Returning from a break from this column requires a lot of unpacking, and I’m not talking about the luggage.
It’s time to move and groove with updates from New Year’s Eve in VegasVille, and beyond:
The Chainsmokers rocked XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas. This was expected.
But an appearance by Usher was a surprise, one of the unbilled walk-ons that make Strip nightclubs so unpredictably fascinating. The Grammy Award-winning R&B artist joined The Chainsmokers, XS resident headliners, for his hit, “Confessions.”
Meantime, the headlining executive for whom the hotel is name turned up in Florida …
Wynns on the carpet
Steve Wynn and his wife, Andrea Wynn, were among the attendees at President Trump’s New Year’s Eve party at Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach. Once a rival of Trump decades ago through their competing real-estate projects, Wynn is now a Trump backer as Chairman of Finance for the Republican National Committee.
The Wynns were on an invite list that included a range of guests including ex-New York Mets star Keith Hernandez and broadcaster Lou Dobbs. Tickets for the event cost $600 for members, $750 for guests.
In control of the remotes
Britney Spears joined the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” telecast from Axis theater on Sunday night, but she had plenty of company on NYE TV broadcasts.
Imagine Dragons performed during the Allstate Sugar Bowl Fan Fest telecast from New Orleans, which was folded into the Central Time Zone feed of the “Rockin’ Eve” broadcast. The Vegas rockers performed “Evolve” and “Believer.”
On Fox’s “New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey” (which was not broadcast from the Philippines), Axis headliners performed “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” Celine also performed on the Harvey show, singing, “River Deep, Mountain High” from the Colosseum.
Bruno to The Bank
Bruno Mars capped his thundering headliner weekend at The Park Theater by counting midnight at The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio. The Vegas favorite grooved as his hit “24 K Magic” played over the house sound system. That’s fitting; in the song’s video, Mars cut the waves on Lake Bellagio while riding a Jet-Ski.
Lost, but not totally, in the flurry of New Year’s Eve haps on the Strip was Tiesto’s new contract with Hakkasan Group. He’s actually extended his exclusive Strip residency with the nightclub conglomerate through 2020. Find him alternately at Hakkasan Nightclub and Wet Republic at MGM Grand. He played Hakkasan on Saturday to lead into New Year’s Eve, when Steve Aoki took over.
Tiesto, who turns 49 on Jan. 17, has proven that EDM can span generations. A forerunner of the superstar DJ boom on the Strip, he said in a statement, “Vegas has come to feel like home, and through my residency with Hakkasan Group, I feel proud of the space we’ve created here for dance music. I look forward to many more opportunities to be inspired by this incredible city in venues that are consistently full of energy.”
The latest on my friend and colleague Robin Leach: He has been transported from the St. Rose Dominican San Martin facility to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to further his rehabilitation from suffering what was diagnosed as a mild stroke on Nov. 20.
Leach was flown from Las Vegas to Cleveland on Sunday night, in his new surroundings by midnight Eastern Time. The move to the famed Cleveland medical complex is part of an ongoing effort to focus on the 76-year-old celeb journalist’s rehabilitation.
Long a supporter of the Lou Ruvo Cleveland Clinic for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Leach is able to move his right arm and leg — which weakened after his stroke — but remains on a ventilator and unable to speak as efforts to wean him from the machine continue.
Piero’s Italian Restaurant welcomed a pair of ex-sports stars and an Oscar winner during New Year’s Eve weekend.
On Friday, former Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns all-star Charles Barkley visited Pia Zadora’s “Pia’s Place” dinner show. Saturday, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, once a standout (at 6-feet-10 inches) for the Dallas Cowboys, hit the restaurant for dinner.
Sunday, Nicolas Cage and a group took in New Year’s Eve at Freddie Glusman’s classically appointed Vegas hang.
Santa Fe and the extension
The year starts with this invigorating piece of news: Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns are now in an open-ended engagement at The Copa Room at Bootlegger Bistro. The shows are 7:30 p.m. Mondays (doors at 6 p.m.), general admission seating is $10, VIP $35, and those who make pre-show dinner reservations at the Bootlegger at 5 p.m or 5:30 receive preferred seating for the show for $10.
We call it “The Healing” for a reason, and just writing about it makes me feel good.