Opening Act

By now, a Smokey Robinson-penned standard such as "My Girl" is as classic as the kind Frank Sinatra used to sing. So it figures that Robinson can mix the two with ease.

The Motown pioneer says that for the past 15 years, he routinely would drop a Cole Porter or George Gershwin tune into his live shows. He may even manage a few more today and Saturday when he christens the new Access Showroom at Aliante Station, located at the intersection of Aliante Parkway and the Las Vegas Beltway in North Las Vegas.

When he decided to record a full album of classics two years ago, "one day I would record a standard and the next day I’d record something original. I was doing them at the same time."

Both were recorded "the old-fashioned way, live in the studio. The musicians were in there playing while I was singing," he says. "People don’t record like that anymore. We had a ball."

The standards album, "Timeless Love," took the 68-year-old back to the music of his youth in Detroit’s North End. "Those standard tunes are the first music I ever heard in my life, as a kid growing up. I had two older sisters and my mom, and they played music of all types, all day long, every day. So I got a great dose of music growing up as a kid."

The standards album came out in June 2006, but Robinson is still doing post-production on the original songs. He rounded out the original Los Angeles sessions by recording newer duets with Joss Stone, India.Arie and Carlos Santana, for a planned album release early next year.

"I’m just being me," he says of the still-untitled collection, which will be his first mainstream album since 1999. (In 2004, he released an album of original gospel tunes, "Food for the Spirit.") The new songs are "just what I’ve always done, probably updated soundwise because of the new recording techniques. But other than that, it’s just me."

Robinson’s songwriting and legendary soul sound had a significant radio presence for 27 years, from "Shop Around"– his first hit with The Miracles in 1960 — to his top 10 solo ballad "Just to See Her" in 1987. He could live well on his songwriting royalties alone, but still performs in the range of 40 to 60 dates each year.

"I’m so blessed, I’m at the point in my life (where) if they call me with something I like, I’ll do it. And if they don’t, then I won’t," he says.

"As far as my work goes, performing is probably my favorite part, because that’s when I get a chance to go out and be with the fans and have a good time," he adds. "I never do a show for people. I always do a show with people. It gives me a high, you know?"

Robinson bought a home in the Las Vegas area about three years ago and now divides his time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. "I love Las Vegas and have spent a lot of time there," he says of annual dates at Caesars Palace and Bally’s in the 1980s.

"I’m not a clubber, man. I’m very low-profile. I don’t do much going out and party functions," he says. "But I do find that Las Vegas is very peaceful, at least for me. … Los Angeles is like hustle and bustle."

Robinson’s two-night stand is only at Aliante, but Station Casinos is testing a policy of two-night, cross-town bookings, where performers play Ovation at Green Valley Ranch one night and Aliante the next. Early ticket sales were heavily weighted toward Ovation, but as the opening of Aliante became more tangible, they started to balance out, says Judy Alberti, who heads entertainment for Station.

Hard-core fans might even double down. So far, they are given the choice with Chris Botti on Nov. 28 (Green Valley) and 29 (Aliante); Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades on Dec. 5 (Green Valley) and 6 (Aliante); a solo date with Godsmack’s Sully Erna on Sept. 12 (Green Valley) and 13 (Aliante) and an acoustic solo show by Aaron Lewis of Staind on Jan. 2 (Green Valley) and 3 (Aliante).

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ or 702-383-0288.

