83°F
weather icon Clear

Rock in Rio fires up 2017 festival — in Rio

Updated March 15, 2017 - 8:11 am

Updates from across VegasVille, where Rock in Rio has announced its lineup for this year (but not on the Strip) and the Crown was going down at Mama Maria’s 100th birthday party.

Onward:

ROCK IN RIO, IN RIO

Rock in Rio USA was supposed to return to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds in, oh, about eight weeks. But the festival has shuffled its schedule, and in September is returning to more fertile ticket-selling territory: Barra Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro. That’s where the festival was launched back in 1985, when an estimated 1.6 million fans attended the 10-day festival.

Rock in Rio officials have not formally announced that the event will not return in May. The 2015 event was a staging and artistic success, but fell far below pre-event attendance prognostications and reportedly lost between $24-$28 million in its first year in the U.S.

Set to take place Sept. 15-17 and Sept. 21-24, Rock in Rio boasts a lineup that would be wonderful on the Strip, including Justin Timberlake, Guns N’ Roses, The Who, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, Maroon 5, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper and Billy Idol.

Maybe AEG Live and Live Nation can use the Rock in Rio lineup as a menu for possible Strip venue mini-residencies. The Who announced six shows at the Colosseumthis year and Idol is continuing his run at House of Blues through March 25, coming back again in May. Timberlake and Gaga are oft-rumored, extended-engagement headliners.

As for the return of Rock in Rio USA, MGM Resorts officials have said they are not giving up on the event’s eventual return to the Festival Grounds. The earliest that could possibly happen is spring 2018.

HOLD ON HERE

On the topic of big venues on the Strip, online reports surfaced Monday that T-Mobile Arena is being “held,” or, “not booked” for June 10. This would be to keep the arena clear for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor in some form of competitive combat. On Tuesday, MGM spokesman Scott Ghertner did not confirm, nor deny, those reports “We have made no announcements about that weekend at this time.”

MORE THAN LIP SERVICE

Terry Fator is comfortably oblivious to many of his contract provisions at the theater named for him at the Mirage. “I’m not a business person. I don’t know how it all works in terms of the options and clauses, but I love the Mirage and we have a great relationship.” Fator does know that his five-year contract extension went into effect in January, and he celebrated his eighth anniversary Monday night.

Fator’s new Sir Elton John puppet certainly commands attention, with its feathery costume and bedazzled specs. Fator sings an Elton medley, backed by a live seven-piece band. Fator has moved bandleader Bill Zappia, a longtime Las Vegas favorite, into a co-host role in his new “Terry Fator Show” format. Fator also kept his band onstage for a post-show hang, where he sang without the puppets. He’s often performed at the Parlor lounge after his Thursday night shows, one of the fun, and sorta secret, hangs on the Strip.

FOGERTY AND THE BRASS

On the topic of backing musicians, and their value in a topnotch Strip show: John Fogerty’s first sprint through Encore Theater – a characteristically rocking experience – was powered by a four-piece horn section. That might not be so unusual, even though some superstars don’t see the need for a full horn section, but Fogerty even recruited a tuba player: Veteran Vegas musician Steve Flora, who also plays bass (joining Ginger Bruner among Las Vegas artists who have mastered both instruments).

Sax player Rob Stone, trumpet player Jason Levi and trombonist Randy Crawford fill out the all-Vegas horn section. Fogerty has told the boys they’ll be back when he returns to Wynn Las Vegas for five dates beginning May 19.

THE QUEEN IS CROWNED

Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada executive and Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health founder Larry Ruvo delivered an apt gift to his aunt Maria Perry, aka “Mama Maria,” during her 100th birthday party Monday night: A bottle of Crown Royal Canadian whiskey in a bedazzled bottle. Her cake, too, was an homage to the Crown.

Before Monday’s party at the Copa Room at Bootlegger Bistro, Mama Maria explained that she has started her day the same way, every day, since she was a teenager: A cup of coffee with a shot of Crown. This tradition dates about 90 years, to Maria’s days growing up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

“We were going to school and it was a half hour walk and in the winter time it was so cold, you know?” she says. “So, all the Italians would take about a half cup of coffee and add a tablespoon of whiskey. It was just the right thing to do. And you’d drink that and you’d go to school. And nobody ever got sick! We never caught cold!” Maria says her personal physician and cardiologist also start the morning with a coffee-crown shot.

Mama Maria was joined by her daughter and Bootlegger founder Lorraine Hunt-Bono; her son-in-law, Dennis Bono; grandson Ron Mancuso; and sister Angie Ruvo (Larry’s mother) among many family members and friends in the Copa showroom. A great moment was an impromptu medley of standards by Vegas showmen Frankie Scinta, Nelson Sardelli, Jerry Tiffe, Bob Anderson and Bono.

“This is how we used to do it in Las Vegas,” Bono called out, “and Mama Maria lived it.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. 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 jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Celine Dion’s lounge gig a boon to Las Vegas act

Celine Dion performed “Because You Loved Me,” “Ashes,” Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Her arrival drew a roar from the 300 VIPs in attendance, who were not informed of the night’s entertainment.