Tour Buzz

SOUL MOOD: If you see one show this week, make sure it’s old-school R&B/neo-soul artist Aloe Blacc at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool (9 p.m. July 26, $20). Blacc delivers original, emotionally stirring material. Although he’s better-known in England, you might’ve heard “I Need a Dollar” during the intro of the HBO show How To Make It in America. He made two different videos for the song. My favorite is the one where Blacc hitches a ride along Interstate 15 to Las Vegas and sings the anxious lyrics: If God has a plan for me/I hope it ain’t written in stone/Because I’ve been working/Working myself to the bone/And I swear on grandpa’s grave/I’ll get paid when I get home. He ends up on the Strip, performing at the Cosmo and spending his last quarter on a slot. Great video, tune and performer.

PIANO MEN: The Cosmo hosts another nifty show the following evening (9 p.m. July 27, $75). Denver’s The Fray bring their piano-rock sound to the Chelsea. Sure, 2005’s “Over My Head (Cable Car)” is overplayed. But The Fray displays a surprising amount of depth, refusing to be saddled as “that band with a few good tunes.” Their last album, Scars & Stories, was released to mixed reviews in February. But their most recent single “Run for Your Life” is excellent. The Fray is joined by Kelly Clarkson, still touring in support of last year’s very strong Stronger album, and by Charleston, S.C., indie-pop band Carolina Liar, who boast that catchy hit “Show Me What I’m Looking For.” In sum, this is a power-pop lover’s wet dream.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Tickets are still on sale for Latin pop singers Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez. Together they’re set to heat up Mandalay Bay Events Center at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 ($45-$250) as part of a 26-date summer tour. Expect a massive stage production and cool costumes and choreography.

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Movie Review


By Tribune Media Services

Oliver Stone’s return to the big screen proves that marijuana cultivation, sales and distribution are the right way to live large and menage-a-trois it through endless summer days. Chon (Taylor Kitsch) is an ex-Navy SEAL who, along with his bro-pal Ben (Aaron Johnson), starts a wildly successful marijuana endeavor. Business booms, and Salma Hayek’s Mexican cartel takes notice, which leads to kidnapping of the bros’ best girl (Blake Lively), and masterful turn by Benicio del Toro as Hayek’s henchman.