Vegas Seven

Concert Review

  • Concert Review

    Betty Buckley

    By Danny Axelrod

    On the first of a four-show run, the Broadway legend tackled with aplomb the gender-bending task of performing songs traditionally written for men. The result was fun and fluid as she engaged the audience in a master class of great American songwriting. Backed by a flawless trio, including French pianist and arranger Christian Jacob, Buckley culled from a variety of sources, beginning with “I Can See It” from The Fantasticks. It quickly became an intimate affair, as Buckley shared her connection to each song from her album, Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway.

  • Concert Review

    Deftones

    By Deanna Rilling

    Whether it was the recent release of the Deftones’ seventh studio album, or the sold-out venue, Chino Moreno seemed a new, reinvigorated front man. Amid the hot and sweaty atmosphere of bodies packing every spare inch of the House of Blues, Moreno was a burst of microphone-swinging energy while guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s long locks waved in the breeze of a foot-of-the-stage fan.

  • Concert Review

    Wiz Khalifa

    I was just about to turn the lights off in my Jeep when a guy approached my driver’s side window, holding up a black Wiz Khalifa T-shirt for sale. I shook my head no, grabbed my Gucci bag and made my way to will call. The parking lot reeked of marijuana smoke and college kids who were definitely living “Young, Wild & Free.” My night was about to get very interesting.

  • Concert Review

    The Jacksons’ Unity Tour

    By Deanna Rilling

    In sequined attire, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine Jackson channeled their hits and performed precision signature choreography. Highlights included flawless renditions of “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “I’ll Be There.” Their father, Joe Jackson, was also in the house. Cries of “Michael!” abounded when the brothers shared vocal duties on “I Wanna Be Where You Are” and “Rock With You.” Superfans shed tears during a video montage.

  • Concert Review

    Willie Nelson and Family

    By Phil Hagen

    If it had been awhile since you’d seen Willie live, there was no doubt an anxious adjustment period when he shuffled out from the wings and ground his way through the first few songs. The old Outlaw, who turns 80 in April, is no longer able to lay into “Whiskey River”—his traditional rousing concert-opener—in the same spine-tingling way, and “Still Is Still Moving to Me” simply didn’t have much snap.

  • Concert Review

    The Roxy Gunn Project

    By Maureen Hank

    Roxy Gunn, the band’s auburn-tressed, guitar-playing front-woman, brought a pulse and edginess to the Gibson Artist Showcase. The sound of her warm, velvety vocals was spot-on, and the crowd of about 30 was just right for the intimate setting.

  • Concert Review

    Cannibal Corpse on the Summer Slaughter Tour

    By Brjden Crewe

    The sixth annual Summer Slaughter tour is self-described as “the most extreme tour of the year.” So did it live up to that claim? Yes and yes.

  • Concert Review

    Aretha Franklin

    By Sean DeFrank

    That voice. Powerful and passionate, it remains one of the great forces of nature, as expansive as it is expressive. Despite health issues in recent years, the 70-year-old Queen of Soul showed why Rolling Stone named her the “greatest singer of all time,” displaying a range and command that can still send shivers down your spine. Supported firmly by a 20-piece band that included 10 horn players, three backup singers and her son Teddy on guitar, Franklin appeared fit as she opened with the Jackie Wilson classic “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.”

  • Concert Review

    k.d. lang

    By Deanna Rilling

    As she crooned “I’ll Be Your Daddy” on the opening song “I Confess,” cheers for k.d. lang erupted from the largely female audience. Framed by vintage spotlights, lang oozed androgynous sex appeal into the packed house. Backed by her talented Siss Boom Bang band, lang’s voice was a strong female version of Elvis Presley or Roy Orbison, crooning through “Summer Fling,” “The Water’s Edge” and “Miss Chatelaine.”

  • Concert Review

    Stephen Sondheim

    By Steve Bornfeld

    Complaint: 90 minutes wasn’t enough. Caveat: Two days wouldn’t be, either. Such was the no-win burden carried by Stephen Sondheim: A Life in the Theater, a nonetheless fascinating evening of insights and anecdotes from the iconic, 82-year-old Broadway composer whose canon includes Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park With George. 

  • Concert Review

    Kottonmouth Kings

    By Michelle Franco

    The Southern California band has been singing the praises of peace, love, unity and marijuana for 15 years. And loyal fans were more than ready to celebrate the season with their Jingle Bowls tour stop. Greeted by a familiar aroma drifting through the crowd, the Kings blasted into the very appropriate “Where’s the Weed?” From there, it was a nonstop, marijuana-praising good time. The four MCs—D-Loc, Daddy X, Johnny Richter and The Dirtball—evenly and seamlessly shared the mic.

  • Concert Review

    The Nines

    By Michelle Franco

    For the second year in a row, the local band played a matinee performance at Pastramikah, the Double Down’s annual pastrami-themed holiday celebration. Getting in the spirit of the season, the five-piece outfit, which has been blasting mashed-up jazz and punk classic for 15 years, altered the names of its songs to fit the holiday. Opener “Pastrami Hugger” was a funky, bluesy indicator of the fun to come. But there was also “Take Pastrami” (originally “Take Five” by the Dave Brubreck Quartet) and “Sandwich Crusher” (originally “The Crusher” by the Atlantics).

  • Concert Review

    Charlie Daniels Band

    By Sean DeFrank

    Daniels’ fan base comes largely from the country-music crowd, but the legendary fiddler’s style has always been more Southern rock than anything—incorporating jazz and blues into his repertoire much like ’70s contemporaries the Allman Brothers Band and Marshall Tucker Band.

  • Concert Review

    Minus the Bear

    By Michelle Franco

    The first few songs warmed up the crowd for the surprise of the evening: Lead vocalist/guitarist Jake Snider announced that in, honor of 10 years as a band, they would be playing their first album, Highly Refined Pirates (2002), in its entirety.

  • Concert Review

    Martina McBride

    By Jack Halloween

    The country music beauty blew the roof off the venue as her voice soared to the highest limits during her fun and folksy show. From the sweet a cappella whispering on “Whatever You Say” to the booming vocals that soared higher than the stratosphere on “Whatcha Gonna Do,” McBride displayed the amazing range of her pipes. The encore performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” even garnered a standing ovation.

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