Friday, June 6, 2014 | 6 p.m.
What is it about music? And the many forms it appeals to us? Some words of wisdom as a very musical weekend envelops Las Vegas:
“Music’s the medicine of the mind.” ~John A. Logan
This weekend’s MGM Grand headliner Billy Joel said: “Music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
“You are the music while the music lasts.” ~T.S. Eliot
Perhaps it was U2 frontman Bono who summed it up best: “ Music can change the world because it can change people.”
Even with the 146th annual running of the Belmont Stakes, where California Chrome is tipped to win the coveted Triple Crown, a lot of attention — and photographers — will focus on the veteran glamour girls and modern-day pin-up showgirl striptease artists at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend events at the Orleans.
The Titans of Tease is the world’s largest and longest-running burlesque event with four days and nights of entertainment culminating with the crowning of Miss Exotic World on Sunday. It’s a sexy and exciting fundraiser with “Living Legends” for the Burlesque Hall of Fame (BurlesqueHall.com), the only museum of its kind to feature the history and artists of burlesque and located right here on Fremont Street.
Talented and titillating performers have arrived from as far away as Australia, Russia, Switzerland, Germany and Canada and all across America. Thanks to Holly Madison for keeping Las Vegas burlesque very much alive with her incredible dancers at her new 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque cabaret club in Mandalay Bay. With cinched corsets and seamed stockings and suspenders, Holly has reignited interest in the art.
At the Hall of Fame Burlesque show, it’s all about red carpet parties, naked girls, fashion shows with more glam, pasties, tassels, body glitter, sparkles and feathers that you can imagine. Elsewhere this weekend, however, it’s all about music.
There’s the seemingly odd coupling of Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green at Mandalay Bay Events Center competing against Kid Rock at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool and Brown Sabbath at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq. Then Billy Joel returns after a long absence to the MGM Grand Garden Arena going up against Stain’d at Pearl at the Palms and The Dan Band at Mandalay Bay.
It’s music of all sounds for all people, which is why poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said decades ago, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
So without any more “notes” to interrupt, let’s play our own Royal Robin Rundown with stars at the piano, on the mic and rocking the Las Vegas Valley this weekend:
FRIDAY, JUNE 6
Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green on Ellen
Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green team up at Mandalay Bay Event Center.
Detroit rocker Kid Rock is at Boulevard Pool for two nights.
Brownout presents Brown Sabbath at Brooklyn Bowl for two nights.
Hometown hero Clint Holmes rips through the pages of The Great American Songbook at the Smith Center all weekend.
Nashville Unplugged features Dave Pahanish at Club Madrid in Sunset Station.
Yandel is at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
Sin City Sinners is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Jay Leno, who performed one of the funniest shows of all time at Thursday night’s scleroderma fundraiser here at HOB, is at the Mirage.
Grandma Lee and Lynn Yafcheck are at Bonkerz Comedy Club in Silver Sevens for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets go on sale for Sister’s Summer School Catechism (Aug. 22–24), Arturo Sandoval (Sept. 12-14), Gordon Lightfoot (Sept. 24), Jerry Lewis (Sept. 30) and David Sedaris (Nov. 23) at the Smith Center.
Tickets go on sale for “The Australian Pink Floyd Show: Eclipsed By the Moon” (Sept. 26) and Crosby, Stills & Nash (Sept. 27) at Pearl at the Palms.
Tickets go on sale for David Gray (Aug. 30), Lorde with Majical Cloudz (Sept. 30) and Darius Rucker with Corey Smith (Oct. 18) at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend festivities are at the Orleans all weekend.
Cowtown Guitars and Max Pawn present the downtown opening of Exile on Main Street with a performance by Jonny “2 Bags” Wickersham and free cocktails provided by Sailor Jerry Rum.
First Friday celebrates the art and science of sound for “Hear, Here” downtown.
“Ridiculousness” star Steelo Brim is at the Bank in Bellagio.
SATURDAY, JUNE 7
The original “Piano Man” Billy Joel is at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Staind is at Pearl at the Palms.
James Darren is at South Point for two nights.
“50 Shades! The Musical — The Original Parody” is at the Smith Center.
Tony Sacca’s Las Vegas Rocks Variety Show with comedian Louie Anderson, harpist virtuoso Mariano Gonzales and singer Anne Martinez is the Plaza Showroom.
Wilson Phillips is at Eastside Cannery.
Acoustic Alchemy is at Aliante.
The Dan Band is at HOB.
Kevin James is at the Mirage.
Tim Allen is at the Venetian.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets go on sale for Erasure at Pearl at the Palms on Oct. 31.
The 146th Belmont Stakes viewing party is at South Point’s Grand Ballroom.
Tuff-N-Uff is at UNLV.
Co-founder and dancer Kevin “K.B.” Brewer of Luxor headliner the Jabbawockeez hosts a dance and movement workshop at the Cultural Arts Training Foundation to benefit programs serving veterans with TBI and PTSD, battered women and bullied children.
KLUC 98.5 DJ Chet Buchanan is getting married at the D Las Vegas downtown, and the public is invited! The ceremony is on the Third Street Stage at 7 p.m.
Our colleagues at Vegas Magazine celebrate their 11th anniversary with cover star Gabrielle Union at Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub in the Cromwell. Don’t expect her fiance Dwyane Wade to be there, as his Miami Heat are battling the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Championships.
Olympic swimming champion Ryan Lochte, who is training for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, hosts his swim party at Azure Luxury Pool in Palazzo.
SUNDAY, JUNE 8
Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez competes in the 2014 Miss USA Pageant in Baton Rouge, La., and airing on NBC.
We’ll have reports and photos of the stars at work and play starting Sunday, so be sure to check back. Next week: Miss USA Pageant photos, The Amazing Johnathan’s wacky wedding, an interview with pop legend Rick Springfield and a preview of “The Book of Mormon” at the Smith Center.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.