One might assume, in the waning days of a six-week Las Vegas residency, that aging operatic rock singer Meat Loaf, 66, would phone it in a bit. But Loaf’s Rocktellz & Cocktails remained fiery as the finish line drew closer. Let me be clear: He wasn’t in fine voice, but he’s always been a visceral, not a technical, singer–a Bat Out of Hell rather than a nightingale from heaven. He looked sweaty and gross, but he’s always looked this way. He cracked jokes about his appearance. But once he stopped talking and his explosive six-piece band–with ferociously throated backup singers–ripped into dark, throbbing tunes “Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” the reasons for his ’70s heyday became evident. In an era of anemic pop, Loaf’s messy grandiosity sounded vital. ★★★☆☆
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.