Tag Archives: country music

Lady Antebellum & Miranda Lambert Weekend in Las Vegas

In the fickle music biz, careers many times breeze in and out like the capricious winds. 

Last year the Nashville trio Lady Antebellum, right, – “Lady A” to their fans – didn’t win the one category they were nominated in last year (for Top Vocal Group), but this year it’s a whole new story. They’re the favored front-runner, with seven nominations for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

Lady Antebellum’s free performance drew a huge crowd to Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas last night.  Some said the show drew upwards to 20,000 people. If so, that would make it the largest non-New Year’s Eve gathering ever on Glitter Gulch and the biggest in the four-year tradition of ACM-related concerts. 

Nominated for seven awards, the group attended last Wednesday’s “American Idol” show and did a post-show taping of their hit “Need You Now.” Their performance will be part of the “Idol Gives Back” show next week. 

Lady Antebellum announced on Friday that their latest, “American Honey,” was the band’s third consecutive No. 1.  Lady Antebellum’s current single, “Need You Now,” is No. 4 on Billboard’s overall Hot 100 song chart, sandwiched between Train and Lady Gaga. 

Miranda Lambert, right, a six-time nominee for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards show, though, will prove tough competition.  She heads an ACM-filled lineup of free concerts tonight at the Fremont Street Experience. Lambert performs from 10:45 to midnight on the Third Street stage. Kicking off the evening from 7-7:30 p.m. at the First Street stage will be Joey + Rory, the Top Vocal Duo nominee. Gloriana, the Top New Vocal Group nominee, plays from 7:45-8:25 p.m., also at the First Street stage. The Randy Rogers Band, nominated for Top Vocal Group, performs from 8:40-9:25 p.m. on the Third Street stage. Luke Bryan, winner of the Top New Solo vocalist award, precedes Lambert, from 9:40-10:30 p.m., performing on the First Street stage. 

If you’re lucky enough to catch Lambert and others tonigt performing live in Las Vegas, it’s a good deal.  The ceremonies at the MGM Grand Garden are a pricey ticket if you don’t have friends at a record label, topping out at $450 for something you can watch free at home. (The 5 p.m. festivities air on CBS, live on the East Coast and tape-delayed on Las Vegas KLAS-TV, Channel 8, at 8 p.m.) 

Most of the ACM stars will stick around Monday in Las Vegas for “Brooks & Dunn — The Last Rodeo,” an all-star tribute concert that will be taped at the MGM for a separate CBS show airing next month. Tickets are $108 to $208 for the 7:30 p.m. show in which the likes of Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and George Strait will salute the venerable duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn before they hang it up. 

The ACM Awards ride country music’s ever-growing popularity; what once was a niche genre is getting harder to distinguish from any remaining notions of a separate pop world. 

Last year’s ACM broadcast drew 14.8 million total viewers, a 26 percent gain from the year before. “It’s a happy problem,” says Barry Adelman, a producer and writer for the broadcast. “We’re not trying to fix something that’s dipping, we’re trying to keep something that’s going up, going up even higher.” 

And lest we forget…Garth Brooks isn’t performing at Wynn Las Vegas this weekend. But Steve Wynn did buy him that private jet and the pilot surely knows the route by now. And who would want to leave that guy out of a weekend like this one?

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Academy of Country Music Awards Brings Oodles of Celebs to Las Vegas

Brooks & Dunn, Lady Antebellum, Randy Houser, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Montgomery Gentry are just some of the many country music stars planning to participate in the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards In Las Vegas starting on April 18. 

Honoring country music’s top talent and the industry’s hottest emerging talent, to be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 18 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. In addition, the Academy will tape an all-star concert special, ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo at the same location on Monday, April 19, to air at a later date on the CBS Television Network. Both shows are produced for television by Dick Clark Productions.

The list of events includes the ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience, the ACM Chairman’s Ride, a special USO performance, All-Star Jam and more. 

