Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 | 3:31 p.m.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s new show “Soul2Soul” that opened at the Venetian this weekend is a dream come true for country music fans, and there’s no way that the Phantom of “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” could remain in his lair with “Soul2Soul’s” sexual suggestions, yet purity.
No theatrics whatsoever. No crashing chandelier. No dancing video effects. Just wall-to-wall, sexually tinged country music hits from the reigning king and queen. All the power of an arena show had been squeezed into a concert theater and kept so private and personal, one actually feels cherished by both of them.
They hug, hold hands, kiss, rub each other’s thighs and knees. This is rare onstage intimacy. No wonder they sing, in “Its Your Love,” “It sends a shock right through me.” Through us, too! I kept thinking we were so intertwined within their love, we were all heartbeats away from making out.
We got so wrapped up in that intimacy, I’m certain many members of the audience did exactly that instead of going to the casino afterward. I’m certain that Tim and Faith made out like bandits. When they sing about casting a spell over each other, they aren’t kidding. That spell goes over the audience, too.
The couple enter separately at the back of the theater and start the show singing as they glad hand and fist-pump fans down the two aisles. They end the show together hand in hand exiting the stage through the crowd and the rear theater doors. It’s a symbol of arriving and departing together.
When they sit on two low chairs for the final song with just one mic separating them and sing looking into each other’s eyes, you think they are seconds from a full-throttle makeout session. “I Need You,” the two implore each other. I hope everybody’s married life is this smokin’. There is no question that Tim and Faith are still in love with each other -- maybe much more so -- in 16 years of marriage.
There were sparks between the couple throughout the show. Even ruggedly handsome Tim said of his movie-star-looks wife, “This is hot! You are hot!” Maybe the reason he leaped off-stage for a loop around the audience was to cool down a little. After all, the lyrics at that moment spoke of making love from sun up till the sun came up again.
In the Q+A, the audience listened as Tim talked of his love for the Eagles and Rush. Faith said she always remembered her church music and Aretha Franklin. When they sat center stage on stools for that portion, they admitted that it was the first time they’d done it in one of their shows and were a little nervous.
Their band made up of Nashville musicians from their backup groups increased the intensity of the combustion with every number. The former Phantom theater guarantees perfect acoustics. The high-powered guitarists strum at hurricane-force winds within the silver bar-framed, vortex-shaped stage; think of Boeing 747 engine fan blades revving up for take off to soaring heights or a locomotive roaring into a tunnel.
Tim gave away his first guitar of the night to a tiny girl, Skyler, sitting in the front row who is now obviously his No. 1 fan right behind Faith. For Faith’s fans, I dutifully report that she wore five outfits during the 90-minute show. Tim wore a black suit during Saturday’s first show and a gray suit at the 10:30 p.m. performance I attended.
There’s no question that these two superstars delivered what they promised. Like the Pied Piper, they could have had all 1,800 in the audience follow them along the Strip singing in line behind them as they left the theater.
They’ll be back at the Venetian for nine more weekends under the current deal, so there’s plenty of dawn-to-dawn time in between for their intimacy. Meantime, actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson dined at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT with Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti in the adjoining Palazzo after attending “Soul2Soul.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.