“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW”
By Jackie Brett
CHICAGO – THE DOOBIE BROTHERS WILL CO-HEADLINE PARK THEATER: Two of the most successful and critically acclaimed rock bands Chicago and The Doobie Brothers – who have sold more than 150 million records combined – will co-headline a North American summer tour this year. The 30-plus major cities tour will bring the Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling groups to the Park Theater at Monte Carlo on Friday, June 9. Chicago, which celebrates their 50th anniversary as a band this year and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, came in at No. 9 and the highest charting American band in Billboard Magazine’s Hot 200 All-Time Top Artists. Chicago has toured every year since the beginning and never missed a year. The band’s award-winning documentary film, “Now More Than Ever: The History Of Chicago,” premiered on CNN on New Year’s Day 2017. The film is the most comprehensive history of the group’s achievements. Additionally, a remastered version of the band’s classic album “Chicago II” – “Chicago II: Steven Wilson Remix” – will be available Jan. 27. The Doobie Brothers have sold more than 48 million albums and won four Grammy® Awards. Their latest studio album, “Southbound,” features new recordings of the band’s biggest hits, with country music’s biggest stars including Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith.
R&B SINGER KEITH SWEAT HAS LIMITED ENGAGEMENT AT FLAMINGO: Platinum-selling R&B singer Keith Sweat will perform 15 times in the Donny & Marie Showroom at the Flamingo with a Vegas show, “Keith Sweat: Last Forever,” Jan. 17 through Feb. 4. Joining the famed singer-songwriter will be stand-up comedian and long-serving MADtv cast member, Aries Spears. Tickets for the 7:30 performances begin at $59. In celebration of Sweat’s 30th anniversary triple-platinum album, “Make It Last Forever,” fans can anticipate hearing a variety of his notable hits including “I Want Her,” “Twisted” and “Nobody.” Sweat was born in Harlem, N.Y., and originally worked for the commodities market at the New York Stock Exchange before he was discovered singing at a nightclub in 1987. Since then, Sweat has released 11 albums, delivered five straight No. 1 albums, and sold more than 25 million records.
JOHN FOGERTY WILL DEBUT AT WYNN THIS YEAR: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and rock music legend, John Fogerty, will make his debut at Wynn with his acclaimed show, “John Fogerty: Fortunate Son In Concert,” at the Encore Theater for 10 performances from March 3–11 and May 19–28. Last year, Fogerty did eight shows in January and nine shows in September at The Venetian. With a career spanning more than 50 years, Fogerty added to his long list of accomplishments with his memoir “Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music” released in 2015.The autobiographical account takes readers through the highs and lows of his life and musical career as a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo artist.
JOURNEY HAS NINE-SHOW MAY RESIDENCY PLANNED AT HARD ROCK: Legendary rock band Journey, which has been named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2017 class of inductees, will return to The Joint at the Hard Rock for a second, nine-show residency, Wednesday to Saturday, May 3-20. The Hall’s 32nd annual induction ceremony will take place on April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and HBO will show highlights later. Journey had a wildly successful nine-show run at the Hard Rock in 2015. This time and for the first time in the United States, Journey will perform its seventh studio album, “Escape,” and the band’s eighth studio album, “Frontiers,” in their entirety on select Wednesday dates: May 3,10 and 17. Tickets start at $59.50.
THE CHAINSMOKERS SIGN MULTI-YEAR RESIDENCY WITH WYNN NIGHTLIFE: Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum pop duo, The Chainsmokers, comprised of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, have agreed to make XS Nightclub and Encore Beach Club their exclusive U.S. club venues. This will be an exclusive three-year residency with the two Wynn Nightlife venues becoming the only nightclub and dayclub in the United States where the hitmakers will perform beginning last Friday at XS Nightclub with additional performance dates through May 2017. The Chainsmokers experienced a meteoric rise winning Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist at the 2016 American Music Awards, and their success continues with three 2017 Grammy Award nominations for Best Dance Recording, Best Pop/Duo Performance, and Best New Artist.
I LOVE THE ‘90S TOUR WILL VISIT THE HARD ROCK: With sold out shows all over the country, the popular I Love The ‘90s Tour will make a stop at The Joint at Hard Rock on Friday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. The memorable decade will be represented in Las Vegas by superstar acts… Vanilla Ice, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Naughty By Nature, All-4-One, Tone Loc and Young MC. Tickets start at $45. The I Love The ‘90s Tour continues to dominate as the nostalgia-driven go-to tour. Show attendees get to reminisce about the trend-setting decade with some of the most iconic, indelible names in rap, hip hop, pop and R&B.
