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Vegas rockers to perform 1st concert at Las Vegas Ballpark

Updated May 24, 2021 - 2:31 pm

Brody Dolyniuk is a classic-rock guy and vintage-car guy who doesn’t know baseball. But he knows enough about the game to know when he has a hit.

“We’re going to knock it outta the park,” Dolyniuk said during a phone chat Sunday. “We’re gonna come right outta the dugout and hit a home run. We’ll at least make it to second base, because that’s where the stage will be.”

We stopped Dolyniuk before swinging and missing on more puns out of the strike zone. But on June 26, the longtime Vegas rocker is headlining the first concert ever at the Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the Las Vegas Aviators. His “British Rock Royalty” show is a nod to such legends as The Who, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Queen and Led Zeppelin.

Tickets will be $19.95 and available at thelvballpark.com. Dates and times to be announced. On Monday, Las Vegas Ballpark was cleared to stage games and events at 100-percent capacity. The stadium seats 10,000.

Dolyniuk is co-producing the show along with 3G Productions and Source 1 Events of Las Vegas. Those officials asked the veteran musician if he had a special guest in mind.

Of course he did. Dolyniuk also needn’t look far; he just called across the house to his partner and fellow rocker, violin great Nina DiGregorio. Her “Femmes of Rock” lineup opens the show. The couple has toured together, and also most recently appeared onstage in Vegas during “Symphonic Rock Show” at Reynolds Hall in October 2019.

Dolyniuk, who founded the classic-rock cover band Yellow Brick Road in 1997, has performed a version of “British Rock Royalty” at the Smith Center. There is an important addition to the production’s return at the ballpark.

“We’ve had this as a four-part show in the past, and added David Bowie just for this show,” Dolyiuk said. “You can expect the greatest hits of all those bands.”

Dolyniuk is backed by Vegas guitarist John Wedemeyer, currently performing with Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers at the Bootlegger Bistro on Friday and Saturday nights; former Yellow Brick Road drummer Jimmy Keegan; and L.A. bassist Trent Strow, who is also in Dolyniuk’s “Zeppelin USA” act.

Expect a healthy rock show, in other words, even as neither Dolyniuk nor DiGregorio have headlined a baseball stadium before.

“For a first show back, this is a big one,” DiGregorio said. “I’m wondering if I’m going to be able to play, if playing an instrument really is like riding a bicycle.”

We’ll find out, after a stint in Triple-A.

Laugh it off

We seem to have a hit blossoming at Notoriety at Neonopolis, where Satuday night the “Laugh After Dark” comedy show premiered. This is the ongoing special on Amazon Prime, with the first TV show set for July 3. The live shows at Notoriety run 9 p.m. Saturdays.

The lineup is hosted by Charlie Wilson, among the many L.A. comedians who have relocated to Vegas during the pandemic. The lure of employment has drawn this community. Wilson’s sharp material and crowd work and the Fremont Funk Band stitched together the solid lineup of stand-ups: Adam Dominguez, Kris Shaw, Luz Pazos and Big Irish Jay. All were funny.

Pazos came with a classic bit about being asked on a date by a magician. I won’t spoil the whole stretch, but this segment was just expertly constructed, with Pazos crouching while reciting a descending list of entertainers. My magician friends might call for equal time after being exposed to this evisceration. It was better, even, than the linking rings.

Rocking at ‘27’

I had a feeling Erik Himel was a great guitarist even without hearing him play. Some entertainers just carry a well-earned confidence, and Himel is such a performer. I was proven right Wednesday night when Himel, music director of “27 — A Musical Adventure” at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas’ 24 Oxford. Himel, who is note-perfect, is the music director of the nod to members of “The 27 Club” of rock legends who died at that age.

The show’s soft opening was like the Monterey Pop Festival, as if played in a rock club. Himel is the music director, and the band kills with Jimmy Khoury on guitar, Adam Peri on keys, Jake Hayden on drums and Victor Brodén on bass. Roger Love is vocal director.

The portrayals are terrific with John Bigham as Robert Johnson, Adi Argelazi as Janis Joplin, Nazim Chambi as Jimi Hendrix, Toby Rand as Jim Morrison, Gabe Maska as Kurt Cobain, and Lea Cappelli as Amy Winehouse. The artists have mastered the stage mannerisms and, more impressively, the vocal and playing qualities of all these departed artists. Rand even strips his search and staggers into the crowd. Cappelli actually appears drunken, while singing as Winehouse. It’s an experience, thoughtful and well-executed, and we will be back.

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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