Updated September 29, 2022 - 9:05 am
The last time we chatted with Rob Gronkowski was in April, just prior to his Gronk Beach Party at Encore Beach Club.
Tuesday, we met at Virgin Hotel for JBL Fest Las Vegas.
It’s always some sort of party, or “Fest,” with Gronk.
The former tight end looked fit and flashed his bedeviling grin as he arrived as a JBL Fest guest. The three-day event is the annual conference/convention/party for the audio-technology company.
JBL Fest’s live-entertainment oasis is the former Money Baby space, which is to be used for such events for the foreseeable future. Convention business, or any business, is a welcome sight at the Virgin.
Gronk introduced Bebe Rexha as Tuesday night’s headliner for the lanyard-leashed crowd. Doja Cat and The Kid LAROI were up Wednesday. We had some time beforehand with the four-time Super Bowl champ. We were set up in a JBL Man Cave, inside the space once occupied by the John Varvados fashion boutique.
The Gronk highlights (cue the “SportsCenter” theme):
He could play in two days: We mean, in the NFL. “I could show up, and it would take me a couple of days, and then I would be back, that’d be fun,” Gronk said. Does he ever consider a return to field. “No, I really haven’t thought about it at all. But, you know, I just like to stay in shape.”
He could play, today: We mean, full-court hoops. “I’ve been actually playing a lot of basketball, and that’s actually taking my cardio to a whole new level,” Gronk said. “I’m doing a lot of defensive drills, dribbling drills, and let me tell you, it’s a whole different skill set. It’s just been a lot of fun to do it.”
There is Gronk, and there is Rob: “I can definitely feel the energy when I am in Vegas, I’m Gronk I feel that when I go to a lot of places, it sometimes can be difficult when everyone wants to give me shots,” Gronk said. “But sometimes, I’m not really there to bring the energy. When they call me in to bring the energy, like there, I’m ready. But the majority of the time, I’ve gotta be Rob. You can’t be turned up your whole life, or you’re never going to last, right?”
He is pro-NFL events in Vegas: “I think it’s really great there is a team here, I mean, how can there not be? The Super Bowl belongs here,” Gronk said. “The NFL and Vegas now go hand-in-hand. The fans come from everywhere, they are rowdy, then you can go out to a casino, a nightclub. You can enjoy sports betting here now, in the open. That’s what was created here, in Vegas, and that stadium the Raiders play in is second to none.”
He has one clear connection to the Raiders: “I do know coach (Josh) McDaniels, from the Patriots and he was a great coach when I was there,” Gronk said. Otherwise, he said, “There’s no real relationship for me with the Raiders.” When it was suggested we should manufacture one, he laughed and said, “I like your thinking.”
Get used to this number
“Six The Musical” is currently animating Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center, running through Sunday. They could have just named this show “Talent” and ditched the six-wives-of-Henry VII premise. Amazing vocals, music and singing, much better than “Cats” …
I watched the show through the prism of, “How will it work at Palazzo Theater?” because that is where we are confident it will land in 2023. Nothing confirmed formally, but we’re standing with that intel.
At Reynolds Hall, “Six” runs at a high RPM as costars Gerianne Perez, Zan Berube, Amina Faye, Erica Marie, Aline Mayagoitia and Sydney Parra perform almost nonstop, in sync, fully choreographed. There is no break (aside from a 15-minute tech pause Saturday night). If you hit the loo or concession stand or merch table, you’re likely to miss three numbers.
“Six” doen’t even attempt to re-introduce Henry VIII to a theater-going audience in the same way “Hamilton” has spun the story of Alexander Hamilton. The Henry VIII isn’t even in the show, though dressing all the musicians as the king would have been a cool twist. Instead, “Six” is a concert experience in 85 minutes. That’s a tight, energetic production, suitable for the Strip.
Great Moments in Social Media
On Wednesday, Travis Cloer posted to social media his first post-show shot from the stage of “Bat Out of Hell — The Musical” at Paris Theater. Cloer is beaming and stretching his arms skyward, as if just he just threw a TD pass. We heard he did. Cloer plays the co-lead character Falco in the rock musical themed for Meat Loaf’s classics, written by the late Jim Steinman.
Knowing Cloer’s history in that theater, with “Jersey Boys” and later “Marilyn,” and how he kept punching through COVID with online drive-in performances, that shot is everything.
Cool Hang Alert
The Speakeasy at The Mob Museum has distributed its live-music schedule for October. Dates are filled Fridays through Sundays. Former “Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel In Concert” at Harrah’s co-star Colte Julian and The Sidecars play 8 p.m.-midnight Saturday (Oct. 1). The band suits the room’s Prohibition-era vibe, which means (in part), no cover. Go to themobmuseum.org/underground for the rest of it.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.