It was the sort of fanfare generally reserved for photo shoots featuring a Kardashian.
Or, at the very least, a Jenner.
For the photo illustrations that accompany Sunday’s stories looking back at the Vegas Golden Knights’ historic playoff run, Review-Journal graphic artists Severiano Del Castillo Galvan and Wes Rand wanted to eclipse the design of the special section fronts they created for each round of the postseason — the ones that proved so popular, several of you were selling them on eBay.
They turned to DJ, emcee and former assistant cruise director Lee Orchard.
You know him as The Golden Knight.
During the playoffs, their knights were assembled from a variety of existing images — one of the more elaborate designs required bits and pieces of a couple of hundred photos. So it was actually easier — and far more authentic — to have Orchard come to the RJ photo studio and don the famous armor.
No fewer than nine editors and staff members documented the scene as he sweated beneath the roughly 45-pound suit crafted from 18-gauge brass by Rob Valentine, a local armorer and Alice Cooper tribute artist.
That’s Vegas for you.
Orchard mustered the accompanying poses and expressions in response to directions ranging from “Look up to the gods” to “You’re about to kick the (backside) of Godzilla.”
And he did so without once wielding his sword with malice.
“I keep saying I’m going to put a Fitbit on. I’m intrigued to know,” the good-humored Orchard said of the workout that comes with wearing all that heavy metal.
On a serious note, he proudly showed off the back of this season’s armor, onto which are stamped 58 stars that honor those killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting.
As odd as the studio spectacle may have seemed — pretending to menace imaginary forces while trying to avoid staring at the disturbing, half-nude mannequin discarded nearby — it was nothing unusual for Orchard.
Especially when you compare it to the team’s elaborate pregame shows in which he performs before 18,000 of the loudest fans the National Hockey League has ever known. (For more on those, see Sunday’s ENT. section.)
“This is tame,” Orchard said afterward. “This is like a Monday morning.”
His Friday nights must be extraordinary.
Contact Christopher Lawrence at email@example.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.