On the Scene with Brock Radke: Christina Aguilera, Santana and more
The Voice Returns
One of the most powerful pop voices of any era is back for more Vegas. Christina Aguilera returns to Zappos Theater for five shows as part of her The Xperience residency this month, starting on Sept. 20, as there’s a good chance she’ll continue to diversify her set list.
Aguilera is too easily categorized as just a pop princess when she’s dabbled in disco, electronic music, R&B, hip-hop, big band and more.
“I am musically inspired by so many people,” she said during her first Strip run this summer. “For this show I was very inspired by scores from movies and … how I wanted to take people on this ride and (take) it to this cinematic level.”
All we can say is: Enjoy the ride.
Must See: Santana
Carlos Santana is wrapping up his seventh year as a Las Vegas headliner at the House of Blues (where he hits the stage again Sept. 18-29) and the legendary guitarist continues to elevate his performance. This year he’s added new music from his latest album, Africa Speaks. “We want people from all over the world to come (to Las Vegas) and witness something (they) don’t have over there,” he told me right before the record’s release. “Not too many musicians really bring it. We play 150 out of 100. I’m not boasting, I’m just saying it’s all about intensity of spirit. It’s something that the world needs right now, some effervescent joy.”
Around the Strip
Shin Lim returned to the Strip for more sold-out shows at The Mirage recently, and the rising star magician and America’s Got Talent champ took some time out to catch Hans Klok: The World’s Fastest Magician at Excalibur.
The Las Vegas Aces notched a big come-from-behind victory in front of one of its loudest and craziest crowds ever at Mandalay Bay Events Center in its final regular-season home game of the WNBA season, defeating the Los Angeles Sparks in front of 8,430 fans. Maybe the team got a little extra boost from a halftime performance from Terry Fator, who sang a two-song duet with his new David Bowie puppet.
Lady Antebellum wrapped up its 15-show residency at the Palms’ Pearl Theater recently with a stripped-down, intimate set in the middle of the concert featuring guest appearances by songwriter friends. “It’s hard to believe that this chapter has come to an end,” said Lady A’s Hillary Scott. “Every touring opportunity we’ve had has led us to Vegas and having this residency has been such a milestone in our career. It was a bittersweet feeling to step on that stage for the last time, but, my goodness, has it been a gift.”
R&B artist Trey Songz celebrated the 10th anniversary of his hit album Ready with a show at Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell. He was joined onstage by rappers Jeezy and 2 Chainz to perform several songs while boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, producer and artist Akon and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd were spotted in the crowd.
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 allthevegas.com.