Felipe Esparza at Treasure Island
His standard greeting might seem confrontational (“What’s up, fool?”), but don’t worry: Felipe Esparza doesn’t want to fight. “I might be 6-foot-1, 270 pounds … but this is just for looks,” he said in a recent Comedy Central special. What the charming, easygoing Boyle Heights, LA, native does want to do is get laughs, and he does, handily. Esparza is a natural storyteller, with a dishing-over-beers delivery and a gift for a well-timed aside. (Regarding why he loves going to the drive-in: “You can sneak in [an extra] person, and Mexicans—we’re used to sneaking people in, anyway.”) Esparza stays busy—the onetime Last Comic Standing winner has produced multiple stand-up specials, appears on NBC’s Superstore and hosts a weekly podcast called What’s Up Fool? But when he’s onstage, it seems like he’s talking directly to you … and he’s got all the time in the world to hang out. February 23, 9 p.m., $39-$54. –Geoff Carter
Pahrump Hot Air Balloon Festival at Petrack Park
There’s something magical about witnessing more than 30 hot air balloons lift off in unison. Grab a camera and venture out to Pahrump for this three-day festival of colorful eye candy, which also features a nighttime “glowing” balloon show, a carnival, $10 tethered balloon rides and more. February 23-25, Free admission, $20 for carnival, pahrumptickets.com. –Leslie Ventura
Bob Ross Night at Best Painting Parties
Paint some happy little trees at this Bob Ross-themed painting night. Best Painting Parties invites guests to “Paint a Mountain!,” for which they’ll learn how to paint in the style of everybody’s favorite art instructor. No talent or permed wig required. February 24, 7 p.m., $35, 2016 W. Sunset Road, #100. –C. Moon Reed
The Color Run Downtown
The “Happiest 5k on the Planet” is kicking it up a notch by designating this year’s race the “hero tour.” As always, runners (and walkers—this “race” is open to all) will be doused with packets of powdery rainbow colors as they jog through Downtown. The “hero” aspect includes two “super zones” that will offer “double the color” as well as a “unicorn hero medal” and themed T-shirt. The event begins with a pre-race dance and stretch party and ends with an afterparty at Hot N Juicy Crawfish. Three Square is the charity partner, so bring canned goods for true hero status. February 24, 8 a.m., $25-$38, 945 Fremont Street, thecolorrun.com. –C. Moon Reed
Steampunk Ball at Millennium Fandom Bar
You know the look. The corsets and gowns. The petticoats and top hats. The driving goggles and pocket watches. It’s all over Burning Man and well-represented during the Saturday of Comic-Con. Sure, steampunk is more than just Victorian Era-meets-Wild West regalia; it’s a whole sci-fi subgenre that blends fantasy and speculative fiction, represented by late Industrial Age aesthetic (local example: Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Bay). But it screams for cosplay gatherings—like the annual one at Millennium Fandom Bar, which will host a costume contest during its annual celebration of the retro-future world. February 24, 9 p.m., Free. –Mike Prevatt
Twin Beer Festivals
February 24 is a good day to be a craft beer fan in Southern Nevada … and a tricky one, because it means choosing between two appealing-sounding festivals running simultaneously.
Downtown, Atomic Liquors hosts the second-annual Beer Zombies Festival, co-presented by Beer Zombies and Atomic City Brews. For $45, attendees can sample pours from more than 40 breweries—like Finback from Queens, New York; Oregon’s pFriem; Sweden’s Omnipollo; and Sour Cellars from Rancho Cucamonga, California—from 1 to 5 p.m. The ticket also grants access to the Day After Share event, during which participants can trade tastes from rare bottles beginning at noon at the same location.
Meanwhile on Saturday, across town at Henderson Pavilion, the Las Vegas Pizza and Beer Festival features, well, pizza and beer, two great tastes made for one another. Buy a ticket (priced from $29-$49) and you’ll get unlimited pours from 19 breweries including regional favorites Lagunitas, Alesmith, Mikkeller and Modern Times—along with all the slices you can put away from Rosati’s, Pop Up Pizza, Slice of Vegas and more from 1 to 4 p.m. Who’s thirsty? February 24, 1 p.m.–Spencer Patterson
G-Eazy at Park Theater
Twenty-eight-year-old Oakland rapper and producer Gerald Earl Gillum has been making all the right moves for some time now. His most memorable tracks have been collaborations like “Me, Myself & I” with Bebe Rexha, the current “Him & I” with girlfriend Halsey and September’s “No Limit” with ASAP Rocky and Cardi B, but after launching his biggest tour yet last week at the Smart Financial Centre southwest of Houston, G-Eazy is clearly ready for his own time in the spotlight. With the title track from new album The Beautiful & Damned featured in audio giant Beats’ Olympic Games commercials, he’s primed for global exposure. With Trippie Redd, Phora, Anthony Russo; February 25, 7 p.m., $45-$82. –Brock Radke
Snailmate at Starboard Tack
Synth-punk and hip-hop aren’t words you normally see together, but it’s an apt descriptor for Kalen Lander and Ariel Monet’s DIY project, Snailmate. Hailing from Phoenix—they lovingly refer to it as an “oppressive hellscape”—Lander and Monet have turned Snailmate into a well-oiled nerd-punk machine that rarely takes a day off from touring. Catch them at Starboard Tack’s first hip-hop-only bill, with support from LA’s Coolzey and locals Hassan and Late for Dinner. February 27, 9 p.m., free. –Leslie Ventura
Tricky, The Orb and Goldie are all in town for separate shows.
I’ve been recommending this residency to strangers, friends, tourists and locals since I saw it for the first time last year.
Shimmering Zen presents Stanford’s mandalas at the size of record sleeves, big enough to allow you to stare deeply into the details or for them ...
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