The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo, where I am surrounded by lanyard-donning conventioneers in town for the Consumer Electronics Show.
What this means to me, at the moment, is I cannot find an open AC outlet anywhere. But I did visit with ex-Eagles member Don Felder backstage at Venetian Theater for a quick guitar lesson, and will be writing more about that in short order. The “Renegades in the Fast Lane” dual appearance by Felder and Styx opens this weekend at the Venetian.
In the meantime, let’s rock it elsewhere:
THE LUCKY ‘13
The gentlemen from “Tenors of Rock,” (which opens 8 p.m. Wednesday at Harrah’s Showroom) performed a four-song sample of the show Thursday morning at SIR Studios. Gareth and Dai Richards, Jimmy Denning, Tommy Sherlock and Jonathan Williams – get to know them – are eager to stop rehearsing and start rocking.
They then performed a stripped-down medley highlighted by “Livin’ On a Prayer,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Bed of Roses.” This is not the Tenors’ first spin through VegasVille. The classic-rock vocal act visited in November 2013, when there were just four Tenors. They decided to visit Vegas only after booking a trip from Britain to nearby … Toronto.
They had a gig in Canada and felt, hey, we’ve already made the flight across the pond, so …
The show performed at the Lounge at the Palms was larval in comparison to what the quintet has planned for Harrah’s. That production was raw and performed to music tracks. The current incarnation has much more advanced staging and lighting, as well as backing backup dancers under the direction of RJ Durell and Nick Florez of Goldenboyz dance company.
The Tenors’ vision for the show advanced considerably because of connections made that night at the Palms. They sang with Frankie Moreno at the Stratosphere that week, and also took the stage with the “Raiding the Rock Vault” cast at LVH for a robust version of “Hotel California.”
In “Rock Vault” and “Tenors,” the power of live musicians vastly improves the energy of the vocals. Reminded of this quality, the singers knew they had to build a band for the Vegas stage and plucked three members of the fictional band Arsenal from the just-closed “Rock of Ages”: Guitarist Chris Cicchino, bassist Dan Grennes and keyboardist Bryan McAdams. The drummer is also a Vegas vet, Blas Elias of Slaughter and Blue Man Group.
Thursday’s preview conveyed a similar “Rock Vault” power (which is sure to be in full force when that show reopens in March at Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel).“Tenors” doesn’t have a story arc like “RV,” but the backing dancers and live band maintain the same high quality feel.
If there is a competition or rivalry between these two hard-rocking music shows, it’s friendly.
“Well, we’re younger than them,” said the act’s founder Gareth Richards, drawing a laugh. “But for us, we just want people to come and see a rock show. I don’t see a competition. It’s a different venture, a different outlook.”
Richards then spoke to the group’s five-part vocal harmonies.
“We have a different perception on what classic rock sounds like and trying to create a new sound, and a new way for people to listen to this music,” he said. “But [Rock Vault] is an inspiration. They are great. When we were here before, we were onstage with Howard Leese (of Heart), who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, which made it a little … uncomfortable.” But hey, who said rock had to be comfortable? Not these guys.
STICKING AND MOVING
Reportedly, Chris Brown and his “rapper foe,” Soulja Boy are to swap blows in the squared circle in a big-payday Las Vegas boxing match in March. “I’m going down! Signed my contract I’m leaving the fight with $1,000,000,” was the note Soulja Boy posted on Instagram.
This three-round bout would be promoted by Mayweather Promotions (Soulja Boy claims that Floyd Mayweather is in his corner in this effort). Brown responded on Instagram, posting “boxing match set,” and, “Legally. Man to Man. No more dissing and no more talking. We in the ring with it. Challenge accepted.”
The two have been in a spirited dispute since Soulja Boy “liked” and left a heart-eyes emoji on a picture of Brown’s model ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran.
No venue has been specified for this non-title bout, but Mayweather has a long affiliation with MGM Resorts. We’ll keep our eyes out for further developments, and also heart-eyes emojis.
NOTCHING No. 2
A second anniversary has crept up on us: Jennifer Romas’ “Sexxy” production at Westgate Las Vegas marked that milestone Wednesday. The show’s producers are planning a more formal announcement at a later date. The show opened in January 2015 to draw the CES crowd and has remained a mainstay at Westgate ever since (Romas talks all about it on the latest edition of “Kats! On the Radio” on KUNV 91.50-FM, airing at 8 p.m. next Wednesday).
SAVE THIS DATE
Anne Martinez, a member of “50 Shades! The Parody” at Windows Showroom at Bally’s, “BAZ” at Palazzo Theater and founder of “Alice – A Steampunk Concert Fantasy,” most recently at Brooklyn Bowl, is opening an adult revue Feb. 28 at Centerfolds (the former Club Paradise on Paradise Road across from Hard Rock Hotel). The new show is called “Twerk,” and will involve aerial and sizzling dance numbers
Martinez has been working on this production for months, in what little spare time she enjoys. Details to follow, promise.
BLAC CHYNA-MIRAGE ACTION
Rob Kardashian’s partner on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” Blac Chyna, is making her first public appearance Saturday since the birth of the couple’s baby, Dream, on Nov. 10. The event: A night at 1 Oak Nightclub at the Mirage. DJ Gusto is the headliner.
The event is noteworthy because the only episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” I ever watched involved a family dust-up with Blac Chyna at the center. This is not rare, from what I understand.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.