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Cheap Trick’s Vegas foray is a trek through time

Updated February 28, 2022 - 7:37 am

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Betfred at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. This is the boutique book operated by Mohegan Sun Casino. I haven’t understood why Virgin didn’t go more aggressive with its in-person sportsbook annex. You still can’t wager here, as the operators are not yet licensed in Nevada. So it feels more like a business center than sports betting center, like somewhere someone is printing faxes.

Maybe that’s what lured me in. I can just plug in and play and nobody’s bothering me.

More from here, there and everywhere:

A new Trick

Cheap Trick rehearsed on Friday.

“We don’t do that very often,” guitar great Rick Nielsen said a couple of hours before that rehearsal.

When was the last time the band rehearsed?

“Nineteen-seventy-four,” Nielsen said.

He was kidding. Cheap Trick last rehearsed in earnest before its performed its full-length “Sgt. Pepper Live” revival at the Las Vegas Hilton (today’s Westgate) in 2009. The band is back for a run at The Strat Theater, having opened this weekend and playing twice more Friday and Saturday.

The concept is new, at least for Cheap Trick, to perform different eras each night, from 1975-85, ‘85-‘95 through to its most recent release, “In Another World,” from last April.

“We wanted to set up something special, and doing four different shows and four different sets,” Nielsen said. “So it’s, I think, over 80 songs. But it should be fun. We’re looking forward to it.”

These dates might lead to an extended run for Cheap Trick at The Strat, but fans need to be patient. The band is touring Australia for three weeks with Stone Temple Pilots; is co-headlining with ZZ Top through Canada in April and May; is out with Rod Stewart for a U.S. tour through September; and finally a series in the U.K. entering the fall. That leaves November as the likely earliest timeline for Cheap Trick to again play Vegas.

Mahomes moves the chains

Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs entourage visited Delilah at Wynn Las Vegas for dinner and Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World Las Vegas on Friday night. It was the second set of downs, as it were, for Mahomes’ very Vegas bachelor party. The superstar quarterback and insurance pitchman is set to marry Brittany Matthews this year.

Peripheral references to column faves Savannah Lynx, performing at Delilah on Saturday; and Charly Jordan, who grew up in VegasVille, as the early DJ at Zouk. Headliner Louis The Child closed the night.

Earlier, the group played golf at the regal Summit Club.

Sounds of not silence

The sound quality at Allegiant Stadium seems to be improving with every show. I had been a little nervous about Friday’s Metallica show, remembering the uneven sound mix from Garth Brooks in July, and (especially) Guns N’ Roses at the stadium. I couldn’t wait for the next Slash solo that night, because Axl Rose’s vocals were nearly inaudible.

The Rolling Stones show was a step up, and the building withstood the torrent of sound produced by Metallica. What we’ve experienced, in large part, is the tours’ sound crews have figured out the venue. Any show that comes into Allegiant Stadium will use its own technical crew, and shows can be hit or miss. The repetition of performances have given those tours a kind of scouting report on how to calibrate the audio setup.

I actually watched the show from Wynn Field Club, the first time I’d spent a full show in that club. And it is a club experience, opening up to the performance. It’s a fine place if you don’t want to jostle on the floor. The Golden Knights game played on one of the monitors inside, but to see the show you had to duck out. It’s a lot like Hyde Lounge at T-Mobile Arena, a cool hang outside of the concert experience.

Arts District duck-in

The night before the show, Metallica’s crew ventured to Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District. The band and touring staff were in the restaurant. This would be the most famous artist takeover of Esther’s since Usher dropped some UsherBucks at the place last March.

Grand escape

COVID has KO’d John Mayer for a second time, kicking out four shows in his “Sob Rock” tour schedule. But Mayer’s booking at MGM Grand Garden for March 11 is still on. That show is actually the restart of Mayer’s tour.

Bono hits 22

“The Dennis Bono Show” celebrated its 22nd anniversary on Thursday at South Point Showroom. Anne Martinez, Niki Scalera and Giada Valenti were the featured guest singers. Bono’s “Bored Members” of Frankie Scinta, Vinny Adinolfi and Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie also joined the party. Rich Little showed up, too, as a surprise guest, in an event dripping with old-Vegas style. Featuring music director Joey Singer and sidekick Corrie Sachs. Bono’s simulcast show is at 2 p.m. Thursdays at the South Point, a hint of how our city used to be.

Cool Hang Alert

One more splash of gas for “Life In The Fast Lane,” our annual birthday celebration and fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, set for 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) Sunday at Tuscany Suites’ Copa Room. No gifts and no cover charge. Just donate to the cause at stbaldricks.org and search my name. We have more than 30, but less than 40, performers lined up for a show themed for all forms of transportation. Bring your own 1967 Mercury Cougar. I know I am.

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 Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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