A good, healthy and aggressive raking of the scene is in order here. In place of sleeping, I rake:
• The news that The Rolling Stones have announced at least one date, May 11, at MGM Grand Garden Arena on their current tour prompted a memory of one of their most recent performances in VegasVille. That was in November 2005 in the early stages of their “Bigger Bang” world tour. The show took place in a remarkable run of concerts at Grand Garden Arena. In a single month, the Stones, U2 and Paul McCartney all performed at the Grand Garden.
The Stones show from that tour featured an auxiliary, or “B,” stage at the center of the floor. They played three songs in that tight space, including “Get Off My Cloud.” As the band fired up “Tumblin’ Dice,” Mick Jagger popped off a quip about the “What Happens Here, Stays Here” slogan, saying, “Does that mean my money, too?” Then he kicked a water bottle into the audience, nearly into the hands of Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci of The Killers. The half-filled container landed two rows behind them, and what a memento that would have been. Here is a wrap of that show, from 7 1/2 years ago.
• During a conference call with national media Tuesday, ACM Awards President Bob Romeo reiterated that the relocation of the ACM Awards telecast in 2015 is to be a temporary move. The ACMAs are in town Sunday for the annual broadcast from MGM Grand Garden Arena, with the show coming off live at 5 p.m. and airing delayed at 8 on CBS. The show is back in 2014 but is planning to go “supersize” in 2015 for its 50th anniversary celebration and hold the shindig at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The facility built for the Cowboys is host to a variety of events (title fights, Professional Bullriders Association shows and NCAA Tournament regional games), and this is the very type of show that community officials have been trying to rope into town since construction started on the cavernous playground.
About 65,000 fans can be seated at Cowboys Stadium for a show such as ACMAs. Currently, the only venue in Las Vegas that could handle that type of crowd is Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The ACMAs are not moving to LVMS, but the city does pull in about 40,000 fans to the live show and ancillary events at The Orleans Showroom and Fremont Street Experience during the "Vegas Goes Country" events in the week of the ACMAs broadcast. When the ACMAs return to Las Vegas — and that is a “when,” not an “if” — in 2016, Romeo plans to further expand the reach of country music here.
He’s not specifying how that would happen just yet.
“When we come back in 2016, we’ll be growing the events to make the event even bigger,” Romeo said, adding that it is likely a remote feed will be used from a satellite stage, such as how Mandalay Bay has been used before, during the live broadcast. “There is a lot of plotting and discussing going on about how to make it bigger.” The show is likely to return to MGM Grand, but if the MGM Resorts arena planned for the land behind New York-New York and Monte Carlo is actually finished three years from now, it could conceivably serve as the home to the ACMAs.
“Our people love the MGM Grand,” Romeo said. “It makes us feel comfortable, it’s easy for us because we know the building and feel comfortable walking the back hallways. Even with the addition of building arenas in town, we like the Grand Garden Arena.
• The Hard Rock Hotel could set up a mind-blowing entertainment festival with the wide range of live acts it is staging at the moment: Crooner Mark OToole, rockers Def Leppard and comic Andrew Dice Clay.
The latest announcement that Motley Crue is returning this year for 12 shows running Sept. 18-Oct. 6 marks the first return visit of a hard-rock act in residence at The Joint. Davis is not ruling out returns by former hard-rock headliners Guns N’ Roses and Def Leppard. Of the latter, Davis says, “I can tell you they have been fabulous to work with. They really, really wanted to do this. This is not a money grab. They worked their tails off getting ready for it, and it really shows in the performance.”
As for the Crue, expect a show filled with hits but with a different twist on staging. “Their shows tend to be greatest-hits shows, so you’ll get a full dose of songs you came to hear,” Davis said. “I know what it’s like to sit through a two-hour show filled with songs you don’t want to hear. They care very much about delivering a great show, and the only thing new in the conversation has been a new production with a new stage. We like that.”