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Santana evokes Hendrix vibe in Raiders’ national anthem

Updated September 19, 2022 - 2:22 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is The Perch in the upper regions of Allegiant Stadium, where we have just heard the latest single from Carlos Santana.

Wait. That was the national anthem.

This was the type of rendition you would have heard (but maybe not recalled) at the Monterey Pop Festival. We’d refer to Woodstock, but a certain lefty legend guitarist owns that version. Instead, it was Carlos spinning the spirituality while as his wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, pounded the beat as the two faced each other.

I’d heard Santana was planning something special to kick off the Raiders-Cardinals game. He followed through with two minutes of pure genius. This effort was the national anthem rendition that called for an encore. That was performed by Mr. Subtle, Bruce Buffer, clad in his black-and-silver jacket with the giant Raiders crest on the back.

Santana has been friends with the Raiders family, especially owner Mark Davis, who takes an active role (off stage) in the team’s entertainment decisions.

Santana, who is resuming his House of Blues residency, also lit the Al Davis Torch. The guitar great was shown in a video meeting with Raiders legendary former QB and coach Tom Flores. It was a warm moment in an otherwise chaotic, suspenseful afternoon as the Cardinals prevailed 29-23 after Byron Murphy Jr. returned a Hunter Renfrow fumble for a game-winning TD. The fiery anthem preceded a flame out by the home team.

On that topic …

Nelly lit the torch, figuratively, in the halftime show. He headlined M Pool at M Resort on Saturday. Massive response for his set.

Encore for him

Sebastian Maniscalco recorded three shows Friday and Saturday at Encore Theater, all for an upcoming Netflix special. Premiere date to be announced.

By modern-day Vegas standards, this was a rare show in that nearly everyone in the audience was dressed up. Maniscalco had asked the crowd to put in some extra wardrobe-ian effort. He wanted a classic look for a show that is to hint at the Strip’s Rat Pack era. Maniscalco himself came out in a tux, a departure from his Yves Saint Laurent leather jackets he usually sports onstage.

The tux didn’t make it out of Saturday’s show unscathed. At least, that’s what Maniscalco claimed. He had just finished crouching while performing an impression of a greyhound (which is about the best greyhound impression you’ll ever see). Then he said, “I think I split my pants. I feel a draft back there.” Whatever, leave that segment in the final cut. Really funny.

Bat in flight

I caught some rehearsal action from “Bat Out of Hell — The Musical” on Friday. The new production of Meat Loaf’s material, as written by Jim Steinman, opens Sept. 27 at Paris Theater.

The show is using a pretty trick production technique I’ve not seen in Vegas. Camera operators are shooting scenes onstage, with the fluid images broadcast on the theater’s LED screens. Imagine a documentary, or a faux-documentary (such as, “This is Spinal Tap”) staged as a live performance, and you’ll get the feel. The show is also being cut from 2 1/2 hours to 90 minutes, a familiar tactic to adjust to the short attention spans of Vegas audiences. This camera work is designed to counter that concern, too.

Not anticipating this …

A return of Kelly Clarkson’s headlining run at Zappos Theater. She had been announced, pre-pandemic, for an April 2020 run. The dates were shifted to the following July. Since, nothing reported about her plans. Clarkson’s daytime talk show is moving into the time slot vacated by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” That commitment is not consistent with developing and performing a Strip stage production.

Aerosmith makes it count

Steven Tyler has reportedly impressed even his band mates in Aerosmith’s return to Dolby Live. His voice has often run over the top of the band’s mix at Park MGM. Tyler, a marvel at age 74, having persevered through a uniquely rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. But he has never been a heavy cigarette smoker. That has helped him immensely, vocally, and generally.

Around the theater, those visiting the show Wednesday included Arnel Pineda of Journey, seated with Jen Barnet, wife of Tyler’s manager, Larry Rudolph. Saturday, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer of Kiss took in the show. Both reside in Vegas.

Proclamation action

Sahara Las Vegas has managed a rare two-fer in civic honors recently.

On Aug. 25, owner Alex Meruelo received the Key to the Las Vegas Strip from Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who seems to have a trunk full of these awards, in case the mood hits him.

Friday, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman proclaimed that Sept. 17 would be Reckless in Vegas Day in the city, honoring the current Sahara Theater headlining rock band. Sahara sits in unincorporated Clark County, which is (lest we ever forget) under Clark County Commission jurisdiction.

But Reckless in Vegas front man Michael Shapiro, a third-generation Las Vegan, accepted the proclamation in Goodman’s office, which is in the city. This prevented any overlapping of honors in the respective regions.

Cool Hang Alert

“Totally Mental,” created by the mentally adept Vinny Grosso (who knew I was going to write about this even before I did) is presented 5 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Notoriety Live. The Neonopolis entertainment annex survived the pandemic and continues to flourish with a solid lineup. Grosso’s show is a great value, starting at $35, and fit for the whole family. Go to notorietylive.com for intel. They are expecting you.

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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