Ryan Leslie

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, Sept. 20

In town on his Les Is More album tour, the hip-hop/R&B singer eschewed running through a bunch of tracks the crowd didn’t yet know in favor of the songs that got him in front of a packed poolside audience in the first place. Channeling his inner Curtis Mayfield, Leslie worked the keyboards while both rhyming and singing on “Beautiful Lie,” “Something That I Like” and “Diamond Girl,” during which he teased the women in the crowd with the song’s suggestive lyrics of marital commitment and expensive engagement rings. Leslie rocked the microphone on “5 Minute Freshen Up,” but the highlight of the night came with a local connection: After telling the audience a story about how a Las Vegas singer contacted him on Twitter before he came to town, Leslie invited the singer, Erika David, to join him onstage to sing part of “Addiction.” ★★★☆☆ —

Suggested Next Read

A Long Walk on the Wild Side

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A Long Walk on the Wild Side

By Chantal Corcoran

Back in February, when Cheryl Strayed last appeared in Las Vegas (she spoke on a panel about female novelists for UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute), nobody had really heard of her. She had a well-received but largely unknown novel, Torch (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). She had a week previously relinquished her anonymity as (unpaid) advice columnist Dear Sugar for the online magazine, The Rumpus. And she had a memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Knopf, $26) that was a month away from being published.

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