Ten years on, Pearl at the Palms still a Las Vegas gem

The ACM Party For a Cause sauntered into Pearl Concert Theater on Friday night with the Academy of Country Music Awards Songwriter Showcase. Miranda Lambert turned up to close the performance, as a “surprise,” or “unbilled” guest star on night dotted with appearances by Dierks Bentley, Brandy Clark, Cam and Dean Dillon, among others.

Lori McKenna was presented the ACM Songwriter of the Year award, in advance of Sunday’s ACM Awards show at T-Mobile Arena, which will air at 8 p.m. Pacific Time on CBS.

Meantime, the country lineup at Pearl underscores the many artists who have headlined over the years at the 2,500-seat venue. The Pearl turns 10 next week, marking the occasion Thursday night with the first of a two-night engagement by alt-rockers A Perfect Circle.

It seems not so long ago that then-Palms owner George Maloof led me on a hardhat tour of the under-construction facility, talking of the wonderful shows and events he’d planned there. Maloof’s vision to entice the rising stars of contemporary music along with bona fide rock legends to the stage were realized; his idea of Broadway tours stopping at the Pearl never happened (the Smith Center has since filled that void).

But the quality of entertainment has been plentiful since the theater opened a decade ago. In this ode to the facilty, my top-10 list of favorite Pearl experiences:

10: Gwen Stefani. She lifted the lid on the place, officially, April 21, 2007, kicking off her “Sweet Escape” tour. Maloof ordered up 160 tracker lights to trumpet the event.

9: Cheech & Chong. Gray and green was the color scheme as hippies of a certain age delighted in the duo’s reunion performances May 23-25, 2009. “Light Up America” was the tour title, and an audience filled with fans who might have been treating glaucoma had a high time, for sure.

8: Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain. “Good vs. Evil” was an onstage conversation on between the two culinary superstars on Feb. 9, 2013. Bourdain was especially verbose. During the Q&A segment of the show, an audience member asked the host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” series, “What kind of drugs have you tried?” Having given up that lifestyle, Bourdain shot back, “All of them.”

7: Steely Dan. The band’s Aug. 29, 2009 show was precisely executed — no surprise there — with Don Fagen saying, “We’re going to play an old song now. Actually, they’re all old.” “Reelin’ in the Years” was the one-song encore, and even as the house lights went up and roadies disassembled the stage, much of the crowd lingered, as if refusing to accept the show was over.

6: Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band. One of many Vegas venues for Ringo, performed March 15, 2015. Just before announcing “Yellow Submarine” he said, “If you don’t know this song, you’re at the wrong show.”

5: Bonnie Raitt. During her Feb. 17 show this year, she stopped to apply lipstick as she moved to the keyboard. “Hey, this is Vegas,” she said, classically, drawing a laugh from her audience. “Ya gotta make an effort.”

4: Lady Gaga. The Pearl caught her on the upswing to international fame with her “Monster Ball” tour, performing two nights Dec. 18-19, 2009. “Tonight, the freaks are outside,” she called out. The stage spectacle was very Madonna-meets-Wonder Woman, and hinted at her even more expansive arena tours to come.

3. Bruno Mars. With his grooving Hooligans backing band, Mars hit the stage and leveled the place — a harbinger of future shows in Vegas — on June 16, 2011. It was the first time I heard “Just the Way You Are” live, and have been forever hooked.

2. Kiss. The place rattled the night the band brought its current lineup of original members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer to the Pearl on Nov. 28, 2009. Prior to the show, Stanley said of the band’s stage makeup, “It’s like our war paint.” The ensuing show was indeed a pyrotechnic assault.

1. Journey. Capping the band’s performance on Aug. 28, 2013, was a surprise appearance by Carlos Santana and Santana’s original keyboardist, Gregg Rolie. They joined Woodstock veteran and guitar great Neal Schon, also from Santana’s early lineup. The band roared through a five-minute rendition of “Soul Sacrifice,” marking the first time they’d been onstage together since 1972.

At one point, Santana dismissively kicked away confetti that had fallen onstage. It really was time to just rock out.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20 – Tara Mack
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like