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Lombardo ‘serious’ about bringing AC/DC to Super Bowl

Updated August 24, 2023 - 6:30 am

The governor wants some “Back In Black” at the home of the Silver & Black for the Las Vegas Super Bowl.

AC/DC!” Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo answered, without hesitation, when he asked who he wants to see play Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11. “I was going to yell it out … But yeah, I’m serious. Bring ‘em back.”

Lombardo kicked off the NFL and Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee press conference Wednesday at Vū Las Vegas production complex. His wish for AC/DC to play the halftime show might seem whimsical, but it is at least conceivable.

The band has never played the Super Bowl, and is still headlining festivals, including October’s “Power Trip” at Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., with Brian Johnson back as lead singer.

But the league is weeks from making a final decision.

Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business, major events and international, said the headliner/headliners would be announced this fall. That is the timeline for every Super Bowl, as the NFL works with Jay-Z and Roc Nation on producing the show with Apple Music as the primary sponsor for the show.

“Roc Nation has been our partner for a number of years, and Jay-Z and the team there obviously has great talent expertise,” O’Reilly said. “We work very closely with them on the process of determining really what is the right fit at this time for this market.”

Asked if it is possible for a non-Roc Nation artist to play the game, O’Reilly said, “Oh, absolutely. That’s for sure.”

Taylor Swift (as rumored) and Ed Sheeran (as confirmed) are not interested in playing the Vegas Super Bowl. Swift has reportedly already said she would not accept the offer. Sheeran told Andy Cohen last week he’d been in talks about playing the Super Bowl a few years back, and declined.

“There was a conversation a while ago — I think it was when Coldplay did it — of me going up to play ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ ” Sheeran recalled, referring to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif., “I think that would be the only way I’d do it, is if I was joining someone else.”

Among contemporary artists, Miley Cyrus and Harry Styles have reportedly been on the league’s short list. Bad Bunny (who sold out Allegiant Stadium twice in September 2022) and Jack Harlow (who has headlined Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World) are also in the game’s Halftime Speculation Hall of Fame.

Roc Nation has previously lined up Super Bowl superstars Shakira, J-Lo, Bad Bunny and J Balvin (2020); The Weeknd (2021); Dre’s salute to hip-hop with Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent (2022); and Rihanna (last February).

“We work year-round, and are always thinking about talent across the Super Bowl, because obviously, having a fun show is a big component,” O’Reilly said. “But you’ve got other components of the week, pregame artists, the national anthem, ‘American The Beautiful’ ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’ … We’re looking holistically at the music landscape.”

The event buffet

Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee President and CEO Sam Joffray has worked 26 straight Super Bowls. He says he is “surprised every day, and always in a good way,” at Las Vegas’ capacity to host the event.

“The amount of assets we’ve got — when we get a phone call from a third party, from an event planner for one of the events that’s looking for a home, they say, ‘We need something to entertain a thousand people,’ ” Joffray said. “You need to be a little more specific. Do you want to be on the Strip? Do you want to be off the Strip? Do you want a view of the Strip? Or do you want a view of The Sphere?”

Joffray has been learning the reach of the Las Vegas evetns infrastructure.

“My experience with the Super Bowl has been, ‘Oh, I know exactly the place for you,’ ” Joffray said. “But here, with the amount of assets, every time I turn the corner, I’m finding a new speakeasy, a new venue, something new is opening.”

On the anthem topic …

Super Bowl LVIII is the 40th anniversary of when Barry Manilow sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium. Jan. 22, 1984, was the date. Raiders 38, Redskins 9, was the final.

Something we have learned …

Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo/Sammy’s Island tour of Vegas has included Flamingo, Virgin Hotel and Palms. The Red Rocker wants to do business, somewhere in VegasVille.

Cool Hang Alert

Jazz vocalist Dakota Horvath is performing a tribute to Tony Bennett on Friday night at Maxan Jazz. Two “jazz,” one legend and a wonderful Vegas singer in a single sentence. Horvath sang at the wedding of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Live music from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., dinner reservations at maxanjazz.com.

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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