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Babyface headlines, and now he’s a Vegas resident

Updated November 6, 2023 - 7:41 am

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the Perch at Allegiant Stadium, officially the press deck, overlooking the Raiders-Giants tilt. Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds sang a silky version of the “The Star Spangled Banner” in a star-spangled jacket.

We have learned during Babyface’s visit he’s now a Las Vegas resident. Not a resident headliner, but an actual local. Just moved here, and was announced as a new Las Vegas resident. Other local superstars in the crowd were Carlos Santana and his wife, Cindy Blackman Santana. Rick Ross was the halftime show headliner.

Mickey Thomas of Starship and rock-guitar great and ex-Eagles (the band) member Don Felder is in the mix; we can verify his presence because we ran into him outside the stadium before the game. I reminded him of the time a few years ago when he taught me a block chord on his Gibson Les Paul. This was before his performance with Styx at The Venetian.

“I remember that,” he smiled. “You gave us a good review.” That was an easy call.

Earlier we were behind the bandstand, at Al Davis Memorial Torch rocking with David Perrico and the Raiders House band. Melvin Jones of Usher’s band joined the performance. The house band is now inviting pop-in performers, and Jones is the first.

Usher also welcomed a guest this weekend, as Ludacris took the stage at Dolby Live on Friday night. We expect more of Usher next year, and not just the 2024 Super Bowl. More Dolby Live shows for him.

And also, on the topic of Dolby Live, we (still) feel Lady Gaga will return with “Jazz + Piano.” She’s been off for a month, but MGM Resorts continues to promote the show on social media, by reminding everyone she’s been off for a month.

U2 revives “Seconds”

U2 unearthed “Seconds,” the penetrating cut from “War,” in their weekend shows at the Sphere. The band had not played that song live since 1985. Bono introduced the song with, “A great Adam Clayton bassline that he has not played for 40 years.” The Edge sang most of the song. “Good singing,” Bono, who is the singer, said at the end.

Though dedicated to a full run of “Achtung Baby,” the production allows for shifts in the set list early in the show. This is where Gaga sang “Shallow” when she joined the band on Oct.25, and also where the video technology is dialed back.

Chéri launches

Chéri has premiered at Paris Las Vegas, hosting its grand opening Friday night. The place hit the right night with the weather. It was a gorgeous evening, and the sights of the Strip are wonderful. At the moment, those sights are of the F1 grandstands on the Strip. But usually its the Bellagio Fountains and Eiffel Tower from that deck. The vibe is Parisian garden meets Las Vegas Strip.

This is the graduated version of Chateau, which needed to graduate. The last time I was on that patio was for the “Bat Out of Hell” opening party 13 months ago. Prior to that, it was six years ago for the launch event for “Sex Tips.” So it has been too long — too long, I tell you! — between visits.

To us, the place is “Shaq-Chic” — he’s a partner in JRS Hospitality, which owns and operates the place. Perry Rogers is also a partner. Winners beget winning, and we will be back — and within 13 months.

Smart move

Tech rich man Bill Gates and a party of 15 dined at Casa Playa at the Wynn on Saturday night. Private dining room for Gates & Co., dining on Executive Chef Sarah Thompson’s “elevated” coastal Mexican creations.

Four reasons Elvis lives in Vegas …

1. U2 performs “Can’t Help Falling in Love” at the Sphere.

2. Kylie Minogue sings that song in her show at Voltaire.

3. Dita Von Teese has bracketed her “Dita Las Vegas” show at Horseshoe with a new version of “Viva Las Vegas.”

4. Priscilla Presley is just wrapping her one-woman, storytelling, multimedia show at South Point Showroom.

Cool Hang Alert

Master blues man JW-Jones and his band headline Sand Dollar Downtown at the Plaza 10 p.m. Thursday. Jones won the After was awarded Best Guitarist at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Jimmie Vaughan guests on his latest relealse, “Everything Now.” Great show, especially for no-cover. As always, try the pizza.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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