Some details are as follows, with timing information to be released later: 

Friday & Saturday, April 16 & 17

ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience – For the 4th year in a row, the Academy of Country Music presents concerts at Fremont Street Experience! Featuring headlining performances by Lady Antebellum on Friday and Miranda Lambert on Saturday, these free and open-to-the-public concerts start at 6:30pm on two stages in downtown Las Vegas.  For the 2nd year in a row, winners in each of the newcomer categories Top New Solo Vocalist, Top New Vocal Group and Top New Vocal Duo will have the chance to perform at Fremont Street Experience during these concerts. 

Saturday, April 17 

ACM Chairman’s Ride – This event has grown from its inception and for the second year will be an invitation-only event for artists and industry VIPs to experience a scenic ride through the gorgeous Nevada landscape. ACM/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award honorees of 2010, Montgomery Gentry, will host the ride for the 6th time this year. The event benefits ACM Lifting Lives. Event details and timing will be made available only to invited, registered participants.

USO Concert in Partnership with ACM Lifting Lives™ – For the first time ever, ACM Lifting Lives (the Academy’s charitable arm) is partnering with the USO to bring a free, private concert to the service men and women of Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas, NV. USO tour veterans Montgomery Gentry and Randy Houser are scheduled to perform for the crowd. The event will be open to all military ID holders and media credentialed specifically for this event. 

Sunday, April 18 

45th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS – Hosted by Reba McEntire for a record 12th time and featuring the hottest performances by today’s superstars of country, the Awards will once again take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

ACM All-Star Jam – This raucous, no-holds-barred jam features impromptu performances from the artists who participate in the Awards. Past performers have included Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Evans, Jack Ingram, Jewel, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Montgomery Gentry, James Otto, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Dwight Yoakam and more. 

Monday, April 19

ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo – Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, the best-selling duo in the history of country music, will receive the Academy’s Milestone Award in recognition of their 20-year, record-breaking career during this tribute concert special. They will be honored for holding the record for the most wins of any artist in the Academy’s history with 26 awards in total, including three Entertainer of the Year awards. They will also be honored for holding the record for most Top Vocal Duo wins, with 15 awards, eight of which are consecutive from 2000-2007. Artists already scheduled to perform at the taping include superstars Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Details on special elements of the show and more performers that will be added will be announced at a later date. Tickets are still available for this show, which benefits ACM Lifting Lives and will air at a later date on CBS Television Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. For information on tickets visit www.Ticketmaster.com

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Mist Lounge in Las Vegas to be Resurrected as Gilley’s Saloon in TI

The cozy Mist Lounge in Las Vegas, located just off the Treasure Island casino floor, has closed awhile back, ending its memorable six-year run.   Now, a new nightclub and restaurant is planned in its space. 

The Lounge has been sold back to former Frontier, now TI (Treasure Island) owner Phil Ruffin, who plans to create his hallmark sawdust-on-the-floor country nightclub Gilley’s at TI in the former Mist Lounge space. 

TI Vice President of Hotel Sales & Marketing Don Voos confirms that Mist will indeed become home to the rebirth of the nostaligic, countrified Gilley’s Saloon– with a little help from its neightbor, Pizzeria Francesco’s that will be demolished  and merged in with the new space. 

“We will be building a new Gilley’s Saloon & BBQ restaurant,” says Voos.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, food, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized

Garth Brooks Out of Retirement, Announces Las Vegas Residency

In a couple short hours from now country music king Garth Brooks will confirm in Las Vegas his new residency at Steve Wynn’s casino hotels, most notably the Encore Theatre at the Wynn. GarthBrooks2

The planned run of performances ends the black Stetson-wearing king’s self-imposed retirement that began back in late 2000 when the 47-year-old wanted more time with his three children. 

The announcement will be made at 1 p.m. PT today, Oct. 15, inside the Danny Gans Theatre in the Wynn with Steve Wynn by his side. 

We expect the run to start as a total of 16 weeks of concerts starting in 2010. Garth’s appearances will be keyed to major holidays, and he will most likely move into a Las Vegas home with his wife, country singer Trisha Yearwood, and his three children. 

