Fuel at Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV

Fuel continues the Fremont Street Summer Concert Series with support from Sponge and the Toadies for a night of nineties hard rock, grunge, and alternative.

The Summer Concert Series on Fremont Street is back to rock tonight after the last two shows being hip-hop and country and they are returning to rock with a bang. Three bands with their roots in the nineties and tons of hits.  With this many bands, the start time is early and it is still very warm in Las Vegas, but no one is complaining. At 7:30 pm, Detroit-based band Sponge takes the third street stage. Founding member and vocalist Vinnie Dombroski doesn’t seem phased by the heat at all as he delivers the vocal that the crowd remembers. The short thirty-minute set reminds the crowd just what they love about this band with tracks like “Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)” and “Plowed.” While these are familiar songs to the crowd, Dombroski and the band change up “Molly” at first before launching into the traditional well-known version. This gives a lot of insight into who this band is now, but also gives the fans what they want.

After Sponge leaves the stage, a mere fifteen minutes later the Toadies are ready to play. This band has a completely different sound from Sponge. The Texas-based rock band has a much more alternative sound and more of a low key stage presence.  Vaden Todd Lewis stands front and center and plays and sings flawlessly. They open with “I Come From the Water” and “Little Sin.” “I Come From the Water” is from their debut full-length album Rubberneck released in 1994.  It is a perfect way to open the set as it reminds the crowd where they all began with this band. This is perfectly bookended by arguably their most well-known hit “Possum Kingdom” also from the same album closing out the set. It is a nice way to showcase the band’s beginning and highlighting everything in between with songs like “Song I Hate,” “Polly Jean” and a cover of “I Put A Spell on You.”  For many in the crowd, this was their first chance seeing this band and this performance makes them wish they had seen them sooner.

Fremont Street takes a small break to show their signature light show on the overhead canopy and then it is time for Fuel. This band played the Summer Concert Series a few years back and drew well, and tonight is no different. The crowd is packed in from front to back. The set begins and it is clear this is going to be an exciting one.  Brett Scallions is singing and playing guitar at the center, flanked by bassist Phil Buckman. These two are animated right from the start. The set opens with songs like “Last Time” and “Song for You,” but when the first notes of “Bad Day” are played that is when the crowd really gets going.  

By the third song, Scallions is no longer playing guitar, he will return to that later, but he is just focused on the vocal right now and he is at the very front of the stage bump out as close as he can get to the crowd. Without the guitar he becomes even more animated, dancing and prowling the stage and giving the fans what they want. The temperature has risen from all the people but neither he, the rest of the band out the crowd are slowing down.

The sixteen song set continues with “Shimmer,” “Bittersweet” and “Prove.” Like the bands before them, the setlist really reminds the crowd of their history with this band. The end of the set is strong and maybe the most memory inducing with “Falls On Me,” “Puppet Strings” and “Hemorrhage (In My Hands).” This is the perfect way to end and it leaves the crowd with a high of nostalgia and wanting more.

The free concerts on Fremont Street still do not disappoint. The crowds keep growing and it is easy to see why. For the bargain price of free, the fans were treated to three diverse bands that delivered great rock music with a side of nostalgia. This show felt fresh and the fans loved every minute of it.

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About Abigail Buckler 44 Articles
A Las Vegas based photographer, Abigail enjoys shooting a variety of things but her primary focus is travel, music, nature and wildlife. Abigail's goal through her projects including music, events, and animal photography is to capture the candid moments that tell the story. They are singular moment of time, her goal is to take the viewer back to that point and the memories. She discovered photography is her passion. This allows her to incorporate my long standing love of music and travel into this art form. For Abigail, live music and concerts are who she is, and concerts and travel often went hand in hand. Now photography has brought these all together for her in a new and exciting way.

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