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Slash cuts loose at Las Vegas dive bar reopening

Updated December 3, 2023 - 10:31 am

To be cool is to act casually, and Frankie Sidoris is a cool cat. The brilliant rock guitarist could have shouted his plans across the night. He might have rolled in some extra floodlights, strobes, set off fireworks, taken on a Bruce Buffer persona to really blow out the scene.

Instead, with scant ceremony, Sidoris brought out his buddy Slash late Saturday night at the reopening of Hard Hat Lounge.

Wearing a backward Tower Records hat and 1980 AC/DC Highway to Hell concert T-shirt, the Guns N’ Roses icon strode to the stage along with the rest of the band — Sidoris, tireless Vegas vocalist Franky Perez, bassist Todd Morse of The Offspring and Brent Fitz (who has backed Slash, Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper and Vince Neil) on drums.

This was the rock roster for the reopening of Sidoris’ mighty dive bar at 1675 Industrial Road. Sidoris kept his plans from the general public, but Slash’s participation was not a complete surprise. Sidoris has for years played with Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. The Vegas native has toggled that band with Wolfgang Van Halen’s Mammoth WVH.

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The Hard Hat all-star band took the stage at about 11:30 p.m., tearing through Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” Guns N’ Roses’ “It’s So Easy,” “Always on the Run” by Lenny Kravitz, “War Pigs,” by Black Sabbath, and “Highway to Hell,” honoring (incidentally) Slash’s attire.

Vegas singer-songwriter-musician Sherry St. Germain, whom we met in 2009 during her days in “Viva Elvis” at Aria, and Drew Johnson and Anthony Stasi from Rolling Stones tribute band Sin City Stones also took the stage, performing on “Gimme Shelter.”

The mighty rock show matched the indestructible vibe at Hard Hat Lounge, established in 1962, which Sidoris purchased in August 2022. This venture is a classic labor of love. Sidoris and F&B partner Bobby Meader of Stay Tuned Burgers, and club GM Dillon Shines (with whom Sidoris has been friends since fourth grade) are attempting to create a homey tavern annex for those who live and work in Las Vegas.

Industry jazz nights are Mondays, karaoke parties on Wednesdays, DJs on Fridays and Saturdays. Have some fun with the burgers, is the idea.

Sidoris’ family was well-represented. His mother, original “Crazy Girls” cast member Angela Stabile and her hubby, Matt Stabile; and his sister, Tiffany Stabile, all of Stabile Productions; and his father, Resorts World casino pro Frank Sidoris were all near the front of the stage.

Sidoris told the crowd he wanted to create a place where casino employees, entertainers, and hospitality workers could stop and unwind. Just after the show, he was off again, a date with Mammoth WVH at the Knitting Factory in Spokane.

But Sidoris left with a parting shot, having created a historic night at a historic site: “The Hard Hat is for locals. This is for Las Vegas.”

‘JB’ to January

The new Las Vegas production of “Jersey Boys” at Orleans Showroom has moved its preview period back to Jan. 26. The show is working on finalizing its set, working around the showroom schedule and rehearsing with its Vegas cast.

Producer John Bentham of Ivory Star Productions is describing the cast as a mix of Actors Equity and non-Equity members authorized by the union.

This is a full-length revival of the Broadway, touring and Las Vegas productions, the latter of which closed in September 2016 at Paris Las Vegas. This is the first residency production show ever at the Showroom, which opened in 1997.

‘Legends’ still benched

On the topic of famous production shows, still no path to the stage that we can find for the iconic “Legends In Concert” show in Las Vegas. The production shut down on New Year’s Eve last year, was rebuilt for a brief run at The Orleans on its 40th anniversary in Vegas from June 26 through July 8. The show then went silent.

But “Legends” continues to prosper in Myrtle Beach, Branson and Waikiki and on Norwegian Cruise Lines. “Stay tuned!” is the message for Las Vegas on the company home page. That is either a directive, or possibly the name of its next Strip production …

Cool Hang Alert

Repeal Day is celebrated at The Underground at The Mob Museum from 8 p.m.-midnight Saturday. Free entry with the secret password (well, not secret now) DRY NO MORE. Repeal Day cocktails and music from the New Orleans-fashioned jazz band Flamingo are on tap.

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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