Matt Goss: Lounge Wizard
A new show at the Mirage means more than just a change in venue for Matt Goss, the stylish English crooner who has always occupied a space all his own in Las Vegas.
Goss, who has sold more than five million records over the course of his varied career—and earlier this year performed a 30th-anniversary concert with his former boy band mates in Bros at London’s O2 Arena—started his Las Vegas life at the Palms in 2009 before a long and fruitful run at Caesars Palace from 2010 to 2016. There he transformed Cleopatra’s Barge into The Gossy Room with a modern cabaret-style show that became one of the hottest tickets on the Strip.
In December, Goss opened his new residency at the intimate 1 OAK space at The Mirage, transforming the booming nightclub into a sexy showroom with the help of his snare drum-tight band and sultry dance squad, the Dirty Virgins.
“I’m not a lounge singer, I’m somebody who truly enjoys the strange dichotomy of these two careers,” says Goss of his ability to play smaller venues in Vegas and massive stadiums back home in the U.K. “What I’ve realized is this classic approach to entertainment, where you actually engage with the audience, see their eyes and shake their hands and feel their joy and love and pain, gives me so much as well. I’ve learned more in Las Vegas than at any arena or stadium.”
He’s also learned how much he loves Las Vegas, and how badly he wanted to continue performing here after his show wrapped up. “I thought maybe that was it, that it was time for a different chapter, but in my heart I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to create something special.”
The revved-up production takes full advantage of 1 OAK’s unique attributes as a self-contained venue; it even has its own valet on the north side of the iconic resort so showgoers can park or get dropped off and avoid a walk through a mega-casino. “If you choose to, you can go into the casino and check out all the things The Mirage has to offer and take your night to the next level, but just walking into the club, you have bathrooms and the cloak room and your own bars and everything is just beautifully done,” Goss says. “As a performer I love the fact that we’re at a venue and property that understands the experience of my guest. I want the drinks, the seating, the experience to be premium, everything. It’s a one-stop shop, and if you want to stay and continue your night at 1 OAK and keep your tab open, you can hang out and do your thing.”
You may very well be drained of energy after taking in a Goss show. He’s still performing pop, rock and dance standards in his own inimitable tattoos-and-tuxedos way, but he’s drilled down with his band for even harder-hitting arrangements of those familiar tunes. “The little hits of brass, the counter-melodies on strings, certain nuances with the rhythm section—these things are a real pain when you’re trying to arrange them. But the hard work on the front end allows us to really sit back in the arrangement during the show,” Goss says. “And so the energy is different because the musicality is more intense.”
The Mirage, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, 19-21 & 23, starting at $49.99 plus tax and fee. 702.792.7777