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Band of Horses, Jamie Lidell: The Early Bird’s Worm

Vegoose’s Sunday lineup kicked off with competitive early sets that felt a lot like a high school battle of the bands: Several upstarts were vying for the early birds’ attention. Said birds were few in number — Vegas does offer its fair share of nocturnal diversions — but those who did arrive early lucked out with some top-notch music.

The tip of the top today were Seattle’s Band of Horses. Fronted by bearded mountain man Ben Bridwell, the band started out mellow and appeared just happy to have a small group of fans lounging around on their blankets soaking up the sun. Sounding a bit like a bunch of tattooed hardcore kids who suddenly started soaking up Neil Young and Arlo Guthrie, Band of Horses began to captivate with songs like “The Great Salt Lake,” and the fun started when the boys played “Weed Party,” with listeners following along with the song’s lyrics and migrating towards the stage.

Next on the schedule was Jamie Lidell, a British-born beat tweaker who definitely woke up anyone slumbering in the shady Cabaret Clubs Tent. Looking particularly British in a hip black pea coat, Lidell started his set seated behind a table full of synthesizers, samplers, and drum machines, but as he started to layer his bluesy vocals atop this bubbling electronic melange, his body shot straight up and into action. “The City” turned the dance party into a budding, R&B-tinged rave, and when Lidell unveiled his hidden secret — a Halloween-appropriate gold, glimmery topcoat — the rave turned into a disco party during “What’s the Use.” If Lidell himself couldn’t stop from dancing, you know he gave Vegoose the set they deserved. KELLYN JOHNSON / PHOTOS BY NICHOLE WAGNER