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. ★★★★☆
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.