Las Vegas Sun

January 19, 2022

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Penn Jillette helps Bronson band create Vegas magic

Foreigner’s Domenick Allen also takes stage for show at Green Valley Ranch

Penn Jillette

Mark Damon

Penn Jillette performs The Beatles’ “Come Together” with the Lon Bronson All-Star Band at Green Valley Ranch on Jan. 29, 2009.

Beyond the Sun

Now this is Vegas.

“I’m a magician and I’m a juggler, so I’m going to sing for you,” says Penn Jillette, launching into a rambling explanation of how this song was written as the campaign theme for Timothy Leary’s bid for California governor, aborted when Leary ended up in jail.

“Try not to think too hard about the first two words of the song when you think about who wrote it,” Jillette says as he screams out “Shoot me” and the Lon Bronson All-Star Band drops into a horn-drenched arrangement of “Come Together.”

At the end of the song, Jillette put down the broken mike stand and pointed to the band:

“This is Vegas.”

Jillette wasn’t the only guest who appeared on stage for the Bronson band’s Thursday night visit to the Ovation Lounge at Green Valley Ranch. Domenick Allen, the former Foreigner vocalist, ripped apart “Let the Good Times Roll.”

Not that the All-Star Band needs any help. The 13-piece unit is made up of some of the best players in Las Vegas plus a go-go dancer. (It’s a sin to try to single out one musician from this talented group, but Garrett Hypes just smokes on baritone sax.)

Was it just me or did the band sound particularly tight Thursday night? They blew through two nonstop hours of great arrangements including "Try a Little Tenderness,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Gimme Shelter,” “You’re Still a Young Man,” “Fire,” “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and a wonderful Who medley of “Tommy Overture-Pinball Wizard-5:15-Baba O’Riley.”

They asked that musical question “What Is Hip?”

The Lon Bronson All-Star Band playing a free show for a packed house of locals.

That is hip.

But please don’t make us wait till June 5 at the Cannery to see these guys again.

Somebody give this band at least a semi-regular gig.

That should be Vegas.

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