SOCIAL PLAYGROUND LOUNGE LEVEL UP OPENS AT MGM GRAND: LEVEL UP, a new “place to play” concept lounge, opened at MGM Grand on Dec. 29 presenting a new era in interactive, skill-based fun. The tech savvy, adult playground is located between Hakkasan Nightclub and the MGM Grand Race and Sports Book. It features pay-to-play offerings in a social atmosphere.
THE VENETIAN DEBUTS COWORKING LOUNGE POWERED BY ZAPPOS: The Venetian®, The Palazzo®, and Sands® Expo, in partnership with Zappos, are now offering guests access to a first-of-its-kind coworking space located on level two of The Venetian | The Palazzo Congress Center. The lounge will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with hours subject to change based on the needs and utilization of the Congress Center. Zappos team members are staffing the lounge and sharing the Zappos service philosophy of “delivering happiness” with every “collision” they make with a guest. Tapping into a growing trend of creating collaborative workspaces, the newly opened 1,170-square-foot pop-up lounge offers space to recharge, huddle areas for collaboration, and a conference room for small meetings. The space is enclosed for noise management, but is also transparent to invite guests to take advantage of the amenities, which include Wi-Fi, charging stations, four private phone rooms, and a private conference room that seats six. The furnishings are by a new store Restoration Hardware at Tivoli Village.
HAWTHORN GRILL DEBUTS AT JW MARRIOTT: Hawthorn Grill is a new steakhouse opening at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa on Sunday, Jan. 15 marking the first new restaurant opening in the Summerlin resort in five years. Situated in the Spa Tower, Hawthorn Grill is more than 18,000 square feet with seating for more than 370 guests in the main dining room, outdoor patio, and lounge. The chic main dining room features banquettes and tables as well as secluded, draped areas for a romantic dinner. The spacious outdoor patio area has sounds of the nearby waterfalls and beautiful foliage, including the restaurant’s namesake Hawthorn bush. The outdoor area also includes fire pits and heaters for winter. Two private dining rooms can seat groups from 18-40 and semi-private patios run alongside the larger private dining room as well as a small reception area, good for a small wedding or special event. The menu mixes traditional steakhouse fare and American classics with updated flavors accompanied by an extensive wine and cocktail program. The Executive Chef Joseph Swam was formerly with the Eiffel Tower Restaurant and the general manager Christian Umlauf comes from db Brasserie also on the Strip. The restaurant will be open daily for breakfast, including a signature breakfast buffet, dinner, and bar hours.
MARIO BASNER’S WORLD HERITAGE COLLECTION OPENS AT TIVOLI VILLAGE: The internationally celebrated World Heritage Collection by award winning photographer Mario Basner will be hosting a world premiere at Tivoli Village on Tuesday, Jan. 17 and will be open to the public for free through Feb. 28. The extraordinary collection celebrates diversity and culture by capturing evocative and moving images that explore the beauty of urban cityscapes and unique architectural structures. For the series’ first installment, Basner takes guests on a visual journey through the history and humanity of an abandoned sanitarium found in Germany. Built in 1898 as a treatment center for tuberculosis, the hospital complex was the largest of its kind and a world leader in research and treatment. It included 60 buildings and park-like grounds amidst a scenic forest located one hour south of Berlin. The majority of the complex had been abandoned since 1994, but as of 2016, the site has been re-purposed and the buildings underwent a complete remodel. The images have historic relevance, capturing the final state of decay before all traces of history were painted over and disappeared forever.
BOULEVARD MALL CHANGES WITH THE TIMES: The Boulevard Mall located not far from the Strip at Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn opened on March 6, 1968, and was the first enclosed, climate-controlled shopping mall to open in Nevada. The retro single-story super-regional mall like other comparable shopping malls across the country is experiencing the challenge of changing with the times especially when huge anchor stores close. It’s been announced that the Macy’s store at The Boulevard Mall is among the 68 store closures taking place in this year. Future plans for the space are yet to be determined. Back in 2008, the mall’s two-story anchor Dillard’s store closed and remained empty until a 28,000-square-foot Goodwill thrift store opened in October 2015, occupying part of the first floor of the old store. It was the first Goodwill store to open inside an enclosed shopping mall. A 60,000-square-foot John’s Incredible Pizza Company restaurant opened in December 2015, taking up the remainder of Dillard’s ground floor. Last month, the 31,000-square-foot of interactive, educational hands-on SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium opened at the mall. Adding entertainment components is what many malls are incorporating to keep up with the times.
