The Canadian rumba-flamenco guitarist showed off his sultry fret board-shredding style to a sizeable suburban audience of Hendersonians. Backed by a killer band—percussionist Rosendo “Chendy” Leon, guitarist Nicolas Hernandez, bassist Dennis Mohammed, violinist Chris Church—Cook cooked. He noted that the pavilion, with its majestic lighting and fog-machine billows, lent itself to a rock-show format. “We usually play delicate little theaters,” he said. “So feel free to form a mosh pit.” Sadly, there was no stage diving, although the music was incendiary—and yet also often quite lovely. Highlights included a dreamy, fluttering “Parasol” and Armenian-flavored “Incantation,” blessed by multi-instrumentalist Church’s playing of the duduk (wind instrument). The dancing didn’t start until well after intermission, when Cook launched into a searing, strutting “Matisse the Cat” from his 2008 album Frontiers. Given that he was entertaining a mostly boomer-aged crowd, he made the smart move of encoring with Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” In sum, this was a tremendous performance in an underappreciated facility. ★★★★☆
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.