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Kanye West rents Wynn parcel for pop-up show

Updated February 16, 2024 - 7:41 pm

“Kanye West headlines at Wynn Las Vegas” would seem a headline or title or social post that would send a ripple across the entertainment culture.

But West came and went over Super Bowl weekend, his pop-up show Sunday night in a tent at the Wynn West parcel at former Frontier site barely noticed.

West made more news in an ancillary fashion, as former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall reported that the controversial rap superstar was escorted from Allegiant Stadium after attempting to buy a ticket in front of Taylor Swift’s VIP suite.

West would have picked off, as it were, CBS camera shots intended for Swift.

But West’s rep denied the account, telling TMZ, “This is a completely fabricated rumor. It is not true.” A text for comment to the Las Vegas NFL Host Committee (which has hit the “over” on requests for Swift comments) has not been returned.

The secrecy of West’s performance at Wynn West was largely by design. West announced the event, a concert and release party for his latest single “Vultures,” on Instagram the morning of the show. The show teased the release of West’s new album, “Vultures 1,” issued Saturday.

West appeared alongside guest star Ty Dolla $ign, a collaborator on the new single. Donning a black, leather-style trench coat and matching mask, West performed for about an hour. He allowed only about two dozen fans on the venue’s lower level, everyone else upstairs.

West’s performance was not a foretelling of any long-term engagement in Las Vegas. West likes Wynn; he’s been spotted there this year with his wife, Bianca Censori. Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver said the hotel leased out the lot to Uncommons Entertainment production company, which worked directly with West on the event. A tented four-wall, in other words.

One observer said the vibe was “weird.”

“Vultures 1,” has since been was taken off of iTunes and Apple Music on Thursday afternoon, where it had dominated the streaming and sales charts. According to Billboard, the music distribution company FUGA it was working to remove the album from its systems because a client of FUGA had released the album through the platform’s automated processes, “violating our service agreement.” FUGA had already to release “Vultures 1” late last year, a spokesperson told Billboard.

Music distributors are able to remove content uploaded through their systems at their choosing, Billboard reported. West had shopped “Vultures 1” to many music distributors last year, some of whom declined to release the album because of West’s history of antisemitic comments, Billboard reported.

One song from the album, “Good (Don’t Die)” was taken down from Spotify on Wednesday (but available on other streaming services) because of similarities to Donna Summer’s 1977 hit “I Feel Love.” Summer’s estate disapproved of West’s sampling of the classic dance hit.

Hill’s return

The only woman to win five Grammy Awards in a single night is playing the Strip in April.

Ms. Lauryn Hill plays Dolby Live at Park MGM on April 6. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 25th Anniversary Tour” recalls Hill’s debut solo album.

Tickets are on sale 10 a.m. Friday Pacific time at Ticketmaster.com. Presale launches at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Hill most recently played Las Vegas at the Lovers and Friends festival at Las Vegas Festival Grounds last May.

“Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” remains the former Fugees star’s only solo album. It is one of the most successful and critically acclaimed hip-hop releases ever. The album was entered into the Library of Congress in 2015.

Philharmonic’s new direction

Las Vegas Philharmonic is turning to an internationally revered conductor to begin its transition after Donato Cabrera leaves his post as current conductor and music director in May.

Leonard Slatkin will serve as the Philharmonic’s artistic consultant though the 2024-‘25 season, company GM Jeri Crawford has announced.

Slatkin is a six-time Grammy winner, former Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (where he was music director for 12 years), Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon, and Conductor Laureate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. An artistic force, in short.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome the artistry and expertise of Leonard Slatkin. This relationship takes the Las Vegas Philharmonic to its next level as we celebrate our 25th anniversary,”Crawford said in a statement.

Slatkin is familiar with the city.

“Las Vegas has been one of my go-to places for many years,” Slatkin said. “The opportunities for expanded concert programming, community outreach and educational programs along with the extraordinary live performance environment in Las Vegas unleashes the potential to create something unique in our country.”

Slatkin is the son of the great violinist and conductor Felix Slatkin, who founded the Concert Arts Orchestra and made several appearances with the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra. The elder Slatkin was Frank Sinatra’s concertmaster and conductor of choice during his Capitol years of the 1950s.

Cabrera joined the Philharmonic a decade ago. In that span, he has also served as MD of the California Symphony in the Bay Area. The Philharmonic is not in a rush to appoint a new conductor, planning to rotate in different styles throughout the season.

This strategy is something of a prolonged audition, and there might not be a single conductor moving forward. Possibly a rotation of styles, generations, sensibilities. Maybe more pops concerts in the next phase. As Philharmonic Executive Director Alice Sauro says, “This is Las Vegas. Anything is possible.”

Cool Hang Alert

The second-floor showroom at Silver Sevens opens this weekend, with “Sinatra Sings Sinatra” starring Michael Sinatra at 7 p.m. Friday, and “Sophisticated Ladies” starring Kelly Vohnn at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The weekend is further highlighted by AJ Lambert’s “Songs of my Grandfather, Frank Sinatra,” two shows at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Lambert is Nancy Sinatra’s daughter, Frank Sinatra’s granddaughter, and a great interpreter of Old Blue Eyes’ catalog. “Wee Small Hours” is performed in its entirety at 5 p.m., “Only The Lonely” at 7 p.m., with John Boswell on piano. Pre-show entertainment from Enoch Augustus Scott and Phyllis Tilley. Go to Eventbite.com for intel.

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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