THEY LIVE: Tesla is the Abe Vigoda of bands: Until I recently learned otherwise, I honestly believed that this 1980s hard-rock band had perished long ago. In a way, it did: The band went on an extended hiatus from 1996 to 2000, due to the usual stuff: substance abuse, “spending more time with family,” what have you. And the 10-years-reunited Tesla that’s playing the House of Blues on Jan. 7 ($40) is something of a bootleg: Original guitarist Tommy Skeoch left the band in 2006. But the rest of Tesla is still alive, still working and keen to entertain you … just like Abe Vigoda.
NET GAINES: I spent the better part of the 1990s disliking Garth Brooks. I didn’t like his brand of pop-country music, and I didn’t appreciate the way he put on a wig and called himself “Chris Gaines” with the intent of getting people to buy Garth Brooks records through stealth. But I can’t deny that I’ve been hearing one good thing after another about his residency at Wynn Las Vegas (Jan. 5-7, 27-28 and various dates through June, $253), and I’m thinking this post-holiday ebb in my social calendar might be the time to check him out. Los Angeles Times writer Randy Lewis wrote “there’s still nobody who works an audience like Brooks.” Even some locals have confided in me that they came away impressed. (Cough, Dayvid Figler, cough.) Garth, buddy, it’s our time.
NOW ON SALE: There are a number of shows to look forward to in this end-times year, and it bodes well that one of the first announced is Justice at the Cosmopolitan on April 19 ($48). This French dance-rock dynamo provides everything we could want from a Vegas show in an apocalyptic year: chest-thumping beats and the kind of superstar charisma that a visit here seems to amplify in certain performers. People will be talking about this one the next day—assuming there is one.