HomeDestination FeaturesWith or Without U2...The 10 Best Gigs to See in Las Vegas...

With or Without U2…The 10 Best Gigs to See in Las Vegas This Year and Next

With U2 – reportedly! – being lined up as the next mega residency act, Las Vegas is right back centre stage as the world’s entertainment capital; as if it ever wasn’t.

The Dublin megastars are being heavily linked as the launch act for Vegas’ newest venue – the $1.8bn MSG Sphere, which is due to open next year.

While the band has yet to formally confirm this, the rumour – as reported in music industry bible Billboard, no less – is that they will play a multi-show residency at the near-18,000 capacity Sphere running across non-consecutive dates over several months.

But, if Bono and the boys aren’t your thing…or, if they are, and you’ve booked a Las Vegas jaunt for this year instead, fear not – the Strip has oodles of top quality gigs on offer this autumn and winter season.

Here are the best of the rest:

Adele

Outside of U2, this is arguably the big one, from probably the biggest act in popular music right now. The last time Adele played Dublin, on her 25 world tour in 2016, she reminisced about her first Dublin dates at the now defunct and tiny Crawdaddy club/venue, just off Harcourt Street, many moons ago. One of the hottest tickets in any town for many years, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get to see her – mainly due to her hardly touring any more. Live dates supporting her newest album, 30, have been rarer then hen’s teeth, which makes this delayed ‘Weekends with Adele’ residency all the more vital. File this one under ‘Unmissable’. Venue: The Colosseum @ Caesar’s Palace Dates: November to March

Katy Perry

If those quirky and catchy JustEat ads have left you hungry for more, then catch Katy Perry this autumn. She plays a number of dates between August and October at the Theatre @ Resorts World. Fireworks are a given, but vegas.com also tells us to expect twerking toads and a giant toilet!

Venue: The [email protected] World

Dates: Selected dates between August and October

Shania Twain

There’s a definite country music vibe around Vegas residencies this year – with US giants such as Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert appearing. But, stealing the show is the queen of country (if you’re happy to discount the likes of Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline) Shania Twain, who is currently in the midst of a year-long Vegas run with her ‘Let’s Go!’ show. Expect the expected: All the hits, basically.

Venue: Zappos Theater @ Planet Hollywood

Dates: Throughout 2022

Aerosmith: ‘Deuces are Wild’

With singer Steven Tyler’s recent fall off the wagon and return stint in rehab following 30 years of near unbroken sobriety, one could be forgiven for thinking the ’70s/’80s rock gods have transported back to their substance-abusing hedonistic heydey, when Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry went by the collective nickname ‘The Toxic Twins’. But, apparently not. Covid and inner-band turmoils may have pushed this ‘Deuces are Wild’ residency back a couple of years, but not off the rails entirely. If you find yourself Vegas-side, this will be well worth checking out. Old timers they may be, but even though their self-titled debut album came out in early 1973, their most recent visit to Ireland – a show at Dublin’s 3Arena in 2017 – showed they still have it – in spades.

Venue: Dolby Live @ Park MGM

Dates: Selected dates between September and December

Usher

Arguably THE name in R&B in the ‘90s, Usher returns to Vegas “like never before”, apparently. His show is being touted as an interactive and up-close event. Vegas.com says he hopes to make this run even better than his last one – which could be difficult as it was sold out every single night. A hot ticket, then, without doubt.

Venue: Dolby Live Theater @ Park MGM

Dates: Selected dates from August to October

Rod Stewart

If you’re a regular concert goer, you’ll probably have caught Rod Stewart at some point, in some country in recent times (he’s played Ireland about a million times in the past 5 or 6 years!) – whether you planned to or not – such is the prevalence of his touring. His recent greatest hits shows have been dripping with Vegas-style pizzazz. So, what to expect from this stint? Greatest hits, with Vegas-style pizzazz, most probably. Oh, but what hits!

Venue: The Colosseum @ Caesar’s Palace

Dates: Selected dates between September and October

John Legend

If ever someone lived up to their name. Smooth vocals, sexy love songs and one of the classiest acts in music. ‘Love in Las Vegas’ is a show John Legend has specifically designed for his Vegas run and can’t be seen anywhere else. So, if you’ve crashed out on the tables get along to the Zappos Theater and catch this Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony-winning…errr, legend!

Venue: Zappos Theater @ Planet Hollywood

Dates: Selected dates from August through October

Derek Hough

If you like all of those modern celebrity dancing programmes, you’ve probably heard of Derek Hough. If not, he’s a professional ballroom dancer from Salt Lake City, who is apparently huge in the US. He won – along with various celebrity partners – the US version of Dancing With the Stars six years in a row. Anyway, he’s so big he’s got his own resident show in Vegas, which vegas.com has down as one of the best shows on the Strip.

Venue: The Venetian

Dates: Selected dates from August to September

Sting

From the brilliance of The Police to a mega-selling solo career to a sporadic acting career and self-deprecating TV appearances, Sting is one of rock music’s true renaissance men – but still unfairly gets slagged off for talking up tantric sex years ago and taking his music in a more middle of the road direction. Still a musical heavyweight; his Vegas stint will be all-killer, no-filler greatest tunes, going under the title ‘My Songs’.

Venue: The Colosseum @ Caesar’s Palace

Dates: Selected dates in April, 2023

Santana

The legendary Carlos Santana – one of the greatest guitarists in history, who spawned Journey from one of his early backing bands, and who played the original Woodstock in 1969 – is back, playing Las Vegas between September and November.

Venue: House of Blues @ Mandalay Bay

Dates: Selected dates between September and November

Outside of the mainstream music gigs, there are – of course – shows aplenty. Cirque du Soleil always seems ubiquitous in Vegas, with its Beatles-themed Love show a recurring sell-out for the past few years, and still running. Then you have Channing Tatum in the stage version of Magic Mike and one of the world’s best Michael Jackson tribute acts.

So, there you have it, Vegas residencies are far more contemporary, these days, than many might imagine. It’s not all Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond and Barry Manilow – but it can be if you want!

All three still have seriously hot-ticket runs on the Strip, which have been running all year and show no signs of ending any time soon.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
I have worked in journalism for more than 25 years. I am joining ITTN from The Irish Examiner, having worked there for the past 16 years as a senior business reporter. I have also contributed to, and written for, the likes of Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune, amongst others titles.

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