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Journey at the Sphere? ‘We would absolutely destroy that place’

Updated April 25, 2024 - 7:17 pm

Neal Schon says, “We would absolutely destroy that place.”

“We” would be Journey, and the place is the Sphere.

Schon has studied the Sphere from afar, online clips as he’s been on tour. He said in a text, “I’m not sure there’s even a possibility, but what I do know from evaluating all the bands that have played there and seen what it’s about. We would absolutely destroy that place if we played everything from our first album on.”

The 70-year-old guitar legend jumped on a fan post on the Live For Live Music Facebook page. He commented of Journey’s potential “all that early material would be explosive, with the hits.”

In March, Journey recently wiped out Michelob Ultra Arena, with Toto opening. The band also played the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix opening party and has headlined the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Resorts World Theatre in the past several years.

Journey is continuing its “Freedom Tour” with co-headliners Def Leppard and an alternating lineup of Cheap Trick, Heart and Steve Miller Band.

Schon rose to fame during his appearance with Santana at Woodstock some 55 years ago. Grateful Dead played the festival, of course, the original jam band.

Phish, following the Dead’s tradition as a venerable jam band with a fervent following, followed U2 into the Sphere. Schon had anticipated Phish would blow minds at the Sphere, and they did.

“I predicted that it would become a jam-band place, as I feel that’s what it’s set up best for visually,” Schon said. “U2 is cool, but I thought it was over the top for them … I also predicted Phish would be playing there, and funny enough, one of their jams sounded like ‘Wheel In the Sky.’”

“Lights” would crush, too. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Faithfully” would soar with the Sphere’s audio-visual technology.

There has been no formal talk of Journey playing the Sphere. But Dead and Company — featuring Woodstock alumni Bob Weir and Mickey Hart — is headlining the venue beginning May 16. At the Sphere, one can always dream.

Westgate es en fuego

Westgate has picked up some ancillary pub from its superstar headliners at International Theater.

Barry Manilow has now performed more concerts at Radio City Music Hall than anyone. He sold out the room five times April 17 through Sunday. He’s back at Westgate from May 1-3 and May 9-11.

And Kool & The Gang was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band’s first year of eligibility. The R&B pioneers are back May 24-25. Robert “Kool” Bell told Rolling Stone he was having a party at his house when Ryan Seacrest announced the inductees on Sunday’s “American Idol” telecast.

“When they said “Kool and the Gang,” we all sang ‘Celebration,’” Bell said. “It was like, ‘Celebrate good times, come on!’” This spirit is shared by Kool & The Gang’s fans, who enter International Theater in full groove.

Tease this …

Artwork related to upcoming headliners at the Sphere will be displayed at a prominent gallery on the Las Vegas Strip.

What Works in Vegas

Mentalist Frederic Da Silva’s “Paranormal” is usually sold out, or on its way there, at Imagine Showroom at Horseshoe Las Vegas. Da Silva’s mind-reading/hypnosis presentation plays at 4 p.m., tickets often starting at $28 (without fees).

Da Silva has been running for 11 years in the second-floor theater, originally Windows and later The Magic Attic. A decade in one place in VegasVille is its own brand of magic.

Cue the crew

The Cue Club at Historic Commercial Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. with the Celebrity Pro/Am Scotch Doubles Tournament. The event is co-hosted by Damian Costa’s Pompey Entertainment, which manages The Composers Room across the parking lot, and also Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club.

The event is a benefit for Autism Coalition of Nevada (ACON). the $60 admission fee online ($70 at the door) includes entry; a wine bar, soda and water; chicken skewers with Thai sauce; beef wellington bites; shrimp cocktail; and charcuterie cups. This is very nearly a buffet.

Local celebs or (in my case) those often near celebs are paired with professional players. The Venue at Orleans magicians Doug “Lefty” Leferovich, John Shaw, Hollie England and Bizzaro of “Late Night Magic”; and Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb of “The Conjurors” are set to appear. Magician tandem Farrell Dillon and his wife, Amanda, represent Kimmel’s Club.

The format is 8-ball scotch doubles, and we understand a few competitors (starting with Shaw) are out for blood. Go to eventbrite.com too book.

Cool Hang Alert

Sax star Justin Young plays the just-launched jazz and bubbles brunch on the terrace of Ocean Prime from 11 am.-3 p.m. Sunday. It’s smoking riffs along with smoked salmon with Young, who recently played for Usher at Aria (the superstar was just walking by the lounge and hung for a bit).

Valet is included during brunch at Ocean Prime, which sits on the upper level of the 63 hospitality fortress on the corner of Harmon Avenue and the Strip.

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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