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Usher works the room in Dolby Live premiere

Updated July 17, 2022 - 5:24 pm

Usher has tagged his new Strip residency production with “My Way,” referring to his jaunty 1998 single.

But when you see “My Way” alongside the name of a Las Vegas headliner, you can think back further, to the Elvis-Sinatra days. “My Way” was more than a signature song. It was a show-closer, a lasting message for audiences, and also a way of life.

Usher has seized that theme. Gliding along on roller skates and dancing in a way that makes you just shake your head (to the beat), the superstar has seamlessly become a very Las Vegas personality. He’s come to love the city. Over the past 18 months he’s checked out such locals haunts as Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District and even Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club (creating chaos by tossing is UshBucks all around the club).

Usher also catches other superstars’ shows. He took the stage with Bruno Mars at Dolby Live in December . Mars made news — for Usher — that night by telling the crowd his fellow superstar would be onstage at Dolby Live in 2022.

This was months before the “My Way” formal announcement would be ready. It was a brazen, modern-day Rat Pack kind of move.

Aside from the new surrounding and new hairstyle (gone is the Bobby Brown-inspired “shelf” the superstar sported last year at the Colosseum), Usher’s show is familiar for anyone who caught him at the Colosseum (for a time Zappos Theater was also reviewed for the production).

But Usher flourishes anywhere, including the Colosseum loading dock during his “Backstory Pass” pre-show party at Caesars. Dolby Live’s upgraded Dolby Atmos audio system gives the room an additional, surround-sound boost. The venue has versatility for multiple performance platforms, with a setup similar to Zappos Theater’s, as the stage’s rounded walkway encircles a standing GA section. A tireless dancer (or skater) has ample room to roam.

In his second Vegas residency, Usher is not messing with what works. He’s returned the two-story Magic City set from his days in Atlanta. He sashaying along the stage in roller skates to “Don’t Waste My Time” before cavorting with the dancers performing on the makeshift club’s stripper poles.

Usher spent several minutes on the auxiliary stage (encountering a nonplussed VIP server) in the middle of the audience. He ventured back in time for a swift medley of “My Boo,” “That’s What It’s Made For,” “Matrimony,” “Throwback,” “Trading Places,” “Can U Get Wit It,” “Without You” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.” It’s a callback to the main stage, so far away, and also to his “day-one fans,” a call-out before “Can U Get Wit It.”

He then glided back to the main stage, lifted by an elevated platform and under a circular bank of lights, for “Climax” and “Nice & Slow,” bending over the mic stand as if it were a dance partner. Or, life partner.

The headliner drew some well-known fans, some recognized, others not. Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather moved through the VIP section, creating something of a stir. Not so noticed nearby was Grammy Award-winning songwriter Johntá Austin, wearing a chic black tux and matching face cover. He, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael-Cox co-wrote the song “Foolin Around” Usher’s Grammy-winning album “Raymond v. Raymond.”

Usher shut it down with a flurry of his UshBucks, the fake cash he often tosses to friends, fans, dancers, or whomever. These are tinier than the original UshBucks, which were so realistic that some fans at Caesars attempted to play them in the casino.

Fans swept up hundreds of UshBucks after the show. Good move. Consider them souvenirs, from an entertainer who is still the gold standard.

Holding to Adele

We’re staying with the plan that Adele is moving toward an announcement at the end of the month for dates at the Colosseum opening in November. But there is an ongoing malleability, coupled with a scarcity of formal confirmation, about any facet of “Weekends With Adele.” Her team runs the show, on and off the stage. It’s not a thing until they say so.

We are still not buying the recurring rumor that the show is moving to Zappos Theater. It would be nearly impossible to relocate the vast majority fans still holding Adele tickets at the Colosseum to the Zappos Theater layout. The venues might be similar in a lot of ways, but the setup is not a seat-for-seat match.

That is just one of many reasons (including the operational challenges of Zappos, which is already busy through the end of the year) we are expecting “Weekends” back at the Colosseum. Adele has been consistent one one message: Her intention to perform this year in Las Vegas.

Impersonators in person

E’Stefano DiSanto’s Legends in Concert” reunion is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday (doors at 6 p.m.) at the Stirling Club. John Anthony as Rod Stewart, Steve McCoy as Tom Jones, Janae Longo as Adele, Mark Maynard as Frankie Valli and Carmen Romano in his Blues Brothers role are set to appear. Original “Legends” producer John Stuart and current “Legendary Divas” at Tropicana host (and Vegas icon) Frank Marino are also on the bill. Surprise performances (such as my tribute to Englebert Humperdinck) are also promised. The event is open to the public, with a $25 food-and-beverage minimum. Go to thestirlingclub.com or call 702-732-9700 for info. And use your Elvis voice.

Cool Hang Alert(s)

Ashley Fuller’s band is forging momentum — forging, I tell you! — at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Piazza lounge at Tuscany Suites, and also as the house band at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club from 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Tuscany a great off-Strip hang; Garrett’s club a wonderful classic-Strip hang. Fuller is backed by her husband, Aaron, on guitar; David Ramirez on drums and Ronnie Payne on keys. No cover. Have the fun.

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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