Brooks has sold more than 128 million albums in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, second only to the Beatles’ 170 million albums.  Brooks has outsold the Fab Four — more than 68 million, to the Beatles’ 58 million. 

During the 1990s he also was one of the most popular concert attractions in the world. Amusement Business magazine ranked his 1996 tour the biggest country music tour in history after he sold 1.8 million tickets that year. 

Interestingly, though, he plans not to tour or make records for another five years, leaving his retirement a quasi-so proposition in Las Vegas. 

The Las Vegas shows, which should sell out by this weekend, will be a tremendous tourism boost to Las Vegas.

UPDATE:  He will be performing at Wynn’s Encore Theatre in Las Vegas for five years, three nights each week (one show Friday, two on Saturday, and one show on Sunday) starting sometime in 2010.   Under the terms of his deal with Steve Wynn, each week after his show he will be flown in his jet provided by Steve Wynn back to his home in Oklahoma so he can spend time with his family.)

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Shhh! (Garth Brooks May Sign Las Vegas Contract!)

More Garth Brooks chatter that he has an Oct. 15 news conference scheduled regarding his Wynn Las Vegas entertainment offer.  As Las Vegas Backstage Access sorts out facts from fiction, we’ll keep you posted.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Garth Brooks Las Vegas Show Rumors Persist

As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, country singer Garth Brooks appears to be still actively looking for a Las Vegas gig, ostensibly with Steve Wynn’s Encore Theater, after previously retiring and walking away from his iconic rise to stardom in October 2000, saying he wanted to spend more time with his three daughters. GarthBrooks

Despite trying to ink a Las Vegas show deal, people from both camps remain stauch that there is no deal in the works. 

Some close to the action are going so far as to say Brooks has already signed a 16-week headliner detail to appear at the Encore Theater, starting in October.

1 Comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Father & Daughter Tillis Duo Performs in Las Vegas

Pam Tillis, 52, daughter to country music legend Mel Tillis, didn’t always think that country music was cool.  In fact, she went the opposite way, preferring to sing pop rock and R&B with her jazz band in San Francisco in the 1980s.  

As her songwriting career advanced, her country roots were rediscovered.  Now, to her credit, she has sold a few million records and had several No. 1 hits, and won a couple of Grammy’s and a few Country Music Awards. 

Rarely does she perform with her legendary father, but this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Cannery in North Las Vegas will be one of those memorable gigs. pammeltillis

“Whenever somebody can afford both of us we’ll work together,” Pam Tillis says.  “We enjoy it but it’s a little different front when I’m out on my own and don’t play second banana.  We hit the highlights.  Between us we have 50 years of hits.”

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

“Country Superstars Tribute” Act Temporarily Ends in Las Vegas

CountryStarsTributeThe “Country Superstars Tribute” is wrapping up their performances at Fitzgeralds in Las Vegas on June 28, with the “Marriage Can Be Murder” dinner show moving in the next day. 

The country show with the “Legends’ impersonator format has been growing strong for two years and more than 500 shows.  But the live band and multi-act format proved to be top-heavy for the room, which only seats about 120 people. 

Ron Keel, who originally co-produced and performed as Ronnie Dunn, has been spending more time out of the show, trying to revive his ‘80s rock band, Keel.  Producer Leonard Quenneville hopes to find a Las Vegas venue large enough to support the show’s format. 

“Marriage” will put the audience closer to fellow suspects when the dinner show gives up the Canyon Club at Four Queens for the cozier space at Fitzgeralds.

1 Comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Garth Brooks Roping In New Las Vegas Deal?

As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, Garth Brooks poo-pooed any plans he had of performing in Las Vegas, supposedly working out a deal with Steve Wynn.  Was it a smokescreen?  GarthBrooks

On Monday at the Wynn Encore he had a surprise concert for 600 to 800 VIP guests.  The guests arrived at the theater to find black hats on their seats.  Out came Brooks, who put on a full concert without a band behind him. 

