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Miranda Lambert’s ‘recon trip’ led to Strip residency

Updated May 16, 2022 - 12:11 pm

Miranda Lambert has never starred in a residency in Las Vegas. But she knows neighborhood pretty well.

Lambert scouted the Strip before landing at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, where she opens “Velvet Rodeo” on Sept. 23. The series extends on select dates through April 9.

Team Miranda took note of the city’s headliner lineup, and took notes about those performers.

“We actually did a little recon trip, I guess I could call it, last December,” Lambert said during the red-carpet walk, which was actually a white-carpet parade, at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden. “A bunch of my band and crew came to just sort of watch a few shows. We saw Brooks and Dunn and Reba at the Colosseum and Shania Twain at Zappos. We did a little country tour.”

The Zappos architecture fits Lambert’s vision, which is to make the former Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts into a saloon.

“It’s a little bit intimate, for me, and we can sort of make the theater feel like a big ol’ honky tonk,” said Lambert, standing alongside her duet partner for the telecast, Elle King. “That’s exactly what I wanted.”

Lambert says she’s continuing the Vegas tour.

“There are so many more shows I want to see, with Silk Sonic being at the top of the list,” Lambert said. “I’m very excited to explore and learn from other artists.”

No return visit

So Illenium and I have something in common. Two things, actually. We both like Tiesto, and we both like his suit.

“Check me, it’s Dolce Gabbana,” the star spinner said with a chuckle during a quick modeling session.

Illenium wore that dazzling, floral-patterned suit to accept the Top Dance/Electronic Album trophy.”It’s heavy!” he said (other winners also commented about the award’s weight). “I have never won an award.”

The superstar did perform the first ticketed concert ever at Allegiant Stadium.

“That was my favorite night of my life,” the Tao Group Hospitality headliner said. “It was very healing for me to play for that long to that many fans in new stadium. Everything was perfect.”

But Illenium hasn’t been back to Allegiant.

“Honestly, I’m kind of scared to go back because I hold such a sentimental value for that show,” he said.

Illenium says he is not a big fan of dayclub pool parties. But he had a blast Saturday at the renovated Tao Beach Club, where DJ Khaled jumped into his set for a packed pool deck.

“It’s so good, so good,” Illenium, the 31-year-old Chicago native, said. “There are genuinely, fun vibes. I love playing there. As a DJ, you can see everyone and you really can see that people are having so much fun.”

Illenium’s first concert ever was actually performed by an icon who is now a Strip rival.

“It was Tiesto, about 2010, and he’s just so talented, and has his ear to ear to the ground,” the DJ said. “He’s definitely one of my icons in this whole scene, and he’s a great guy.”

Your Diddy moment

Telecast host, executive producer and rap superstar Sean “Diddy” Combs dove into the TikTok zone during the white-carpet walk. He insisted on throwing back a shot of Ciroq (with an orange wedge) before saying, “The thing I like about TikTok over Instagram is you can be sillier on TikTok. It’s not as much about your business as it is about your creativity. I try to show the black family not being all messed up, going to jail and being hut. I show a vision of out there of truth, to uplift the soul, and break down stereotypes.”

He added, “I’m about to do a big return to TikTok. I haven’t even started.” Then he said, “I’m going to leave you with that breaking news, and I’m gonna go out and kill this show.”

Intro to the intro

Janet Jackson introduced Mary J. Blige for Blige’s Icon Award, to great response from the crowd. On Friday, she celebrated her birthday at Piranha Nightclub, hanging with her friend and longtime Vegas drag star Larry Edwards.

Edwards performs at the club. He long played Tina Turner in “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” and “An Evening At La Cage.” He’s also portrayed Beyonce.

Jackson had the event catered by Joe’s Seafood, with a cake from Freed’s Bakery. She knows her Vegas.

O .. Khaled

DJ Khaled was stopped on the carpet by a Canadian entertainment-news outlet.

“Ask me how to spell Canada!” he shouted. The interviewer said, “How do I spell Canada?”

“No!” Khaled said. “You ask me!” He was ask, and yelled, “D-R-A-K-E!” Hey, there is a feeling Drake could actually buy and sell the country.

Cool Hang Alert

Rhythm and Riffs at Mandalay Bay continues to burn with top local artists. Monday night it’s the Patrick Sieben Band, Thursday it’s Indie Florentino and Friday it’s The Limit. No Cover, and a dance floor. It all happens from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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