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Pure Sport: The Rising Stars

Interview by: Jewel Fiorillo

Pure Sport, a vibrant punk band hailing from Las Vegas, triumphed in the Rising Stars competition and took the stage by storm at Life is Beautiful on Friday, September 22nd. Comprising the dynamic trio of Jared, Gage, and Justin, this talented group is a testament to pure fun and humor. Remarkably, they started their musical journey just a year ago, yet their rapid ascent is a testament to their innate capability and undeniable talent. With an unmatched ability to electrify any audience, whether it's your first encounter with their music or not, Pure Sport effortlessly gets the crowd moving and grooving. Undoubtedly, they are an act you'll want to keep a close watch on in the days to come. Their infectious energy and musical prowess make them an exciting addition to the Las Vegas music scene, promising even greater things on the horizon. Below, an interview done with the trio by Jewel Fiorillo.

Can you describe the moment you found out you were going to perform at Life is Beautiful? What was your initial reaction?

To win was mostly shocking. It didn’t even feel real at first. We didn’t expect to win, especially being up against so much talent, so when they called our name it was surprising and exciting. It was also a really emotional experience, like a big release from the hard work we’ve put in since we were kids up until now. Really overwhelming in the best way possible.

How did you prepare for your first music festival performance? Were there any unique challenges you faced in getting ready for such a big event?

We did our best to act like it was like any other show, but in reality I think it was a lot of coming to terms with the fact that we had to be better than ever. There was a lot of practicing, fine tuning, behind the scenes logistics, mostly just doing our best to make sure it ran smoothly not just for us but the festival team as well. We’re also not used to playing such a large stage, so much longer cables were a necessity.

Life is Beautiful is known for its diverse lineup. How did you feel about sharing the stage with artists from various genres, and how did you tailor your set for such a diverse audience?

It was honestly comforting. Knowing that there were so many different genres and types of artists we didn’t feel like the odd man out by any means. It felt like the crowd was really just down for any music that might peak their interest. For our set we really just tried to do what we do best and stay true to ourselves!

Can you walk us through the experience of arriving at the festival grounds on the day of your performance? Were there any surprises or memorable moments?

Actually arriving at the festival grounds was incredible, really an experience we weren’t expecting. We had amenities, a great stage crew helping us, just tons of stuff we’ve never experienced. There were a couple memorable moments; walking on the stage for the first time and checking out our trailer. The stage was larger than anything we’ve been on, and having an artist trailer was like being a kid in a candy shop. Such a special experience for us.

What was the atmosphere like backstage before your set? Did you interact with other artists or have any pre-show rituals?

There was a lot of excitement, but to be quite frank a lot of nerves. We had each other to lean on and that helped calm all of us. It was really exciting speaking with all the other acts sharing that stage and hearing their experiences, either on tour or playing sold out shows etc. As far as rituals beforehand, we just hugged, made each other laugh and reassured each other it was going to be a blast.

How did the crowd react to your performance? Were there any standout moments during your set that you'd like to share?

The crowd reacted way better than we could’ve ever hoped! Being the “unknown” or “new kids on the block” didn’t mean a thing to folks arriving to the festival. We were met with a warm welcome from people who had never seen us before. That was really heartwarming. Seeing new people walk up and start to headbang and smile with us was the absolute highlight.

Life is Beautiful is not only about music but also art and culture. Did you have a chance to explore any of the festival's non-musical attractions, and if so, what stood out to you?

It’s hard to nail one down in particular, there were so many great pieces of art to check out. We were just so blown away by all the details of art throughout the festival, whether it be the affirmations plastered on walls, the artists in the “market in the alley” or the large meow wolf exhibit, we loved them all.

Did you have any encounters with fans or festival-goers that left a lasting impression on you?

It was fantastic to see our usual fans (employees) who got out there and supported us, as well as bumping into a lot of new fans who had just heard us for the first time. I (Jared) think walking around all day after playing and being stopped by friends, family, new fans and more was unbelievably exciting.

Many artists have described their first festival performance as a pivotal moment in their career. How do you think performing at Life is Beautiful has influenced your band's journey and future goals?

Playing Life is Beautiful has opened our eyes to a whole new world we’ve just never experienced. We all walked away saying, “lets do it again!”. Definitely broadened the horizons of where we thought we could take our music and gave us tons of ideas on how to continue to make what we do even better.

What advice would you give to other emerging artists who aspire to perform at major music festivals like Life is Beautiful?

Keep putting in the hours, play shows, practice, don’t give up and most importantly find a way to have fun doing it. It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s not going to always be easy, but finding a way to walk away every single day fulfilled, laughing with your bandmates, having the time of your life; that's the way to keep going.

Can you share any upcoming projects or plans for Pure Sport, considering your experience at the festival?

Absolutely. Right now the plan is to release a full album we have in the works. Not entirely sure when it will be done just yet, but we’re hard at work writing behind the scenes. In the meantime we’ll keep playing, practicing, writing and hitting the road. 

Life is Beautiful is also known for its positive and inclusive message. How did that vibe resonate with your band and your music?

That resonated with us heavily. We’ve always worked hard to create an inclusive and safe space for our fans. One without fear or judgment, just one of pure fun. Whether through our music or our stage presence, we welcome all kind, inclusive and accepting folks. So playing at such a large festival that promotes a similar message made us feel right at home.

Were there any specific artists or performances at Life is Beautiful that inspired or impressed you during the festival?

For me personally, I was most excited to see Jawny and he did not disappoint in the slightest. I already considered myself a fan but walked away an even bigger fan that night. - Jared

What were the logistical and technical aspects of performing at a festival of this scale that you had to adapt to or learn from?

One thing we haven’t really come across before was having to bring backups of our gear. There’s always a risk of something going wrong, whether it’s a string breaking, cable ripping etc, but at this one we realized how badly we needed backups in case something truly catastrophic happened outside of our control. 

Looking back, is there anything you wish you had known or done differently before or during your performance at Life is Beautiful?

Wouldn’t change a thing. We got up there, did our thing, and experienced it exactly how I think we needed to. The stress, the excitement and the inevitable joy were all a part of it, and I don’t think anything changed would’ve made that better. 

Can you describe the feeling of stepping off the stage after your set at Life is Beautiful? What emotions were running through your mind?

It felt like a weight off my shoulders. All the worries I had leading up just all washed away once we stepped off. We just got up there, did it, gave it our all, and had fun while doing it.

Jared: Nothing but happiness and gratitude that we got to do it.

Do you have any plans to return to Life is Beautiful or perform at other festivals in the future? What's next for Pure Sport?

We’d love to be welcomed back in the future, or any festival for that matter. It was such an amazing weekend, we could do that for the rest of our lives if we were lucky enough, and all we hope is that we are. Only time will tell, but nothing stops this train. We’ll keep going until the sun burns out.

Lastly, how would you sum up your Life is Beautiful experience in a few words or a memorable anecdote?

Jared: For me it was fantastic, moving, awe inspiring, cathartic. I could go on and on about how I feel, but the bottom line is; I’m incredibly happy.


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