IRATION, THE GREEN AND PROTOJE BRING REGGAE MUSIC TO HARD ROCK: Hawaiian reggae stars Iration bring their Lost & Found Winter Tour to The Joint at Hard Rock on Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. They will be joined by special guests The Green reggae band formed in Oahu, Hawaii, in 2009 and reggae artist Protoje from Jamaica. Tickets start at $39.50. Iration is an alternative/reggae group of musicians formed in Isla Vista, Calif. A deep-rooted reggae influence is fused with elements of rock and pop to create smooth original sounds. All of the members of Iration met while growing up in Hawaii but formed the band after reconnecting in Santa Barbara, Calif., with the exception being Micah Brown who officially joined the group in 2014. These Hawaiian-bred musicians look forward to spreading their original sound and Aloha spirit while never forgetting to get surf time in whenever possible.
RAO’S CAESARS PALACE COMMEMORATES 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Rao’s restaurant at Caesars Palace will celebrate its 10th anniversary by featuring “Rao’s Classics” four-course dinner prepared by co-owner Frank Pellegrino Jr. and Chef de Cuisine Fatimah Madyun on Thursday, Jan. 12. The special family-style menu is $150 per person and will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception on the patio, along with live music. For reservations, call 702-731-7778. The original Rao’s in New York City opened in 1896 and is one of the oldest family owned restaurants in the city, and with only 10 tables is one of the hardest places to get into. The Las Vegas version features a replica of the 10-table landmark as well as an open-air patio, center bar, private dining and event space, complete with its infamous bright red awning and Christmas decorations.
D.VINO AT MONTE CARLO FEATURES ANNUAL MUSSEL FESTIVAL: At the Monte Carlo, d.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar is kicking off the year with the return of the annual mussel festival. Executive Chef Martin Garcia has prepared a menu with five different interpretations centered around fresh mussels available for a limited time, Jan. 9 through Feb. 5. The menu includes: Italian mussels and pasta; Neapolitan style mussels; Mussel and spicy Italian sausage; Mussels and saffron; and Baked stuffed mussels.
QUICK TIPS: The Pete Rose Sports Bar & Grill opened in October 2015 in the Hawaiian Marketplace shopping complex on the Strip. In August 2016, Rose’s name was removed from the restaurant’s signage and the restaurant was stripped of its baseball theme but floundered and closed anyway last year. Surprise, the dining replacement will be the Heart Attack Grill making it the restaurant company’s second location in Las Vegas with the first venue being downtown at Neonopolis. The Heart Attack Grill’s gimmick is customers must wear hospital gowns and waitresses are dressed as nurses. One of the restaurant’s signature offers is customers who weigh 350 pounds or more dine free. While Journey will be at the Hard Rock in May, Lights – A Tribute to Journey show will appear in Rocks Lounge at the Red Rock Resort on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 4 and 6 p.m. The show features world-class musicians and singers, including players who have worked with and backed legendary artists including Celine Dion and David Foster. Tickets are $15 general admission. The Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival will return to the streets of Downtown Las Vegas Sept. 22-24.
CES® 2017 CELEBRATED 50 YEARS AND CANON RAISED FUNDS FOR NCMEC: CES, the world’s largest gathering place for the business of consumer technologies, was just in Las Vegas, Jan. 5-8 celebrating its 50th anniversary and attracting more than 165,000 attendees. One business attendee Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, continued its commitment to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) by hosting the 20th annual Canon Customer Appreciation Reception during the CES convention and sponsoring the NCMEC Celebrity Golf Tournament. The two-day event raises funds and awareness for child safety. More than 50 celebrities, elected officials and patrons of NCMEC participated including special guest Oscar Nominee Bryan Cranston, star of the new movie “Why Him?” and the AMC crime drama series “Breaking Bad,” and NCMEC co-founder John Walsh and host of CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh.”
AREA TOURISM NOTES: Las Vegas for the fourth consecutive year has been named the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination by the 2016 World Travel Awards. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has moved forward with expansion plans for its Las Vegas Convention Center District (LVCCD) project, which will expand and renovate the current Las Vegas Convention Center property. Phase I already included the demolition of the Riviera Hotel and Casino and repaving the site and unveiling the Diamond Lot, a parking and outdoor exhibition space. Las Vegas has been named Best U.S. City in Travel Weekly’s 14th annual Readers Choice Awards. Ranging in 78 categories, the awards honor the best of the best in travel and were presented in December at a black-tie gala in New York. The Las Vegas City Council approved a $425,000 grant from the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial to expand the Neon Museum, a nonprofit organization preserving Las Vegas signs. The grant will be used to purchase .27-acres of land adjacent to the current museum property.