Sunday morning’s Kats! Bureau is Freedom Beat at Downtown Grand on Third Street and Ogden Avenue in downtown Las Vegas, which has become a favorite duck-in because of a few favorite qualities:
Great food, with a menu conceived by Chef Scott Commings (champion of Season 12 of “Hell’s Kitchen”), which includes an irresistible, double-grilled, mac-and-cheese sandwich; around-the-clock service; and a regular schedule of live music.
Sunday morning, I happened upon an acoustic set by Peter Love, a busy live performer around town. Love, who somewhat resembles a folksy version of Johnny Depp, has also performed at Station Casinos hotels, PBR Rock Bar at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort and at Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York. It was on the Bridge where T-Mobile Arena headliner George Strait once stopped to catch a set as he walked past with a few friends.
What else … ah, Love was also a cast member on the soap opera “Santa Barbara.” He portrayed Ric Castillo, bartender at Topsy Turvy’s, from 1989-1990. Based on his callouts of mimosa and bloody mary specials from the stage, he can resume that role anytime.
More from the scene:
Who is up
Cryptically, The Who are already teasing about extending its engagement at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Pete Townshend told the crowd at Saturday’s show that this was the start of “however many” performances would be in Las Vegas, hinting that depending on how the band likes the run, there might be more. He added, “Luckily, that does not depend on you lot.” Meaning, it is the band’s call on if/when/how to add dates.
As of now, The Who are booked for six additional dates at the Colosseum on Tuesday and Friday, and also Aug. 7, Aug. 9 and Aug. 11.
Also, from backstage blog on The Who website, an authorized account of the band’s vision for the Colosseum is that Vegas is always a place where a legendary band would “play it safe.” You know, roll out a full complement of its greatest hits. But frontman Roger Daltrey says the band might stray from that format, because a band (and the audience) would go “stir crazy doing the same thing over and over in the same place.”
That’s why The Who has historically resisted lengthy residencies, yet the blog reports the band originally sought a monthlong, or longer, residency in Las Vegas. The message: If The Who does extend, expect some deep cuts shuffled in with the classics.
Ardent fans of the Beatles and The Who likely know this piece of triviata, but it bears reviving: Legendary Who drummer Keith Moon was the godfather of Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr. Starkey long ago took over Moon’s spot behind the drums and is performing with the band at the Colosseum.
Starr and Moon were, of course, very close friends up until Moon’s death in September 1978.
Starkey, a monster musician, is also performing with his new band, Sshh at Sand Dollar Lounge following each of The Who shows. Sshh is an electro-punk duo formed by Starkey and his girlfriend, Sshh Liguz, with Starkey moving from behind the drums to play guitar. As the couple related in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, their influences range from the Sex Pistols to Little Richard to glam rock.
The Sshh performances kick off at 10 p.m. There is no cover, but hide for cover, as we say …
Our shows of shows
Updating buzz around VegasVille on a few shows on descent on the Strip and elsewhere: Opium, the Spiegelworld production expected to take over The Act space at Palazzo, is not a certainty for that venue. I am hearing there is some trepidation among Venetian/Palazzo officials about the show’s format and content (a series of variety acts with a central host) might be too close to the circus-styled “Revive” planned for Opaline Theater at Venetian.
The Act venue, the Shoppes at the Palazzo’s second level, is managed by mall operator General Growth Properties. But Las Vegas Sands Corp., owners of The Venetian and Palazzo, makes the final call on content in that room for ticketed shows. Entertainment officials are still reviewing possibilities for the multileveled space. “Money Mike” Foland of the “Men of the Strip” male revue commented on my recent post about the venue that it would be a “great place” for his show. “Men of the Strip,” a partnership of Foland, Jeff Timmons and Daniel Kouretas of Kouretas Entertainment Group, ended its six-show engagement at Hard Rock Live on Saturday.
Elsewhere, look for a late-September opening for the aquatic production “Wow Splash” at the former Rock of Ages Theater (and before that, Crown Theater) at Rio. And, a significant figure in the organized-crime culture is expected to play a major role in the Jeff Kutash-produced “Mob Confidential” musical set to open this year. Initial reports are that production is headed for the old Jubilee Theater at Bally’s but that deal is not yet signed or announced.