Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 | 6 p.m.
On Sunday night at nightfall in downtown Las Vegas, the 50-foot metal Mantis at Container Park erupted with a belch of fire. Those who were walking nearby stopped, and a few held up smart phones or genuine professional cameras to capture the next burst of flame.
After several moments of nothing, those cameras dipped. Then “whoosh!,” another plume of heat poured out, and up went the cameras once more.
“A watched Mantis never erupts,” one onlooker noted. You needed to time the focus with the fire to catch these blasts as they were produced. A few people just held their cameras still for as long as required to frame all that fire.
The fire-spraying Mantis, best known as a centerpiece each month during First Friday, was but one memorable moment during the Life Is Beautiful festival over the weekend in downtown Las Vegas.
The Monday List is a collection of such snippets, presented “Jeopardy”-style, with the answers listed before questions. As it is, we have the Top Eight Answers to Questions from Life Is Beautiful:
8: Exhausting: How did it feel, generally speaking, to walk the 15-block LIB grounds for about 12 hours over two consecutive days?
7. Breathtaking: What was the acrylic pieces displayed at the Odyssey by brilliant 10-year-old artist Jonah Jakin?
6. “Viva Las Vegas”: Which famous Las Vegas song did The Killers resurrect during their festival-closing set on Sunday night?
5. “Pale Blue Eyes”: Which Velvet Underground song did The Killers play, acoustically in the face of a revved-up festival crowd, in tribute to Lou Reed?
4. Sweet potato tater tots: What was the best use of a potato at Culinary Village (this, from KGB at Harrah’s mastermind chef Kerry Simon)?
3. A giant bass drum: What instrument sets Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds apart?
2. Cirque du Soleil: The widespread contribution, onstage during Imagine Dragons’ performance and also during the Learning program, of which production company helped connect the Strip to downtown Las Vegas?
1. Extraordinarily: How fortunate were festival organizers that the wind that swept through the Valley on Monday did not arrive a day or two early?