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Taylor Swift just the start of ‘massive’ Vegas weekend

Updated March 21, 2023 - 9:29 am

The exec who runs Allegiant Stadium has a single word to describe Taylor Swift’s worldwide popularity.

“Massive, just massive. I don’t know what else to say other than it’s just massive,” Allegiant Stadium General Manager Chris Wright said in an interview in November, after Swift added a second date to her Allegiant Stadium dates this weekend. “I mean, an artist who sells to 1.5 million units in the week of announcing a new album is just amazing. And, I certainly don’t need to describe Taylor’s following worldwide is is equally massive, to repeat the word.”

Swift plays Allegiant Stadium on Friday and Saturday night, her first appearance at Allegiant Stadium. Her commitment to playing Las Vegas generally, and that building specifically, is a boon to our city’s position as a concert destination. Swift was considered by entertainment professionals as a “must” to play the stadium, if it were to be considered an international concert destination.

She has sold out two shows, more than 80,000 tickets total. Her “Reputation Tour” of 2018 did not stop in Las Vegas. Swift’s weekend dates are her first shows in town in eight years (not counting awards-show appearances), since May 15, 2015, when she closed the Rock in Rio festival at Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

Swift previously headlined at Mandalay Bay Event Center on May 23, 2009, as part of her “Fearless Tour.”

But Swift is far from the only superstar generating excitement in Las Vegas this weekend. We have a veritable pileup (or, if you will, embarrassment of riches) of headliners this weekend. To borrow a quote, it will be “massive.” The highlighted performers:

Adele. She is now a long-running Vegas headliner, with shows Friday and Saturday closing the first run of her “Weekends With Adele” show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. We say “first run,” as we anticipate additional dates as early as June, and also running into the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix in November. There was a time, not so long ago, that the idea of Swift and Adele playing Vegas, at all, would seem folly. Now they share two weekend nights.

Maroon 5. Usually a New Year’s Eve favorite on the Strip, Adam Levine’s band opens its M5LV the series at Dolby Live on Friday and Saturday and runs 16 dates total through April, July and August. This is Maroon 5’s first residency.

— Miranda Lambert. Having replenished the pyro, Lambert is back at Zappos Theater on Friday and Saturday, running through April 9.

— John Mellencamp. He performs for the first time at Encore Theater at the Wynn on Friday and Saturday, his first appearance on the Strip since opening for Bob Dylan at the Colosseum in August 2010. Prior to that, he played a memorable show at Aladdin Theatre for the Performing arts in August 2002, a gum-chewing, hard-rocking 90-minute set.

— Foreigner. Vocalist Kelly Hansen has extended the life of this ’80s FM-radio rock band for at least a generation. Foreigner plays Friday through April 8 at The Venetian Theatre. These are Foreigner’s last scheduled dates in Las Vegas, as it embarks on is “farewell” tour, which extends into 2024. They might add dates next year, but in any case, “Urgent,” is the message. See them.

Applying Rouge

We swept into Rouge Room at Red Rock Resort on its opening night Saturday. This venue is holding hard to its red motif, opening as the crimson-hued Cherry Nightclub in April 2006. This was originally Rande Gerber’s nightlife concept, which brought a swanky vibe to then-new Red Rock.

The venue was then Crimson for a time, and now Rouge, brought to Summerlin by lounge by Wish You Were Here Group. The company owner, Nick Mathers, created Los Angeles’ Élephante and Las Vegas’ Kassi Beach House at Virgin Hotel.

We appreciate upscale-anything in the neighborhood, and Rouge does offer a Strip-style flair to Station Casinos’ crown resort. We liked the impressive, cozy, 1920s-inspired decor and layout, and (of course) a piano set in the middle of the room. You feel special in this place, thanks to some dark lighting and a quick and omnipresent wait staff. I ordered the steak au poivre, which could be called Five Bites at $95. Very yummy, but wow that’s a high mark for a locals’ casino.

Some operational snags to work out, but we are behind this place, even if the color red is not our favorite. Big upshot, and massive potential, at Red Rock for Wish You Were Here.

Cool Hang Alert

On the topic of Rouge Room, Jaime Lynch is the featured entertainer from 7:30-10 p.m. Saturdays. She’s played the resort previously, with Zowie Bowie, and is smashing. Ambient brilliance with your steak au poivre.

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 Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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