Around the Strip with Brock Radke: blink-182, Buddy Valastro and more
All the Small Things
The newly renovated Pearl Theater is now home to the very first punk rock concert residency in Las Vegas, compliments of blink-182. The Palms, the hotel that set some serious trends as a celebrity magnet, nightlife dynamo and pool-party destination is doing it again; don’t expect this to be the only residency setting up in the 2,500-capacity Pearl, and don’t think blink-182 will be the only band making Vegas its headquarters for an extended run.
The 16-show Kings of the Weekend run kicked off during Memorial Day weekend and the boys return June 8-9, 15-16 and 23-24, returning for dates in October and November. These shows mean even more to the band and its fans considering blink-182 doesn’t have any West Coast concerts planned for 2018.
King of Sweets
“Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro loves to visit Las Vegas any time, and not just to check in on his Buddy V’s Ristorante and Carlo’s Bakery shop at The Grand Canal Shoppes.
But as far as timing goes, a weekend trip for the annual Vegas Uncork’d culinary festival is tough to beat. “I love to see the other chefs because you don’t always get to see everybody in one place,” Valastro told me on the red carpet for the Grand Tasting event last month. “This is the Super Bowl. Look at all these chefs, some of the best in the world. To be part of this group is special, even though I’m a baker.” He’s a baker whose work is never done in Las Vegas—Valastro confessed he’s exploring an expansion at The Venetian and The Palazzo. “We’ve got some other concepts and we’re talking about it.”
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards was broadcast live from MGM Grand Garden Arena and the post-show parties spread the stars across the Strip. The hottest hot spot was Spago at Bellagio, where chef Wolfgang Puck welcomed Jennifer Lopez for a bash celebrating the release of her new single “Dinero.” The producer of the track, DJ Khaled, was in the house, joined by T.I., Salt-N-Pepa, French Montana, Ashlee Simpson and more.
Las Vegas just doesn’t make sense without George Wallace onstage. The renowned comedian is back with a new comedy residency at the intimate Westgate Cabaret, launching on June 26. “Time away from the city the last few years has provided me with plenty of new material to add to the show,” he said.
It’s time to reacquaint yourself with the Palms. The off-Strip resort is in the midst of a massive $630 million renovation and recently threw an invite-only soirée to unveil the first phase of developments. General manager Jon Gray welcomed esteemed guests—including the original owner of the Palms, George Maloof—to explore new bars Camden Cocktail Lounge and The Unknown, the redesigned restaurant space now known as Scotch 80 Prime and the 55th-floor nightspot Apex Social Club, where a surprise performance by rapper J. Cole thrilled the crowd.
Actress Leah Remini was also in town and took the opportunity to reunite with her Dancing with the Stars partner Tony Dovolani onstage at Chippendales at Rio. Dovolani was wrapping up his celebrity guest host duties.
Brock Radke is an award-winning entertainment reporter who has been covering the city since 2000, and interviews key movers and shakers on his All The Vegas podcast, available at LasVegasWeekly.com.