Vinyl’s first artist to enjoy an extended residency—spunky, punky, uptempo R&B-belter Chantal Claret, who looks dynamite in a black-and-white dress, by the way—played to a decent, responsive crowd at the Hard Rock’s newest live-music venue. Despite a retro approach, the flame-haired front woman’s Vegas lounge debut didn’t suffer in the “rocked-up ferocity” department, mainly because of her sleek, sharply dressed (black suits and ties) band. From butt-kickin’ opener “Bite Your Tongue,” which nibbles on the edge of a Eurythmics pop-soul tribute, to the straight-up Motown finale of “Light It Up,” Claret never let up. Stage presence lacked nothing, either, as Claret and her beautiful backup singers danced, strutted and handclapped in synchronized fashion throughout a 15-song set. There was some variety, too, including covers like, bizarrely, ’90s garage-stomp band Thee Headcoatees’ “Davy Crockett,” for which Claret saucily donned a raccoon-skin hat, and British synth duo Erasure’s “Chains of Love.” Gotta credit the Hard Rock for inviting original music of such high quality into a niche that was, years ago, wasted on acts like Alien Ant Farm. In any case, Claret’s show cooks. ★★★★☆
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.