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U2 gives Priscilla Presley the royal treatment in Sphere show

Updated February 18, 2024 - 10:21 am

U2’s honoring Elvis at the Sphere in a flowing, ode-to Vegas video during “Even Better Than the Real Thing.”

The real thing was in the crowd Thursday night.

Priscilla Presley attended that show, in which Bono announced, “I’d like to talk about the king and queen in rock and roll, because Priscilla Presley’s in the house.”

The rock star then pointed to the second-level VIP section, took a knee and bowed in Presley’s direction.

Two days later, Presley was still excited about the experience.

“It was an amazing show! Truly captivating!” the rock ‘n’ roll icon said in a text message Saturday. “I do plan on going back soon, to see it again. Yes … It was that outstanding!” (Presley closed with a rose emoji.)

In acknowledging Presley, Bono shouted, “Thank you!” and continued, “Elvis of course, was the king of rock ‘n’ roll, there would be no Beatles without Elvis, there would be no U2, Crowded House, Oasis … Rock and roll was the sound of freedom, is that fair to say? Political, sexual, as well as religious.

“It’s in the room, this evening. You can feel it.” The band then spirited into Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” It later played a segment of “Viva Las Vegas” during “Love Is Blindness.”

On Friday, Presley returned to South Point, surprising hotel entertainment director Michael Libonati, singer Vanessa LeGrand and the bands Fourever Fab (a tribute to the Beatles) and SixtiesMania.

Those acts were playing the showroom, where Libonati had interviewed Presley in her latest Vegas stage appearance in November. “She is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met and hung out with.”

White doubles down

Dana White broke some gaming-industry news this week during his guest spot on the great combat sports journalist Kevin Iole’s new podcast (find it at KevinIole.com).

During the 30-minute segment, White and Iole discussed the boffo Power Slap 6 event at Durango Casino Resort on Feb. 9. Travis Scott was on hand, live-streaming the event.

White grew animated when he told Iole he was following Scott’s Instagram feed from the event.

“Travis Scott, arguably one of the most influential, famous people to the younger demo right now, his stories were all Power Slap. He was going crazy during the event,” White said. “And I saw morons — morons! — on there saying, ‘They paid Travis Scott to do that!’ How much money would I have to pay Travis Scott to do something like that?

“The level of stupidity of people is (expletive) fascinating to me.”

Celebs in attendance included Tom Brady (who later hit Roger Goodell’s Super Bowl party at Wynn), Pat McAfee and Charles Barkley. White joked that he paid everyone — including Iole — millions just to attend the event.

“The money that I shelled out … Is unbelievable!” White said in bombastic sarcasm. “We’re deeper in the hole than we were in the early days of the UFC, just paying celebrities to show up at our events.”

Barkley did receive a payout, White said, from the casino cage.

“Actually, Charles Barkley gambled after at Durango and beat them for half a million dollars,” White said. “The only one who got paid that night was Charles.”

Cowboy charisma

A personal story from Super Bowl weekend:

On Feb. 9, the Friday night before the Super Bowl, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was introduced to my gal Steph Payne after her set Delilah at Wynn. Steph mentioned to Jones that her father, Quintin, is a lifelong Cowboys fan.

“Let’s call him,” Jones said. So Steph called her dad, Quintin, who lives in L.A.

“Quintin, this is Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys …” the owner started.

“Is this a prank?” Quintin asked.

The two chatted for several minutes, about the Cowboys’ season, Jones’ time at the Super Bowl, and (I believe) the rationale behind keeping Mike McCarthy on as head coach. The conversation was a serendipitously emotional lift for the family, which has recently experienced loss.

The next night, I ran into Jones at “The Dinner Party,” hosted by Raiders owner Mark Davis at Fontainebleau. Jones was seated next to his wife, Eugena, when I re-introduced myself to him (we’d met in 2009, and had just chatted with him the night before at the Commissioner’s Party at Wynn).

I told Jones how I was related to his call to Quintin. “It’s a small world, isn’t it?” the owner said.

I said to Jones as I shook his hand, “I’m a 49ers’ fan, but that was a world-class move. You made some folks very happy.”

Jones grinned and said, “I appreciate you sharing that with us.” A tip of the hat to this Cowboy.

Cool Hang Alert

On the topic of good soul: The Soul Fusion band returns to Myron’s at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Steph (from previous item) sings. Skip Martin, late of the Dazz Band and Kool & The Gang, is the special guest. The roster: Dave Siegel (music director, keyboards), Steven Lee (guitar), Timothy Bailey (bass), Cal Styles (drums) Rick Keller (sax) and the vocal trio Lovewood on backing vocals. Featured dancers are Dorimar Bonilla, with a long stage career in Las Vegas (including Sin City Comedy and Burlesque at V Theater) and Caroline Payne. Possibly yours truly on maracas and “interpretive grooving.”

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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