Mojave Sun Headline Desert Honeypot 3 from The Sand Dollar Downtown in Las Vegas on September 9th, 2022
Las Vegas, NV - On September 9th, 2022, 3 local rock bands headlined by Mojave Sun took the stage at the Sand Dollar Downtown (inside the Plaza Hotel & Casino) in Las Vegas for 3 hours of female-led, Vegas-based acts as part of the Desert Honeypot concert series created by Mojave Sun frontwoman, Mariah Baldwin.
The first act is Los Angeles native turned Vegas transplant, Madison Deaver. Her music can probably be best described as “sassy pop music with a rock band.”
The band “leader” Dylan Routhier is a magician on the keys, and the rest of the band including their bassist are quite talented as well.
Deaver ripped through about 9 songs with force including a No Doubt cover of the song “Sunday Morning,” and ended with her newest single, “Denim” which definitely has the chops of a radio trending song.
Next up was the grunge/alt-rock experimental band Elevated Undergrounds fronted by Gabbi Fisher and whose band is made up of an assortment of players from other local bands as well.
Fisher is a retro-style singer who has found a way to bridge the gap between Joan Biaz, Nirvana, and Joan Jett while creating an artistic performance akin to a Darren Aronofsky film (i.e. The Black Swan).
The band performed their two Spotify-released singles “Wrong” and “Medicine” along with about 6 or 7 other songs that created a roller coaster of sound and energy.
They brought it way down when they performed the song “You Could’ve Tried” where Fisher connects an old school corded phone via an instrument cable to the sound system and sings through it instead of a microphone. By the end, she is seen screaming into the pickups of lead guitarist Fez’s semi-hollow bodied guitar (it looks like a Gretsch, but I think it is a different brand).
The song is darker, longer and more erratic than most of the rest of the repertoire, and while all the other songs were pretty rocking, this one stood out for the performance and expressiveness of the song.
Fisher herself was still sporting a full-leg brace on her right leg from a moshing incident. As she jokingly recalled to me, she attended a concert and her friend basically launched her across the pit during the show instead of the typical bumps and pushing of consistent for most pits.
Closing out the show was Mojave Sun whose music is self-described as “Fuzz Soaked Heavy Blues Rock from Las Vegas.” The band is essentially a duo with a backing band made up of other local talents.
Baldwin fronts the band and lead guitarist Blake Sailer provides not just a great sound on guitar, but also pulls a lot of backing harmonies out as well.
Mojave Sun pumped out a steady classic rock sound over about 45 minutes and ended with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
This particular lineup for Mojave Sun featured downtown rehearsal studio and guitar shop owner A.J. Palluck who also plays in the Vegas-based honky tonk band The Rhyolite Sound.
The one thing that really stuck out to me aside from the musicians themselves was the quality of the sound at this new Sand Dollar location inside the Plaza. The drum micing was absolutely solid, and the overall sound was possibly the best I have heard for a venue of this size in Vegas (about 140-200 person capacity likely).
If you get the chance to go to a Desert Honeypot show or see any of these acts, I don’t think you will be disappointed as they can all bring a great live performance.
Also, if you are near Downtown and want to check out a good venue, I highly recommend the new Sand Dollar Downtown.