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Wayne Newton’s 40K crowd one of his largest

Updated September 18, 2023 - 7:17 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Circa Sports Book. This is to be a TKB outpost for the NFL season. At least, for those games in which the Raiders are on the road. Sunday they were bruised and bullied by the Bills.

The stress here is from the Lions’ OT loss to the Seahawks. Hotel co-owner Derek Stevens is from Detroit, wearing a Lions’ vest. He’s known to bleed Lions’ silver.

We have had a weekend of iconography, in VegasVille and elsewhere:

Newton’s 40K show

Mr. Las Vegas Wayne Newton played to one of his top-five largest crowds ever on Friday, about 40,000, at the Bourbon & Beyond Festival in Louisville. Newton joined some 65 acts in the multi-day event, including fellow Las Vegas headliners The Killers.

The crowd was Newton’s largest in the states since his performance in Washington D.C. on July 4, 1983, which drew between 300,000. That was the infamous show where Newton stepped in for the Beach Boys, who attracted “the wrong element” for an Independence Day event, as then-Secretary of the Interior James Watt said.

Newton has drawn thousands over the years during his USO shows in combat zones.

Newton was excited to play with a big band at Bourbon & Beyond; he has a trio at Flamingo. It wasn’t the only big band at the festival. Newton and The Killers shared the bill with, among many others, Duran Duran, Bruno Mars, Brandi Carlile and The Black Keys.

Newton also appeared with that band at the 2019 Life is Beautiful Festival, guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney at Downtown Stage for a set-closing run of “Lonely Boy.”

About 30K, an unofficial estimate, turned out that night as Newton said, “The crowd went ape.”

Trophy night

Friday was a double-header with the Stanley Cup, and a birthday dinner with boxing broadcast great Al Bernstein at Bootlegger Bistro.

It’s a pretty powerful feeling to be in the presence of such a renowned icon of athletic achievement. The Cup wasn’t bad, either.

Not so incidentally, Bernstein is hosting a pair of his throwback lounge shows at Piazza at Tuscany Suites at 7 p.m. and 9:30 on Sept. 28. It’s a wide-open hang, no cover.

We caught up with the fabled NHL trophy at Stanley Cup at Keep Memory Alive Event Center at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Founder Larry Ruvo hosted invited guests and the Center’s amazing medical staff to a“Meet The Stanley Cup” preseason event. And I did. The Cup didn’t have its usual shine, given all the guests putting their hands on it. But it is beautiful.

I also met VGK star center Jack Eichel, a nice individual who now tops the list of Guys I Would Not Want To Be Checked By. He’s a stud. It’s like he can smush a puck with his bare hands.

Rock around the dock

The new Yacht Soul at The Copa at Bootlegger Bistro premieres at 7 p.m. Wednesday. This show is in AE Group’s collection of shows at the venue (text or call 702-609-3390 for reservations). Be swept away — swept, I tell you! — by Steph Payne and her new yacht-rock influenced band (if she’s there, I’m there, commonly).

Yacht Soul takes the traditional yacht-rock vibe and infuses funk and R&B. Imagine “The Love Boat” if Isaac took over for Captain Stubing.

The just-assembled band crushes it. Dave Siegel on keys, Angelo Stokes on drums, Johnny Johnson on guitar and Dwight Bailey on bass. Toscha Comeaux and Derek Lowery backing singers.

Changing tack are The Windjammers, who have moved to Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station at 8 p.m. Sept. 29. Jerry Lopez’s band is musically terrific, and sometimes they sell posters. No cover.

And, Kevin Sucher’s Docksiders continue their yacht-powered series at Notoriety Live at 7 p.m. Thursday. The bands are all inspired by yacht rock, yet are distinctive. The format is only expanding, keeping a lot of superb Vegas artists on stage.

NFR bucks it out

Las Vegas Events has launched its “You Never Know Who You’ll Meet in December” campaign to boost the annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this December at the Thomas & Mack Center. The LVE team created a “Sgt. Pepper’s”-style collection of Las Vegas entertainers and (one, hello) media member, along with the 2022 PRCA champions and Miss Rodeo America Kennadee Riggs.

Members of Chippendales, Blue Man Group, UNLV Director of Athletics Erick Harper and Rebel volleyball coach Malia Shoji, auctioneer Steve Goedert, the cast of “Ka,” Penn & Teller, ex-VGK star Derek Engelland, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Newton and Terry Fator were all in the mix.

Look for the digital and social-media push to post on NFRexperience.com, and a half-minute spot on The Cowboy Channel leading up to NFR’s opening night Dec. 7.

The afternoon of the shoot was full-scale, vintage Vegas. A memorable moment, Teller found Newton’s nametag on the ground and stuck it to his (Teller’s) jacket. He fooled no one.

Cool Hang Alert

Catch the vocal stylings of Lisa Gay are at the Dispensary Lounge, 2451 E. Tropicana Avenue, at 8 p.m. Thursday. A “special surprise guest,” which is a lot better than “a surprise guest, not so special,” is promised. And Gay is great. Go to thedispensarylounge.com.^

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 X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.