Kris Kristofferson

Nov. 25, Orleans Showroom

It took awhile to get the one-man show in gear on this Friday night. Maybe it was the onstage technical difficulties, which bothered the star and, only in turn, the audience. Maybe it was because we’re not getting any younger: Kristofferson is 75 now (that’s about 110 in Outlaw years), and the audience that filled the showroom seemed even older (hard to believe Janis Joplin hit No. 1 with the Kristofferson-penned “Me and Bobby McGee” 40 years ago). Plus, as the legendary songwriter would admit, it’s always been a little difficult to warm up to his voice, which sounds like an old car engine on a winter’s morning. But eventually, not long after an awkward little duet with surprise guest Jessi Colter (wife of the late Waylon Jennings) on “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” we all settled in for a steady stream of Kristofferson life stories, from ancient classics such as “For the Good Times” (country music’s Song of the Year for Ray Price in 1970) to a couple of introspective numbers off his 2009 album, Closer to the Bone. The high point of the evening came near the end, with a double dose of soul-searching beauties from his early Nashville days, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “The Silver-Tongued Devil and I.” By then, everything except for that dang sound monitor was in sync, thanks to Kristofferson’s good humor, great lyrics and a voice whose rumble now works in harmony with his age.

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If you grew up in California East, er Las Vegas, during the ’90s, your CD collection likely included Snoop Dogg (pictured), E-40, DJ Quik, Ice Cube and Too Short. You probably dreamed about a concert where California’s entire rap scene performed their greatest hits just so you could throw up your West Coast hand sign and represent for the best coast. That time has come: Those artists invade the Planet Hollywood Theater for the Performing Arts on Nov. 26 for the West Coast All-Stars show.



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