Ant-eater Survivorman launches show in hopes of a regular Vegas gig

He’s known as “Survivorman,” the guy on the Discovery Channel who outruns jaguars and eats ants in the wild, and now he’s hoping to begin a Las Vegas residency — a “Survivorman’s Mother Earth” stage show of music, visuals and storytelling.

On Sunday, Survivorman, the rugged he-man Les Stroud, will perform “Survivorman Live!” at club Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.

Stroud surprised me Wednesday by telling me promoters will be at that show to assess the possibility of blowing it up into a regular “Survivorman” run in Vegas or on tour.

A business partner in his “Mother Earth” project is Las Vegas-based Doug Adams, the pro who has done pyro for everyone from Paul McCartney to Metallica and Madonna.

“He’s the best in the world at stage special effects,” Stroud said.

By the way, this interview was conducted while Stroud was overcoming belly illness after having just survived an excursion into the wilds of India. “I actually had 12 ticks on me, but one of them found a real nice place to hide,” he said.

Anyway, Stroud has been playing guitar and harmonica for decades. He even has an upcoming gig with guitar great Jonny Lang.

So what does Survivorman’s full band sound like?

“It’s like Dave Matthews meets Tool,” he said.

The Sunday show at club Vinyl will be a blended multimedia show of music performed in sync with big-screen video, integrated with “Survivorman” stories.

“My drummer has to be in sync with everything that goes on,” he said. “It’s a grand explosion of rock meets nature.”

For instance, Stroud’s band will play a song, and then he’ll take questions from the audience, tell “Survivorman” stories that fans always want to hear.

He’s not singing ballads.

“I’m no fool. Nobody wants to see a 53-year-old guy building shelters in the bush singing love songs,” he said.

Stroud is a funny guy. And he’s self-aware. I prodded him to see if he sees himself like Bruce Willis did, when Willis became a blues singer once, and Stroud laughed off my suggestion.

“I know some people might think, ‘Is this some TV star who wants to be a rock star?’ ” he said. “It’s just not the case. It really is another expression of the message I’ve always had, which is about connecting to nature. I express that in ‘Survivorman,’ and I express it onstage.

“I’m not standing on a rock stage with a rock persona saying, ‘We need to love trees, everybody.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve been to the jungles and the deserts, and here’s what you need to connect to.’ ”

Stroud is a regular tourist in Vegas. He comes here half a dozen times a year, he said.

“I don’t gamble, but I love the entertainment,” he said. “And I’m a foodie. The best restaurants in the world are in Vegas, so I come to Vegas ready to eat.”

I asked him what level of Vegasness he would allow into “Mother Earth,” such as showgirls or topless dancers.

“Absolutely not,” he said, laughing. “The whole point is to maintain the authenticity and the integrity of the message.

“It’s like what I do with ‘Survivorman.’ Everyone knows I’m the only guy who really does it (that is, filming himself surviving in the wilderness, alone). Every other show that came after me was a copycat version of me. They go home at night, and they have directors. I just got back from India, and I was really out in the jungle surviving among tigers.”

If you’re wondering, tigers are the least of his concerns on a typical day.

“Bugs are more of a problem than big creatures,” he said.

“Ants are my biggest nemesis, actually. Mosquitoes are one thing. But it just always seems I’ve got ants somewhere when I’m trying to find a place to sleep. Nothing is sacred to an ant. They’re everywhere. It’s tricky. And in the jungle, they’re nasty.”

Contact Doug Elfman at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman. Find him on Twitter: @VegasAnonymous

Entertainment
Meow Wolf opening an 'otherworldly' art experience in Las Vegas
Meow Wolf opening "otherworldly" art experience in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Celebrate Margarita Day With The Hot Damn Margarita
Celebrate Margarita Day With The Hot Damn Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Yard House margarita changes color in the glass
The cocktail, as made by lead bartender Taylor Cole at Town Square in Las Vegas, changes from deep blue to magenta because of a chemical reaction between its butterfly pea flowers and citrus agave. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Black History Month Festival
Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd, to celebrate Black History Month. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing