Always a poet, a punner, a master of metaphors and clever references, the Motown legend took the stage inside a giant Baby Boomer-stuffed ballroom and opened with “Going to a Go-Go.” Second song? “I Second That Emotion.” At 71, he dances like a fool, cracks jokes and tells stories about the salad days—when he used to compose tunes for another act (the Temptations) in his head while driving his own touring band the Miracles cross-country. Robinson told of when he attended a record-company Christmas party so Stevie Wonder could hand him a tape of music, asking Robinson to write lyrics. The result: “Tears of a Clown,” heartily delivered here. With a six-piece band, backup singers and dancers, Robinson doesn’t cut corners. Sure, his Temptations medley sags and his rendition of jazz standard “Fly Me to the Moon” and cover of Norah Jones’ song “Don’t Know Why” should be tossed. But his slow-jam version of “Ooo Baby Baby” drew a standing O, and recent ballad “Time Flies,” about life’s brevity and inevitable decay, did what the best pop songs do—stop time, if only for a few minutes. ★★★★★
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Gorillaz are coming to Las Vegas for the first time ever. 2016’s Grammy winner for best new artist, Chance the Rapper, will return. English rockers Muse will bring their dizzying live show to the streets of Downtown. And that’s just the top of an eclectic bill that features more than 70 acts, along with comedy, interactive art installations, a group art exhibit featuring the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson and Shepard Fairey and much more. Last year saw more than 137,000 attendees trod the festival footprint. Who’s ready for more?
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.