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Livin' Local: The Las Vegas Residency Phenomenon

A New Era in Concerts

By J. Tyge O’Donnell

Celine Dion is wrapping up her tenure at the Caesars Palace Colosseum–a residency that has spanned 20 years and over 1,100 performances in the 4,300-seat venue that was built for her. At the time (and according to critics) it was a huge gamble: Could Celine bring her fans to Las Vegas instead of catering to them by being on the road and touring? Could she fill The Colosseum consistently and to capacity? Well, here it is two decades later and Celine not only proved that it was viable for all involved, but she also set in motion a game-changing concept that has been adopted by hotels and casinos up and down The Strip Corridor…welcome “The Las Vegas Residency.”

Whether yearning to hear blasts from the past from your favorite 80’s band or wanting to see the latest pop divas, Las Vegas has a myriad of performers gracing stages–ranging from intimate settings to larger venues–and there’s something for everyone!

Lady Gaga – Park Theater, The Park MGM

If you missed multi-talented, Golden Globe, Grammy and Oscar winner Lady Gaga perform during the first half of 2019, rest easy, as the superstar entertainer will be back for 12 more shows in October and November. The New York-born Diva has two different shows: Lady Gaga Enigma, a five-act odyssey featuring over 20 of her pop hits, and Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano, another 20+ setlist of mostly American Standards (think Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart) and including songs from her 2014 album “Cheek to Cheek,” a jazz collaboration with Tony Bennett. Also, recently opened at Park Theater is “Haus of Gaga,” a free exhibit showcasing Lady G’s over-the-top costumes and headwear, including the “meat dress” that she wore at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. Most of the still available show tickets (at least online…but shop around) have been grabbed-up by 3rd party sellers so expect to pay $300 and upwards (to over $1,000) for just one of the 6,400 venue seats!

Aerosmith: Deuces are Wild – Park Theater, The Park MGM

Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the boys from Boston have over 20 shows scheduled between July and early December. Aerosmith’s Las Vegas residency celebrates the band’s 50-year career with the multi-Grammy award winners sure to perform their greatest hits, such as “Walk This Way,” “Dream On” and “Janie’s Got a Gun.” Ticket prices are reasonable, starting at just under $100 with a variety of VIP Meet & Greet packages available at an upgraded price. The Aerosmith Museum, previously accessible to only VIP ticket holders, is now open to the public at an additional cost, and the tour of the “Vault” showcases a variety of guitars, costumes, trademark scarfs and other artifacts, including one of their four Grammy Awards.

Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas – The Colosseum, Caesars Palace

If you’re more into music that will “scoot yer boots,” you can catch Reba McEntire performing with country duo Brooks & Dunn at Caesars Palace with dates still slated for July and December. The show is in its 4th year, and if you’ve never seen a show at The Colosseum, Together in Vegas would be a great first-time experience. Who knows, maybe Reba will play a few new songs from her upcoming album that’s been five years in the making! Tickets start at $70 and can exceed $400 if you want to sit in the upfront orchestra section, but trust me, there’s not a bad seat in the house to view America’s favorite country redhead performing with Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks.

Def Leppard: The Sin City Residency – Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood

Previously known as The Aladdin Theater, the 7,000 seat Zappos venue at Planet Hollywood welcomes British rockers Def Leppard for a 12-night stint between August 14th and September 7th. The band was just inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this past March and one can expect to hear their chart-topping, metal-crunching rifts and hits from the 80s and 90s, such as “Photograph,” “Love Bites,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” and more. Tickets range from $70 to $300, with VIP and Meet & Greet packages available as an upgrade. This is one show I don’t plan to miss…as I was a little bit of a head-banger back in the day! 


Christina Aguilera: The Xperience – Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood

Also at Zappos Theater, five-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera has eight nights scheduled between mid-September and early October with her immersive and highly visual and multi-sensory “Xperience”. There’s reportedly pleasant scents piped into the venue’s air vents, and the show features new twists and renditions of her hits such as “Genie in a Bottle,” “Beautiful,” and “Lady Marmalade.” Ticket prices to see the former Mickey Mouse Club alum start at $60 with $1 from every ticket sold going to Southern Nevada’s Shade Tree Foundation.

Billy Idol: Las Vegas 2019 – Pearl Theater, Palms Casino

Palms Casino Resort has recently undergone an extensive makeover, with renovations to rooms, many new restaurant and bar additions and a complete update to their intimate 2,500 seat Pearl Theater, where no seat is more than 120 feet from the stage. Why not check out the newly revamped venue by attending Billy Idol’s series of concerts in October? Featuring music from his early days with British punk band Generation X onto his more mainstream solo hits “White Wedding,’’ “Dancing With Myself,” and the rock-anthem “Rebel Yell,” Idol has been steadily playing venues and festivals around the world for the better part of 45 years! Tickets start at $70, but beware, those 3rd party sellers are jacking the prices up to over $300 for the prime seats!

But Wait! There’s More!

If none of the above residencies tickle your fancy, dismay not, as there are plenty more artists in town to please nearly everyone! Bruno Mars, Lady Antebellum, Robbie Williams, Paula Abdul, Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson and even Wayne Newton all have ongoing gigs happening at various Vegas venues through the end of the year and beyond!

Las Vegas has become a hotbed for artists who want to pitch their tent here for a while and allow their fans to come to them rather than doing the tour thing. It’s a win-win for us locals because, really, where else can you catch acts like Wayne Newton, Lady Gaga and Def Leppard all on the same weekend? Only here in Vegas!

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