Some say that Brooks already has a Encore contract in his hands, but the sticking point is ticket prices.   Brooks, like Bruce Springsteen before him, apparently isn’t comfortable with “Vegas” ticket pricing- at least not yet.

Leave a comment

Filed under Las Vegas, news, Performances, travel, Uncategorized

‘Fearless’ Taylor Swift Makes Tracks Back to Las Vegas

Not many artists have an opportunity to make a concert entrance by descending from the rafters in an elevator and exiting to the showroom floor via a David Copperfield magic illusion, but young country music star sensation Taylor Swift had just that, stealing the moment at the 2009 Academy of County Music Awards at the MGM Grand Las Vegas on April 5.  taylorswift1

Swift will be back in Las Vegas on May 23 as she brings her Fearless Tour 2009 to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  Opening acts will be American Idol alum Kelli Pickler and country music group Gloriana. 

A few tickets are still available if you want to watch the Nielsen 2008’s top-selling artist perform.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Jessica Simpson: Blond if you do, blond if you don’t

Jessica Simpson, a frequent Las Vegas visitor, is one of those talented types who can’t seem to catch a break.  As a pop singer she was constantly compared to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera – too voluptuous to be nice and not jessicasimpsongritty enough to be naughty.   

Her personal life has been the used as the source to create tabloid top sellers with pictures and stories of men who have, and who haven’t, spent time with her.  

And now only months after settling into her single woman skin and stepping up to the country music mic, Simpson appears to be ending her foray into her musical roots.  While she remains part of the Sony Music Group on the Epic label, Simpson is no longer involved with Sony Music Nashville.  Lauren Auslander a former spokesperson for Simpson said, “She (Simpson) was on loan to Sony Nashville for her country album.”   

Many fans believe that Simpson is a favorite target of the media and is often portrayed in a less than favorable light because of petty jealousy.  In a recent interview, Rascal Flatts’ lead singer Gary Levox said Simpson “..is in a spot where whatever she does, they pick her apart. They need to just leave her alone and just let her sing.” 

“She’s a wonderfully gifted singer,” added bassist Jay DeMarcus. “All the other stuff overshadows what she’s really about and it’s unfortunate, because there’s more to her there than just tabloid fodder.” 

It could be Jessica Simpson will spend her time in the spotlight being the blonde everyone loves to hate.  But with her talent, it’s more likely, Las Vegas Backstage Access believes, that she’ll find a way to rebound like blonde archetype Madonna than fall into the archives like Taylor Dayne.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Las Vegas Goes Country, Hollywood Tags Along

When Las Vegas hosts a party, stand back- nothing is ever commonplace in the City of Entertainment.  Last night’s 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Arena proved to be no exception.   The buzz of the award’s evening followed a week of Las Vegas fun, glitz, and glamour as Hollywood stars joined with country music’s best and brightest. 

The three-hour awards show featured award presenters Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie Foxx and Matthew McConaughey, but all eyes were on legendary Reba McEntire as she hosted the show for the 11th consecutive year.  

Providing a fitting prelude to the awards, hundreds of frenzied fans greeted their favorite musicians and singers on the red carpet outside of the MGM Grand before the show. 

After Kenny Chesney performed “Out Last Night”, Jennifer Love Hewitt arrived on stage wearing in a long white flowing gown and announced the first award of the night for Song of the Year among award contenders George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Heidi Newfield, Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins. 

Jennifer said she was not only a big fan of country music but also of Vegas. “There’s no place I’d rather be,” she said before announcing, in a surprise win, that Jamey Johnson had won for “In Color.” 

In the competition for Top Vocal Duo award, the very popular Sugarland beat out Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry and Joey + Rory.  Sugarland is playing at live in concert at the Primm Valley Casino Resorts on July 24.  [Las Vegas Backstage Access February 11 article.] 

