Downtown Life: Poco, Atomic Liquors and Banger Brewing
It probably would be easier for a high school dropout to learn quantum physics than it would be for a music historian to piece together all the different lineup combinations of the influential country-rock band Poco. From original members departing, returning and departing again to numerous replacement artists subbing in and out, Poco could’ve long ago adopted the slogan, “It’s about the music, not the musicians.” But in reality, everyone who has been a part of the band since it formed in Los Angeles in 1968—be it in the studio, on the stage or both—has contributed greatly to its legacy.
Just ask steel guitarist, vocalist and co-founder Rusty Young, the only member who has been there since day one. Led by Young, Poco continues to tour coast to coast, performing songs plucked from a catalog of 19 studio albums. The best part about those live shows? Each one is as unique as Poco itself. “We challenge each other every time we’re onstage,” Young said, “which means that no two shows are ever alike.” –Matt Jacob
Golden Nugget, 8 p.m. June 14, starting at $29 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster
Spice Up Spring
Atomic Liquors has long been a favorite for Vegas locals, but the renaissance of downtown and Fremont East in the last few years brought an influx of new customers, and adjacent restaurant Kitchen at Atomic responded by upping its dining game. And a recent spring revamp by executive chef Jackson Stamper and mixologist Tonia Guffey really elevated the whole experience, highlighting a wide variety of spices and flavors.
Grab a drink first—the She Wore Lemon blends bourbon with lemon, chamomile, yuzu and apricot for an unusual sip, and the Life’s a Beach reminds you somewhat of a mai tai, with pineapple rum, lime, fassionola syrup, cinnamon and an amaro float.
Spring pea salad is as pretty as it is delicious—crunchy snap peas and asparagus work wonderfully with English peas, watercress and yogurt. Entrées include such items as ribeye with za’atar spiced potatoes, poached halibut and a porterhouse pork chop. A juicy hanger steak comes with grilled fennel and radicchio.
The grilled halloumi cheese in a summer herb salad is shareable, but vegetarians may want to reserve the entire dish as their entrée, although cauliflower steak or a side of the intensely spiced charred carrots would make an excellent alternative. –Nina King
927 Fremont St., 5-11 p.m. Sun. & Wed.-Thurs., 5 p.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat., 21+. 702.534.3223
Las Vegas’ craft beer scene is impressive, and you can start your journey at Banger Brewing, a friendly, welcoming business launched by beer fanatics. Almost nothing is off limits here, from a golden ale finished with hazelnut and French caramel coffee beans to an American hefeweizen infused with fresh-roasted jalapenos. –Ken Miller
450 Fremont St. Suite 135, noon-midnight Sun.-Thurs., noon-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat. 702.456.2739