Everyone at Rod Stewart’s show Saturday night felt the tribute coming.
It happened early, a moment fittingly poignant and rocking.
“You’ve all heard by now that we lost Chuck Berry today,” Stewart told the near-capacity crowd at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. “I don’t think there is a band, or a guitar player — not just in America, but around the world — who does not know Chuck Berry. He has been a big influence for all us British rock stars.”
Cheers rained down as he continued, “Everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Sex Pistols were influenced by him.”
Stewart then dedicated “Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” to Berry. That Berry original kicks off Stewart’s 1974 “Smiler” album, and it’s been part of his lineup at the Colosseum. Stewart later called out the late bassist Ronnie Lane, his band mate from his days with the Faces.
“Chuck is with Ronnie now,” Stewart said, glancing skyward. “They have a great band up there.”
STAR AT THE GATE
I met Berry once, years ago at McCarran International Airport. It was July 2003, and Berry had played Orleans Arena with Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard in a rock ‘n’ roll all-star show the previous evening. While waiting to board a Southwest flight to Salt Lake City, I spotted two gentlemen wearing blue-and-white captain’s hats.
One looked sort of like Chuck Berry, enough so that he could play Berry in “Legends in Concert.” But the other, I knew, had to be Chuck Berry. I asked the lookalike if I was right. He said I was but, “Don’t make a big deal about it.”
Moments later Berry walked toward me and I introduced myself. He quietly said he was heading back to St. Louis, then leaned in close and added, “You’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll.” His companion told me he said that to everyone, and I have never doubted Chuck Berry.
More details about the Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion-draft shindig: An event is planned for June 20 or 21, which coincides with the National Hockey League’s expansion selection. The team is discussing options with NHL officials, including pairing the party with the league’s annual awards show.
The 2017 awards site has not been announced; however, the NBC Sports Network will broadcast the event as it has from previous locations, including the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms, Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas and the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Many expect the Knights’ draft party will be held at T-Mobile Arena, with seating offered to the team’s season-ticket holders first. Support for the Golden Knights has been impressive, with about 5,000 fans turning out for the team’s name announcement at Toshiba Square in November, and another 9,000 — with no action on the ice whatsoever — at T-Mobile in February for the team’s open house.
THE SPACE, AND THE LOUIE
The first “Louie Anderson Presents: The After Show” comedy showcase at The Space filled the venue’s 100-seat, black box theater Saturday night. Anderson, who’s lent his name and support to the open-mic series for VegasVille comics, appeared onstage to open inaugural show. Also taking part were: Halli Borgfjord, Jay Mandyam, Bryan Erwin, Griff Pippin and Brenton Biddlecombe.
The “After Show” starts at 10:30 p.m.; the next shows are scheduled for April 22, May 13, June 17 and July 15.
WHO WAS WHERE
Victoria’s Secret “Angel” model Taylor Hill celebrating her 21st birthday Friday night with fellow model friends at Yellowtail at Bellagio … Reality-show phenom and longtime Kourtney Kardashian romantic partner, Scott Disick, at the Sugar Factory opening celebration Saturday night at Fashion Show Mall … NFL QB Mark Sanchez (yes, a close call on making the cut in this list), also Saturday at Yellowtail … At Saturday’s 8 p.m. performance of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, Ashton Irwin and Calum Hood of 5 Seconds of Summer … San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorroBowman, at Chris Brown’s return late Saturday night at Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.