Up and Coming: Avalon Landing

by Linda Spielman

Las Vegas´┐Ż..we all know the saying "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". But in a town where gambling is king, just as much revenue is being generated from the countless creative individuals who make up The Strip and the exploding artistic community of the Greater Las Vegas area. With the incredible success of such bands as The Killers and Imagine Dragons, Las Vegas' music community is just as popular as New York, LA and Nashville when it comes to newly discovered talent. How does a band stand out in a town with such saturation in the music business? One of the most talked about bands in today's Vegas music scene is Avalon Landing. The transplanted Buffalo based group is quickly taking the local music scene by storm.

Most bands are conceived in dreams of grandeur of living the lives of the rich and famous, get a record deal, travel the world, have millions of fans. But for Avalon Landing the journey to become one of the premier local regional acts in southern Nevada started off quite differently.

The whole idea of being in a band first came to light when front man & guitar Mike Vargovich was is theater school and doing the whole audition circuit. "I found it just a little bit weird when I would go out on these auditions (especially for cruise ships) being told when I could perform, who they wanted me to be when I was performing, not having the right look or being the right height, etc. I found myself a little jealous of my friends who were in bands who got to go up on stage when they wanted to play, the music they wrote, and didn't have to be pigeon-holed or forced into a predefined mold of performing." Having the background in theater, and confident in his talents as a singer combined with developed stage presence, Vargonvich threw caution to the wind and said 'f*** it' why not pursue music.

At first Vargovich's intentions might not have been necessarily start or join a band, but he was 100% dedicated wanting to do music as a way of expressing himself without being held all the prerequisites, standards and requirements the theater held over his head. All those auditions for cruise ships helped solidify his motivation to buy his first guitar. "If you would have asked me before I walked into that store to buy my first guitar how many strings does it have, I might have said eight. I knew zero about guitar and music, I just knew it was something I wanted to do," Vargovich fondly remembers. Experiencing the resounding ability to take life and translate it musically for the enjoyment of many, like all musicians dedicated to their craft is what Vargovich and all of the members of Avalon Landing strive for since coming together. "I was actually jealous of Josh & Clayton with their previous band because they were doing what I wanted to do, already doing it and doing it well. I wanted to be up on stage too, being able to write and perform music; being able to put life out there through song."

So back in 2011 fate and friendship brought Vargovich together with friends Josh Rabenold (keys/vocals)and Clayton Cobb(lead guitar/backing vocals) , whose band dissolved and Avalon Landing was born with all core members now relocated from Buffalo to Las Vegas. Rounding out the Avalon Landing current lineup, John Lloyd (drums) and Corey Surratt (bass/backing vocals) has created a musical chemistry which keeps the band in high demand in the Vegas music scene. Avalon Landing's well written and carefully crafted songs, along with their powerful and concise live performances have gained the band notoriety amongst their peers, the press, and the promoters for whom they've played.

The band released their first critically acclaimed EP "Reside" back in late in 2013. With just one major release to their name, Avalon Landing is racking up accolades which prove the talent of the band and the dedication to constant evolution of their music. They won the 2014 Hard Rock battle of the bands, have opened for the Imagine Dragons in two very high profile Vegas appearances, are frequent guests in The Gibson Acoustic Studio performances on Las Vegas television, headliner on second stage at 2014 Rock n Roll Wine Festival, and currently added to the bill for the upcoming October Rick Springfield show at the Hard Rock Joint. With a widely successful track record and growing fan base Avalon Landing is on the fast track of up & coming artists to be seen and heard in Las Vegas and on The West Coast.

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