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The Knight Club lights up Golden Knights’ home games

Updated April 27, 2023 - 2:02 pm

NHL purists have their opinion of the Golden Knights’ entertainment at T-Mobile Arena.

That opinion often starts with, “Wha-a?”

Over the years, the team that has invited Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond and Carrot Top to crank the siren. The team has introduced the NHL to the Gazillionaire, Blue Man Group and cast of “Ka.”

Now VGK is putting on a nightclub party. Diplo, Kaskade, Two Friends and DJ Ruckus are among the Strip mega-club headliners who have lit up the second-period intermission of VGK home games this season and into the playoffs.

T-Mobile Arena has become the rare venue to feature a Zamboni, a penalty box and a DJ booth.

“I mean, obviously, the traditional teams will always have their opinions on on what we do,” Golden Knights Vice President and Executive Producer of Entertainment Andrew Abrams says. “We’re really leaning into the city, and having our production be an extension of what the city is about.”

And often, it is about superstar DJs jacking up the adrenaline with party cannons and strobes and such.

“You see little bits of a Vegas show here and there, sprinkled in, but this really is the thing we lean into the most as far as Vegas-type entertainment,” Abrams says. “People come in and say, ‘This makes total sense to have a nightclub in a Golden Knights game in Las Vegas.’ ”

Abrams had taken note of how teams presented the 30-second “rejoin” segment entering the third period. These recorded snippets were growing from hype videos to projection shows.

The idea blossomed near the end of the 2020-2021 regular season, advancing into the NHL Stanley Cup semifinals. In-house DJ Joe Greene took over the venue for the final few minutes of the second intermission, when the house lights dropped and strobes and ice projections illuminated the arena.

Abrams saw the opportunity to tap into the Vegas DJ community for a live performance. The nightclub vibe, with the “Knight” wordplay, was natural.

“Our social media department tweeted out a photo of our opening, with all the lasers, the lights, and our fans actually started commenting, ‘Oh, it looks like a nightclub!’ and then somebody else commented K-N-I-G-H-T Club,” Abrams says. “So the fans actually named the moment. The we thought of how to kind of Vegas-ize that moment.”

That includes actual bottle presentations, with the same giant letters spelling out guests’ names as are used at, say, XS Nightclub.

The Knight Club party will continue for as long as the Golden Knights are alive in the playoffs. Greene will continue as party purveyor. Should the team advance, look for more headliners, as the VGK team has checked out all prominent Vegas nightclubs.

“We’re always trying to capitalize on how to make our show theme the Las Vegas Strip,” Abrams says. “We’re always looking for ways to keep that moment growing, and trying to find the next big thing.”

Jazz, Johnson … and you

The performer dubbed Las Vegas’ First Lady of Jazz, Michelle Johnson, is bringing a characteristically inspired show to Myron’s at the Smith Center at 7 p.m. Sunday. “Lady Be Good — A Celebration of Women in Jazz” is Johnson’s tribute to that genre, sampling from such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee and Dinah Washington.

Grammy nominees Jane Monheit and Tierney Sutton, and Tony nominee Ann Hampton Callaway are Johnson’s guest vocalists. Clint Holmes is also set to make a guest appearance.

Johnson is immersed in all facets of the entertainment scene in Vegas. Her Desert Angels Choir has backed Barbra Streisand, The Eagles and Michael Bublé over the years.

In these Myron’s showcases, Johnson always bring something special, relevant, with a personal touch.

He’s magic

Check out “Mrs. Davis,” the magical new series on Peacock Plus. “A magician never reveals his secrets, and neither does Mrs. Davis,” the show’s IG page promises. And you will see evidence of Teller’s illusion mastery. He was the magic consultant on the series, first four episodes streaming now.

Tease this …

Sammy Hagar texted a quick video clip Sunday. “Hey, Mr. Katmandu. Let’s let all the fans in Vegas know that I’ll be drinking with them. Let’s stay in touch, OK? That’s all you need to know.”

Hagar’s band, The Circle, headlines Pearl at the Palms on July 15. A Hagar-themed pool party, starring the tribute band Three Lock Box, is set for the resort’s SOAK Pool on May 7.

Sift through all that for clues. And yes, he calls me Katmandu.

And this …

Las Vegas Events has a classic, celebrity-centric concept for marketing the 60th anniversary of the National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. We’ll see the range and quality of Vegas entertainment in this one.

T.C. to RRV

The charismatic, powerfully voiced Travis Cormier, late of “Bat Out of Hell — The Musical” at Paris Theater, has joined Raiding the Rock Vault at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. He opened in the rock revival Saturday night, and is performing 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The show runs 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Get there.

Cool Hang Alert

The Underground at the Mob Museum celebrated its fifth anniversary last week. The throwback haunt presents favorite chanteuse Nieve Malandra 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday. The wonderful crooner Michael Ross Nugent headlines 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Such a cool scene, and it is actually underground. No cover. We suggest pinstripes for the gents.

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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