THE VOICE: Morrissey’s Nov. 25 show at the Cosmopolitan ($66) is a homecoming. If you take away the singer’s militant vegetarianism, acid tongue and contentious reputation, you’re left with a crooner in the classic Vegas tradition, albeit backed by a “muscular-sounding” band playing a “slew of anti-hits” (or so said The Guardian’s Malcolm Jack, writing about Morrissey’s June show in Australia). Morrissey is a master performer, and he’s fully capable of putting on One Heckuva Vegas Show in spite of our city’s love for cheeseburgers, tits and firing ranges. He doesn’t skimp on the older material (The Guardian review notes that Morrissey’s years in the Smiths are well-represented), and when he berates the audience—as he most certainly will—it feels like witty banter. He’s a heckuva performer, you know.
COME BACK TO ME: In ’98 I said some nasty things about Janet Jackson, and I’d like to apologize. I said her performance was marred by a scowl she gave the audience. “It would seem that Janet has fallen prey to the line of thinking that claimed her brother Michael all those years ago that bigger is indeed better, that aloofness is endearing and that therapy is a gift best shared with millions,” I wrote in the Las Vegas Sun. I was wrong. My second impression was the correct one: “Jackson’s music is genuine: It’s flirty when supposed to be flirty, somber when needed, fun, tuneful and sexy always.” That’s the Janet who’s coming to the Colosseum at Caesars on Nov. 26 ($75-$195), and I’d love to go if she’ll have me.
NOW ON SALE: Yeah, $293 is a steep price to pay for Stevie Wonder’s New Year’s Eve show at the Cosmo. But the man isn’t getting any younger, and he’s recorded quite a bit of musical history. I can think of few better ways to begin a new year than with a sing-along of “Fingertips.”