. Haunted Food Truck Experience
The event starts at 6 p.m. Guess what time that is? Dinner time. You’ll be fed just right with food truck options including El Shuko Original, Slidin’ Thru, Ben’s BBQ, Waffle Love, The Cookie Bar, and I Luv Cotton Candy.
3. Ghoulish Street Art
Who doesn’t appreciate beautiful art? Four artists will be battling throughout the night, each creating their own masterpieces. You will get to watch the creative process and even have an opportunity to take the paintings home.
Raffle tickets for the artwork can be purchased with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund. You’ll also get a chance to win custom #VegasStrong t-shirts.
4. Prizes, Candy, Pumpkins, oh my!
Bring the whole family down! Have your kids come dressed in costume because we’ll be giving out prizes to some of the raddest costumes we see. Your kiddos will also be able to participate in their own art battle, but instead of canvases, they will get to use pumpkins! Perhaps the most enjoyable part for your kids is that they will be able to “Truck or Treat” to satisfy their (and your) sweet tooth.
5. Kickoff Halloween Early
Start your Halloween celebrations early with Third Thursday on 3rd: Freak the Street edition. It gives you an extra week to enjoy all the fun that is Halloween including the tastiest food, cheap drinks, good tunes, great people, and just an overall freaky night.