weather icon Clear

Sheeran summons Flowers; Musk says Sphere ‘exquisite’

Updated October 30, 2023 - 10:47 am

The guy dressed up as Chucky was Ed Sheeran. The guy dressed up as Brandon Flowers, was.

The Killers’ front man, sans costume, joined Sheeran’s show Saturday at Allegiant Stadium. Sheeran brought Flowers out as a make-good for having to call of his original performance at Allegiant Stadium on Sept. 11.

“Obviously a lot of people made a lot of effort to come here, and Vegas is a wonderful city that people live in, but it’s also a destination place and 70,000 people flew in for this concert a month ago, and it was canceled as the doors were opening,” Sheeran said, saying he’d canceled just one show previously because of a thunderstorm. “… I really, really appreciate you guys understanding. I’ve been wracking my brains, I really want to do something special for Vegas that I haven’t done before.”

A hologram Sinatra? Team of Elvis impressionists? Slam poetry from Gazillionaire?

Sheeran specified.

“There’s one person I wanted to bring out, he’s from Vegas,” he said. “We’re gonna sing the song that is essentially like my country’s national anthem.”

Sheeran called Flowers, to a thunderous response. This was an actual pop-up appearance. Flowers appeared from a concealed lift in the middle of the stage. The two teamed on that anthem, “Mr. Brightside,” followed by Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill.”

Flowers lives in Park City, Utah, but was reportedly in town over the weekend.

The superstars stalked the circular stage, set in the round, as images splashed the round video display overhead and also on the half-dozen audio-video towers. Those were the pieces that forced Sheeran to cancel in September, as they were found to be unstable on show day.

Sheeran twice mentioned the cancellation in his soaring performance, which covered about 2 1/2 hours. Near the top, he said he had not want anyone hurt because of his performance. “All I want to say is thank you for being so understanding,” he said. “I promise you, this is going to be a really fun show.”

The 32-year-old, multi-genre superstar also added a surprise duet with opening act and rap star Russ, on their collab “Are You Entertained.” Those who made it back to Allegiant Stadium answered in the affirmative.

Ed’s club return

Sheeran ended the night at XS Nightclub at the Wynn, tearing it up with the Chainsmokers. He showed up at 1:30 a.m. with a group of 15, and took Alex Pall’s Captain America helmet (typically, this behavior will get you tossed). Sheeran performed “Shape of You,” “Perfect,” and “Bad Habits” and performed in the Chainsmokers’ show-closing Chainsmokers’ “Closer.”

Sheeran partied until around 3:30 a.m. His weekend collaborations: Martin Garrix at Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace on Friday, Russ and Flowers in his show at Allegiant Stadium, and Chainsmokers. As he said, Vegas is a destination. He got the most out of it.

This point

A few fans who quickly spotted Sheeran in his Chucky costume noted it was appropriate character. John Gruden, aka “Chucky,” once coached (to disquieting consequence) at Allegiant Stadium. Donna Rocker, who attended the show with her hubby and Vegas tavern founder Tommy Rocker, was first in with that point. They were in the crowd, dressed as Cowboy Ken and Barbie.

A rich pageant

The world’s richest man Elon Musk attended the U2 show at the Sphere on Saturday night. He posted (on X, his favorite platform), “The @SphereVegas is exquisite beyond words.”

Musk is worth about $222 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaires list. Jeff Bezos, No. 3 on that list at $105.6 billion, was at U2’s Sept. 29 premiere at the Sphere.

The Vegas players

Adele has gone with a full-Vegas string section in her Colosseum production since June. All 24 players are local musicians and members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 369. The roster is always subject to change, but Adele has used an entirely local orchestra after opening in November 2022 with a mix of 16 Vegas musicians, filling with out-of-town players.

Those in the show are the top of the pop, having backed such superstars as Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Madonna, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster and Michael Buble. See them in the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and David Perrico and the Raiders House band. They are name-checked below. We love seeing these folks, and also hearing them.

Cool Hang Alert

Illuminarium at Area15 hosts a distinctive “Monday Night Football” watch party. It certainly was distinctive last week, when my Niners laid an egg against the Vikings. Up next is Raiders-Lions, doors at 5 p.m. Monday.

The venue next to the main Area15 building offers giant, wondrous projections of such moments as Brock Purdy throwing a crushing interception. Tickets start at $10 for locals, $2o for guests. Buffet action for an additional $21.50 per person, a la carte menu available. Seating is first-come, first-serve, with VIP tables for 4-6 guests available. All of it at illuminarium.com/lasvegas.

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.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.