“No disrespect to the men, but this show is for all the ladies!” Mary J. Blige shouted from behind her red-rimmed shades that matched her red playsuit as the sea of women roared their approval. In a stop on her Liberation Tour—which also featured Melanie Fiona and the super-funky return of D’Angelo from a decadelong hiatus—the nine-time Grammy winner had every feminine voice (and even some masculine ones) singing along to her endless catalog of “I’m strong and don’t need your tired ass” tunes that have defined her career. Blige doesn’t sing so much as she performs exorcisms on her tormented soul—each vocal was so heart-wrenching and beautifully unique. From the upbeat post-relationship odes “Just Fine” and “Mr. Wrong” to the poignant “Not Gon’ Cry,” complete with emotional pantomime and a form-fitting black dress (likely for the no-good dude’s funeral), the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul proved why she has reigned supreme for two decades. ★★★★☆
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.