RETURN TO SPLENDOR: I heard once that Billy Idol, who’s playing the Pearl on May 25 ($49-$89), actually lived in Las Vegas for a time during the 1980s. I can’t find substantiation of this anywhere, save for the cut-up KOMP sticker that’s stuck to his guitar in the video for “White Wedding” (ROCKS LAS VEGAS), a name-check in “Eyes Without a Face” (Steal a car and go to Las Vegas/oh, the gigolo pool), and an album whose name might have been inspired by UNLV’s student newspaper (Rebel Yell). But if it is true, it explains a few things about Billy Idol’s solo career after Generation X—the theatricality, the bombast, the crowd-pleasing anthems. The Rebel Yell LP is practically a megaresort, filled with awe-inspiring, yet screamingly artificial passages (“Rebel Yell” is as pop-metal a song as they come, yet Idol unabashedly declared it “punk”) and dark, alluring corners offering adult pleasures (“Flesh for Fantasy” and “Eyes Without a Face” were sexy in 1983, and they’re every bit as sexy now). I don’t know what Idol has planned for this Pearl gig, but I’d suggest he play Rebel Yell from start to finish, as a way of giving back. Or someone could give him a residency to do just that.
FLEETING GLORIES: As of this writing, tickets for Fleetwood Mac’s May 26 show at the MGM Grand ($55-$165) are sold out, though sometimes blocks of seats are released days before the show. My question is whether you actually want to see the band this way—short one founding member (Christine McVie retired in 1998), with only a handful of new songs (they just released a four-song EP), and on the distant other side from their critical and commercial peak. Still, it is Fleetwood Mac, and there won’t be another one. Your call.
NOW ON SALE: And they say “Pacific Rim” is the big robot vs. monster epic of the summer. Pitbull and Ke$ha, due to play at Mandalay Bay on June 15 ($60-$111), are two talented urban artists who also happen to be gigantic, profit-driven engines of world domination. Nations and lesser pop acts fall before their might like Midwest tourists before a two-for-one yard marg deal. It’s frankly difficult for me to think of this co-headlining tour as anything but a merger designed to crush all competition and, possibly, the Western seaboard. We really should construct a giant robot to respond.