Updated December 7, 2020 - 3:39 pm
Zowie Bowie has survived nearly 15 years in Las Vegas for a reason. He brings the party. This quality is evident once more as Chris Phillips, founder of the long-running Las Vegas stage act, hosts a New Year’s Eve live broadcast from Circa’s Stadium Swim.
Phillips is partnering with Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS Channel 8 for a regional New Year’s Eve telecast produced by Nexstar Media Group, which owns stations in 13 Western markets. The Zowie Bowie front man is hosting the party and online telethon from 10:30 p.m. through the countdown from Stadium Swim.
The Las Vegas event will be telecast across the west on Nexstar-owned stations. The night’s regional coverage begins at 9 p.m. The event benefits Souper Bowl of Caring, which operates food banks covering Nexstar’s western markets. Those cities include Las Vegas, L.A., San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Bakersfield, Albuquerque, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City and Honolulu. Brian Loftus and Kirsten Joyce of KLAS co-host.
Phillips will be backed by his 15-piece Zowie Bowie Show Band, with ZB vocalists Jamie Lynch and Christina Amato. That lineup has headlined 3rd Street Stage on Fremont Street Experience for the past decade.
Phillips has also enlisted such Vegas headliners as Skye Dee Miles of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Jen Romas of “Sexxy” at Westgate Las Vegas. Expect showgirls, and on-air chats with Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Circa co-owner Derek Stevens, and a big-name guest to be named to help sing in the new year.
As we face staggering COVID numbers, know that the show will be distanced and following state-mandated protocols. Stadium Swim is set for a total capacity 4,000. The plan is to invite a socially distant crowd of 400 to 500. The resort’s signature entertainment annex covers three levels and features a 40-foot-tall HD screen. The night will also serve as the unveiling of Legacy Club on the hotel’s top floor.
“It’s pretty cool, we’re excited about Zowie Bowie coming out and doing something with CBS,” Stevens said during the latest episode of “PodKats!” broadcast from Victory Burger, overlooking the Circa sports book. “They walked the site, they walked Legacy Club and walked Stadium Swim. From what I gather, they want to go ahead and do it. I know it will be at a few different locations on the property.”
Phillips, characteristically playful, is taking this flavor of ambassadorship seriously.
“It’s a big moment for Las Vegas. This is us letting people know they can visit Las Vegas safely and still have a good time,” Phillips says. “It’s more important than just the night, and just the show. It’s the message that entertainment will be blossoming in the new year.”
Magic in 10, 9 …
Magic headliner Mat Franco says to expect an announcement on his return to the Strip in 10 days or so. His show at his eponymous theater at Linq Hotel was a hot ticket, pre-shutdown.
Bad, and nationwide
Column fave, bonafide rock legend and proud Las Vegan Billy F. Gibbons’ appearance on CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday. Featured is Gibbons’ 1934 Ford Coupe, which Gibbons refers to as, “The Bad Little Sister.” Not sure if there is “Bad Big Sister” in the Gibbons collective, but we’ll continue to follow.
Gibbons has also been working on a new ZZ Top album, the band’s 16th and a follow up to 2012’s “La Futura.” The band is working with ace producer Rick Rubin (co-founder of Def Jam Records with Russell Simmons) on the project. Rubin produced “La Futura,” too.
Gibbons also still needs to finish the collab with Morris Day and Snoop Dogg, titled “She Was Too Much Girl For Me.” The first section of the song was finished in February, then suspended until the three can reunite.
In the sauce
Austin “Chumlee” Russell of “Pawn Stars” fame is expanding his empire with Grandeza hot sauce. The all-natural, gluten-free, vegan condiment is available on the grandezahotsauce.com site. You can also purchase such Grandeza gear as hoodies and T-shirts.
Grandeza’s ingredients include white vinegar, Cayenne pepper, salt and citric acid. Versatile, straightforward and effective, like the man himself.
Chum is concealing the motivation behind this product. “The story on the hot sauce is coming out soon,” he says. “Right now it’s secret hype.”
Secret hype seems possible only if you are Chumlee.
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.