Brandon Flowers

While thousands suffered heat stroke at Coachella, the Killers frontman remained comfortably, if tightly, ensconced in a hotel-casino. Indeed, Brandon Flowers kicked off a polished set on April 16 at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay with the most pretentious Vegas anthem ever recorded by a Las Vegan (or otherwise), “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas.” The song’s live acoustic-guitar arrangement called to mind a Poison-grade power ballad, while the dry, cliché-ravaged lyrics (“Didn’t nobody tell you/The house always wins?”) suggest that Flowers desperately needs an editor. The rapt audience didn’t care, singing along with every word. To make amends for the tune’s dark tone, Flowers nailed “Viva Las Vegas,” followed it with Catholic penance rocker “Magdalena” (the lyrics of which are superb), then held the crowd in his Mormon mitt with his hit “Crossfire.” But a whip-smart cover of “Bette Davis Eyes” revealed his winning hand—a little bit cheese, a little bit ostentatious rock ’n’ roll. As Cat Stevens put it, the boy has the moon and star on his head.

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Before his first appearance on the mega-popular History Channel reality show Pawn Stars, restoration specialist Rick Dale was ready to give up. His 27-year-old business, Rick’s Restorations, was struggling to stay afloat, and after years of restoring Coke machines and gas pumps, he was burnt out. He’d already begun to sell off everything at his shop when salvation came in the form of a special customer.