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Las Vegas headliners flourish on Super Bowl weekend

Updated February 4, 2024 - 7:08 am

Super Bowl Weekend in Las Vegas the zenith of the city’s evolution as a top-tier, sports-entertainment destination. U2, world champions of the Sphere, can speak to this. So can Adele, Christina Aguilera, Bruno Mars and Vegas’ latest residency infatuation, Wu-Tang Clan.

As the world comes (again) to Las Vegas, we unfurl our Hot List of headliners for Super Bowl Weekend. Run it:

— U2: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Sphere. The show to see during Super Bowl weekend, or any weekend. The band is generating additional energy from the bulbous wonder by performing a song to air during Sunday’s Grammy telecast. I’m betting they uncork the latest single, the one about Las Vegas.

— Adele: Friday and Saturday, Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The “Rolling In The Deep” hit-maker is done after her current set of dates close in June, marking an even 100 in her “Weekends” residency. Then she’s off for eight dates in Munich in August, building a production in a pop-up venue. If there were a Comeback Player of the Year on the Strip, it would be Adele, who marked the two-year anniversary of canceling her original Caesars residency on Jan. 21. Gutted, no more.

— Bruno Mars: Wednesday and Friday, Dolby Live. Bruno equals brilliant, some rocking performance he opened with in December 2016. But “pouching” cell phones keeps it all a cloistered adventure, experienced only in the theater.

“I Took Your Phones Away,” performed only in this show, is a hit waiting to happen, if Mars would only record it.

— Christina Aguilera: Friday and Saturday, Voltaire at The Venetian. Aguilera’s voice resonates from close proximity in chic, snug venue. Every song is a lavish production number, among them “Fighter,” “Dirrty,” “Genie in a Bottle,” “Lady Marmalade,” Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” a spin of Shirley Bassey’s Bond-themed “Diamonds are Forever,” Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” Preceded by the Belle de Nuit variety performances, closing with DJ Zuzy, a lot of emotion in the room.

— Kelly Clarkson: Friday and Saturday, Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood. These are Clarkson’s final shows in her “Chemistry” series, during which she has served as a witness to an actual wedding ceremony.

— Wu-Tang Clan: Friday and Saturday, Theater at Virgin Hotel: “The Saga Continues …” is the subtitle and spirit of this rare hip-hop residency in Vegas. I’d not seen been to Wu-Tang Clan show until they played a Yahoo VIP party at Voltaire last month during CES.

RZA (the Clan’s ace producer), GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna and Sun-Bar Jones (aka, Young Dirty Bastard) aim to make history here. I wanted to follow these guys around all night. No rehearsal. No worries. Wu-Tang Clan is back again March 22-23, to add their own March Madness to the NCAA Tournament.

— Sebastian Maniscalco: Friday and Saturday, Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. A comedy curve ball. Maniscalco is performing four shows over the two nights. He’s a big fan of Vegas, and vice versa. His bit about being asked to pay to hang out at the pool belongs in the Vegas Comedy Hall of Fame, which exists only in my head.

Cool Hang Alert

“Topdog/Underdog” at Vegas Theater Company at Art Square, opening 7:30 p.m. Friday, running through Feb. 24. “Journey into the complex world of two African American brothers as they navigate identity, power, and the pursuit of the American Dream. With powerhouse performances and a darkly humorous bent, this electrifying production will leave you breathless.” Jamey Clay and Jason Nious co-star. Love that this show is in our Arts District neighborhood. Go to theater.vegas 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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