Her Vegas: Boyz II Men, Bruno Mars, dining in the dark and more
Bruno Mars and New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas go together like neon and signs, with Mars’ luminescent presence having graced the stage at Park Theater the previous two years as part of his Park MGM residency. Boyz II Men have been on the scene as a groundbreaking vocal force since introducing their hip-hop doo-wop vocal blend to mass audiences in 1991 with Cooleyhighharmony, and had the first R&B residency in Las Vegas when they began playing The Mirage regularly in 2013. The two acts have joined forces to welcome 2019 with an arena-sized party that’s destined to be unforgettable.
Boyz II Men were one of the acts that replaced new mom Cardi B as the opener for the final leg of Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour, which began March 28, 2017, in Belgium. Much of Mars’ set comes from his Grammy-winning third studio album, 2016’s 24K Magic, not only demonstrating his confidence in his latest material but celebrating the ’80s and ’90s sounds he grew up with as created by producers such as Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Teddy Riley.
Babyface wound up helping Mars “crack the code” when he had difficulty writing album closer “Too Good to Say Goodbye,” while New Jack Swing’s influence is clearly evident in “Finesse.” Mars’ 14th top five single, featuring Cardi B in a remixed version of the album track, pays tribute to “Poison,” the title track and first single from Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 debut album, which came in the wake of fellow New Edition alumnus Bobby Brown’s success with producer Riley’s pioneering sound.
A year before “Poison” was released and became a smash hit, an unknown Philadelphia vocal group approached BBD’s Michael Bivins at a concert and asked for an impromptu audition. Their name was inspired by New Edition song “Boys to Men.” Bivins, who was planning on a future as a talent developer and producer, helped make Boyz II Men into stars only a year after the success of BBD. Boyz II Men became bigger than Bivins’ trio, epitomizing the era with hits such as “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” and “End of the Road.” The latter song, co-written and produced by Babyface, went to No. 1 in 1992 and stayed there for a record-breaking 13 weeks.
Two years later, “I’ll Make Love to You” spent 14 weeks at No. 1, only to be replaced by “On Bended Knee,” making Boyz II Men the third act in history to replace itself at No. 1 after Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
Mars is no stranger to the charts, of course, having seven No. 1 hits himself. Those hits are showcases of ’80s synth patches and drum-machine rhythms, with Mars showing nothing but reverence to the music he loved when he was a boy Elvis impersonator in Hawaii. With Mars and Boyz II Men inspiring each other on the most celebratory night of the year, there will be no shortage of onstage magic. –Matt Kelemen
T-Mobile Arena, 8 p.m. Dec. 30-31, starting at $79 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849 AXS
Go on a dining adventure with your girls, a dining-in-the-dark adventure! Make a reservation with Blackout Dining in the Dark and heighten all your senses except for sight. Your highly trained server will take your table through a six-course meal where you can’t see the dishes because you’ll be completely emerged in a blacked-out environment. –Kiko Miyasato
3871 S. Valley View Blvd., Suite 8, 5-11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., noon-11 p.m. Fri.-Sun. 702.960.4000
The Spa at Four Seasons upholds the hotel brand’s long-standing worldwide reputation for luxury and top-notch service. Here, find unique experiences like cupping therapy and a head-to-toe candle massage. There’s also a nail spa where you can relax with tea or champagne while getting an hour-plus, indulgent mani-pedi. –KM
Four Seasons Hotel, 6-8 p.m. daily (subject to seasonal change). 702.632.5000
Walk Into Style
With more than 200 specialty boutiques that wind around 1.2 miles of retail space, Miracle Mile Shops offers a heavenly journey through the latest in fashions. Cover yourself in head-to-toe style from brands including Lucky Brand, Original Penguin, Supreme, Guess, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Alex + Ani, Fossil, Pandora, Foot Locker and Aldo. –KM
Planet Hollywood Resort, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 702.866.0704