NYE weekend goes beyond fireworks with extravagant parties and concerts

What do Lady Gaga, Elton John, Dennis DeYoung and local showman Wes Winters have in common?

They all play piano, of course.

Oh, that and the New Year’s weekend thing.

Las Vegas always takes it over the top, but this one seems bigger than usual. For years, the Strip’s fireworks show sent ticketed entertainment on the run. But this year, more stars than not are here for one-off concerts that fall outside of a U.S. tour or recurring residency: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Wu-Tang Clan and Sting among them. (You can consider Sting’s Cosmopolitan show a preview of February’s “57th & 9th Tour,” but one that so far lacks a Las Vegas return date.)

You can partly thank the calendar for a Saturday night New Year’s Eve, which means Friday gets annexed to create a seamless party weekend with something for everyone. And while every new year brings change, this year’s firsts are especially prominent, and a couple of “lasts” deserve a special toast.

VOLUME BUSINESS

T-Mobile Arena and Park Theater opened this year, making this the first time it’s possible to say three sports arenas and three large concert halls on the Strip will be in business this weekend. That’s (conservatively) 60,000 people just for concerts, and as many as 19,000 more if you count Friday’s UFC Amanda Nunes-Ronda Rousey matchup at the T-Mobile Arena.

(Those concerts are: Luke Bryan at the MGM Grand Garden, Friday; Maroon 5 at Mandalay Bay Events Center, Friday and Saturday; Lionel Richie on Friday, Wu-Tang Clan Saturday at the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood; Bruno Mars on Friday and Saturday at Park Theater; Elton John at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday and Sunday; Snoop Dogg at the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday; The Weeknd on Friday and Sting on Saturday in The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan.)

FOR EVERY BUDGET

The fireworks on the Strip always bring penthouse-view 1-percenters and street-level Joe Six Packs under the same exploding sky. The Strip starts closing off car access about 5 p.m.

But this year really drives home some contrasts. Face value is $1,090 for Lady Gaga’s one-off evening of standards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday. And for Bruno Mars at The Park? Secondary sellers were asking $1,250 to $4,500 for floor seats, and $494 to $660 for the balcony.

But remember those other piano players: Former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung is $175 at South Point, but that’s with a four-course dinner and open bar to ensure you’ll be in perfect pitch to sing “Babe” with him.

And away from the Strip, bargains multiply. Wes Winters’ New Year’s Eve party at Sam’s Town is $25 (before fees), with the first drink, party favors and midnight toast included.

LIGHT UP THE SKY

If it’s all about the fireworks? The big eight-minute display on the Strip goes off from the roofs of Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort, MGM Grand, Aria, Treasure Island, The Venetian and Stratosphere. Those who tune in to radio stations KOMP-FM 92.3 or KXPT-FM 97.1 will hear the synced tributes to Prince, David Bowie and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Downtown, as usual, is the ticketed ($43.60) access to the Fremont Street Experience and live music on three stages, before fireworks from the roof of The Plaza and a new Viva Vision tribute to Green Day under the video canopy.

Locals can look to the skies above the Lake Las Vegas development for the annual fireworks in the southeastern valley.

THE HIGH LIFE

In November, Nevada voted to legalize recreational marijuana starting Jan 1. That means that come midnight, many Champagne toasts may well be accompanied by that first brazenly open New Year’s hit.

But it’s always midnight — or at least 4:20 p.m. — somewhere in the worlds of Snoop Dogg, who gets an early spark on things with a Friday show at the Hard Rock Hotel, and George Clinton, who spearheads the Parliament-Funkadelic jam on Saturday at the Brooklyn Bowl.

And while weed isn’t quite as synonymous with their “brand,” don’t be shocked like Claude Rains in “Casablanca” if you smell something in the air at the Wu-Tang Clan’s New Year’s Eve show at Planet Hollywood.

CLUB LIFE

The New Year’s irony for most Las Vegas nightclubs is that midnight is still kind of early for them, and they will have to kick into high gear faster than on a typical Saturday.

A couple of stars moonlight after their concert duties: Bruno Mars rushes from the Park Theater to The Bank at Bellagio to “host” on Saturday. And Snoop turns into “DJ Snoopadelic” for his Friday night/Saturday morning concert after-party at Vanity inside the Hard Rock Hotel.

Big names found only in the clubs include Kendrick Lamar on Saturday at Cromwell (which typically hosts hourlong concert sets instead of brief “track dates”), Drake at Hakkasan on Saturday, Calvin Harris at Omnia on Saturday and Travis Barker on Saturday at the Hard Rock’s Vanity.

A FULL DAY

Start early and keep going, or get it done and get home. Older revelers can beat the rush with “New Year’s at Noon” at the South Point, featuring the doo-wop vocals of the Alley Cats (Jay Leno’s frequent opening act).

And the E-String Bar & Grill in Henderson will watch the British clock for a “New Year’s in London” celebration that starts at 1 p.m. and rings in the Brexit era at 4 p.m.

AULD LANG SYNE

It won’t be quite as crazy as the night Aerosmith inaugurated the Hard Rock Cafe on Paradise Road (in front of the Hard Rock Hotel) back in 1990. But the fine local band Moksha will send the place out in style with a New Year’s Eve show with no cover charge.

“Rock of Ages” takes the big night off, but you can bring down the curtain on Sunday with the fist-pumping ’80s musical’s last call. And “ShowStoppers” at Wynn Las Vegas gives Broadway babies one more “Razzle Dazzle” on New Year’s Eve.

Read more from Mike Weatherford at reviewjournal.com. Contact him at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com. Follow him @Mikeweatherford.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like