Las Vegas resident, MGM Grand illusionist and Magician of the Century David Copperfield, a coming-out country music fan that attended the ACM for the first time, donned a black Stetson while he pulled up his sleeves and made Taylor Swift magically appear from an overhead empty suspended box on the stage.  Swift hung around a bit to receive her crystal award for having the most record sales in the year and winning the Album of the Year Award for “Fearless.” 

Hollywood superstar and frequent Las Vegas entertainer Jamie Foxx, raised in Texas, confessed he was also a country music fan and then proceeded to introduce country music legend George Strait, saying he will be a guest singer for his friend at a taping in Las Vegas today for a May 27 CBS special when Strait is honored as Artist of the Decade.   Straight, with a career spanning 25 years, is the most nominated artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards with a total of 78. 

Las Vegas’ hometown product Julianne Hough – she attended Las Vegas Academy and her mother lives here – julieanne1provided a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction moment, though subtle, before gushing and accepting with pride her duo Top New Artist and fan favorite Top New Female Artist awards as her country singer boyfriend Chuck Wicks waited in the wings, cheering her on. 

Julianne and Chuck left this morning from Las Vegas on a flight to be back in Hollywood for tomorrow night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars, where they will partner for a Viennese Waltz to a Rascal Flatts number.   (Rascal Flatts won once again.)

The highlight and culmination of the evening came when Carrie Underwood won the Entertainer of the Year award, carrieunderwoodbeing the lone female among nominees Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban.  Matthew McConaughey made the awards presentation.   (Did she really venture out after the event and check out George Strait’s ‘white boots’ in McConaughey’s car?) 

There was never a dull moment.  Even before it started, Tim McGraw got in a production fracas that ended with him walking out before the show started. 

Sporting his ‘Made In USA’ labeled guitar, John Rich sang to a cheering crowd “Shutting Detroit Down,” a ballad of frustration on corporate greed and workers getting the short end of the proverbial stick. 

Toby Keith took the opportunity to single out a reporter from a Nashville newspaper over the publication of a Rolling Stone story by actor Ethan Hawke. Both Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson denied the story, but the Tennessean published it anyway without reaching out to Toby. He lambasted the reporter with a series of F-bombs, and it seriously looked as if he might leave the media stage and go after the writer — but cooler heads prevailed, and Toby left the room abruptly. 

Behind the scenes, Trace Adkins, who was the runner-up on the first season of Celebrity Apprentice, took a verbal shot at this season’s participant Dennis Rodman. Trace said that if the former bad boy of basketball didn’t change his ways, it would wind up killing him. 

All this action in just one grand and glorious Las Vegas evening.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, Uncategorized

Country Music & NASCAR Rev Their Engines in Las Vegas

More than 10,000 NASCAR fans are expected to swarm the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas this weekend.   The sixth annual RaceJam will bring entertainment highlighted by country star Trent Tomlinson and former Lynrd Skynrd drummer Artimus Pyle in Saturday night performances from 9 to 11 p.m.   Also, from 6 to 8 p.m, on Saturday, Southern Stue, Tony Marques, and T.J. Weaver will be performing.  Still not having your music fill?  If so, come back on Sunday from 8 to 11 p.m. to listen to the Highwire Band and Speaks Brothers.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, travel, Uncategorized

Sugarland To Perform In Las Vegas

Las Vegas Backstage Access is not into the habit of providing a long listing of events.  That can be obtained from many sugarlandother publications.  However, when an event is really spectacular, new, or otherwise just kitschy, then we’ll bend your ear.  Such is the case – minus the kitschy – when this year’s Grammy winning Sugarland performs live in concert at the Primm Valley Casino Resorts on Friday, July 24.   If you haven’t seen them – country music duo composed of singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles (lead vocals) and Kristian Bush (background vocals, lead vocals, mandolin, and acoustic guitar) – or just want to take an escape from the Las Vegas neon, you’ll assuredly have lots of fun.  For more information, call 702-386-7867

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, Music, news, Performances, travel, Uncategorized