Published Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 | 8:43 a.m.
Updated Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 | 10:49 a.m.
Brandon Flowers has a certain fascination with Las Vegas landmarks. As a kid, he often peered at the tall walls at Casa de Shenandoah and wondered what was going on inside those golden gates.
As the frontman for the Las Vegas superstar rock band The Killers, Flowers has since been given a private tour of that famous estate and ranch. And announced today, his band is opening the next great Las Vegas venue, Las Vegas Arena, on April 6. Listed as the band’s “special guest” is “Mr. Las Vegas” himself, Wayne Newton.
Announced this morning on the “Mercedes in the Morning” radio show on 94.1 The Mix, The Killers and Newton, joined by North Las Vegas EDM artist Shamir, will be the first to perform at the new 20,000-seat arena. Tickets are on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. by calling 888.9.AXS.TIX and online at AXS.com. The starting price is remarkably reasonable, at $35, and up to $90.
The Killers have not performed live with Newton before, and it is yet to be announced how the lineup of performances will unfold. Earlier this year, Flowers took part in a Billboard magazine story and photo shoot with Newton at Shenandoah, both men clad in tuxedos and posed around the property.
Also, in the summer of 2012, Newton joined several famous Las Vegas figures (Andre Agassi, Carrot Top, Cirque du Soleil artists and the cast of “Jubilee,” among them) for a video tour of the band’s Battle Born studios in Las Vegas.
During the interview on the radio show this morning, Flowers said that he’d seen the list of performers scheduled to perform in the arena’s first few months (George Strait, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson and Dixie Chicks already announced) and believed that The Killers belonged in that group.
“We’re really excited about it. I saw advertisements for George Strait, who was coming in, and that’s great, but I just thought, ‘We should be there to christen the arena,’ ” Flowers said. “I’m really glad it worked out.”
Also announced today is a pair of shows added to Brooks’ schedule at the arena. He will perform at 7 p.m. June 24 and 25. Brooks’ previously booked dates are 7 p.m. July 2 and 7, 10:30 p.m. July 3 and 5 p.m. July 4. (Tickets are $85, including taxes and fees, and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday at 1-844-634-2784 and GarthVegas.com).
The former headliner at Encore Theater in Wynn Las Vegas was most recently in Las Vegas on Wednesday night to perform in the “Sinatra 100: A Grammy Celebration” telecast, also from Encore Theater, which aired Sunday on CBS.
Newton, of course, was a contemporary of Sinatra’s and has logged more than 30,000 shows in the city since he arrived with his brother, Jerry, in 1959. Mr. Las Vegas has not performed a ticketed show in Las Vegas since closing his “Once Before I Go” run at Tropicana in April 2010.
Of Newton, Flowers said, “He’s still Mr. Las Vegas, and it’s very appropriate to have him there. He’s been part of this town for longer than I’ve been around.”
The Killers also issued a statement, collectively, about the booking, whimsically saying:
“Notorious libertines of the unofficial Republic of Vegas, rejoice! We are very pleased to be able to pay our gambling debts by playing a show, uh-hum, the first show, at Las Vegas Arena! Plus, we’re bringing some Las Vegas newcomers to help us, as well: Wayne Newton and Shamir! Please join us for fun, and be sure to bring a positive mental attitude, and the deed to your house if need be. Tickets available at all the regular outlets. Otherwise, see our bass player Mark for guest list.
Peace and love,
Bobby Reynolds, vice president of booking for arena partner AEG Live, said in the news release: “It’s only fitting that we open the new Las Vegas Arena with the biggest and most successful performers to come out of Las Vegas. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome The Killers home to this incredible new venue and back to their adoring Las Vegas fans.”
Added Rick Arpin, representative for Las Vegas Arena: “The opening act for the Las Vegas Arena has been subject to lots of speculation, but in our mind it always made sense to celebrate Las Vegas and its homegrown talent. We want Las Vegas to know this is ‘your house,’ and we look forward to making The Killers feel right at home.”
They should feel that way, no question. We are a long way from Cafe Espresso Roma and also Carnival Lounge at Fremont Hotel. To get those references, do some research on the history of Las Vegas entertainment.