Entertainment Videos
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Taste of the Town: Henderson Booze District
Those who like to support local businesses and sample local products will find the best concentration in an unlikely spot: a Henderson industrial park.
Founder of theatre talks about a favorite play
Ann Marie Pereth, founder of A Public Fit Theatre Company, speaks to the Review-Journal about which play she would see every day if only given one option. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N interactive exhibit
The new exhibit features original and recreated props and plenty of interactive features. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Writer's Block and Lucy are open in Las Vegas
The Writer's Block and Lucy are open in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas ice cream shop offers everything in the kitchen sink
Have you ever wanted to eat an ice cream sundae out of a kitchen sink? Who hasn't, right? At Sloan's, located inside the Venetian, you can do just that. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Maxie’s in Las Vegas puts eggs Benedict in a box
Chef David Mangual at Maxie’s in The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas makes his eggs Benedict in a brioche “box” layered with spinach, bacon and tomatoes and topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caviar Twinkie Served at Stripsteak in Las Vegas
Stripsteak Executive Pastry Chef Vivian Chang and Chef Gerald Chin create a novel savory food item that looks like a familiar sweet treat at the restaurant in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
NAB attendees battle to qualify for Fortnite event
NAB is sponsoring an online video game event with Epic Games’ Fortnite allowing attendees to qualify to go head to head with top players. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Arctic Shrimp Sandwich at Saga near Las Vegas
Chef Gert Kvalsund, a native of Norway, founded Saga Pastry + Sandwich in Henderson to give Scandinavians a taste of home. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar talk UNLVino
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar talk about the upcoming UNLVino vent. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Christie Brinkley at Smith & Wollensky
Christie Brinkley, in town for her run in “Chicago” at the Venetian Theatre, paid a visit to the Grand Canal Shoppes’ still-under-construction Smith Wollensky on Monday for a ceremonial first toast at the bar. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two artists create a mural for peace in Las Vegas
2 artists create a mural for peace in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside Kaos nightclub and dayclub
A look at new club at Palms.
CinemaCon Brings Theater Professionals To Caesars
CinemaCon is not just celebs, it's also a place where theater owners can browse the latest in seats, projectors and concessions. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas restaurants provide a taste of ballpark food
The Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the Las Vegas Aviators, will serve food from Giada De Laurentiis and a team of favorite local restaurants. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Taste of the Town: Bobby Flay Opens Shark at the Palms - VIDEO
Bobby Flay opens Shark at the Palms; his first high-end restaurant in 15 years.
Chef Marc Marrone at T-Mobile Arena
Chef Marc Marrone has opened a bao cart at T-Mobile Arena. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio fountains celebrate 'Game of Thrones'
A medley of the theme for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and the song “Winter Is Here” from the show premiered at the Bellagio Fountains water show on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, March 31, 2019. The new number will run in rotation through April 13. The series premieres its eighth and final series on April 14. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegan Aunt Chippy talks about being on Jimmy Kimmel's show
Concetta Potenza, Aunt “Chippy” to Jimmy Kimmel, talks about her first time being featured on her nephew’s show. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The "Flight Unknown" At Bar Centro at Bazaar Meats Las Vegas Features 5 Innovative Cocktails
The "Flight Unknown" At Bar Centro At Bazaar Meats Las Vegas Features 5 Innovative Cocktails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cotton candy crowns pancakes in Las Vegas
At Maxie’s at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, executive chef David Mangual fills pancakes with fruit and cream cheese and piles on pastel cotton candy, which is melted in a stream of chocolate syrup. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Bananas Foster Pancakes go up in flames at The Stove near Las Vegas
Chef Antonio Nunez at The Stove in Henderson, near Las Vegas, flames the pancakes tableside for a fiery presentation. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
El Loco Rollercoaster at Circus Circus' Adventuredome
The El Loco rollercoaster opened at the Circus Circus' Adventuredome in February 2014. It features a 90-foot ascent, followed by a drop that produces a negative 1.5 "verticle G," a 180-degree turn, and reverse 240-degree roll that turns into an inverted drop. The coaster reaches a maximum speed of 45 mph and is the only indoor coaster of it's kind in the U.S., and is the second indoor El Loco coaster in the world, according to MGM Resorts.
Bartending flair competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show
Highlights from the ten contestants who competed for the Shake It Up Flair and Classic Competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Justin Kingsley Hall shares details on his next gig
Chef Justin Kinglsey hall shares some details about the newArts District restaurant he's developing with Kim Owens. (Al Mancini/Las Vegs Review-Journal)
Film prompted Carrie Hogan to found 2 farmers markets in Las Vegas
Carrie Hogan founded Fresh 52 Farmers and Artisan Market in Las Vegas after realizing she had to do something about the influence of factory farms on the food supply. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seafood dishes being made at Pasta Shop near Las Vegas
Executive chef Edwin Martinez incorporates fresh pasta into Lobster Salmon and Saffron Shrimp Sauté at Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson, near Las Vegas. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Andrew Carmean will be the only local participant in upcoming demolition derby
Andrew Carmean, a demolition driver, will be the only local participant in upcoming derby at the Plaza Hotel. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masso Osteria first anniversary in Las Vegas
Scott Conant was in town Tuesday to host a one-year anniversary party for his Red Rock Resort restaurant Masso Osteria.
Home Front Page Footer Listing