A&E

Chase Rice anchors the ACM’s big day party at the Go Pool

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Chase Rice plays the Flamingo pool on April 14.
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Chase Rice has done the poolside concert before, at Mandalay Bay Beach. Now he’s ready to ratchet up the fun factor for a true Vegas pool party, country-style, April 14 at the Flamingo for the Academy of Country Music’s annual Party for a Cause series.

“We’ve got pretty much the most fun, crazy event they can throw at you in Vegas, and that sounds good to me,” says Rice, a North Carolina-born singer and songwriter who found fame on reality TV series Survivor before he broke as a musician. “I think my reputation is kind of spreading around in country music, and our live show is so intense and fun, and that’s what they wanted. Everybody is always ready to party [in Vegas], and that’s what our show is all about. It’s more than a party; it’s an escape from reality, so it will go hand-in-hand.”

Country music is a proven force on the Strip, but it hasn’t permeated the dayclub landscape just yet; it takes an especially big event—like Sunday’s 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena—for the genre to totally take over.

Rice will be in party mode on Saturday, but when the awards show rolls around, he’ll be waiting to see how it pays tribute to victims and country music fans affected by the October 1 shooting at the Route 91 Harvest fest.

“That was something that will never be forgotten by the country music community and the entire community, and I think whatever they do will help us all put it behind us. It’s definitely been on my mind,” Rice says. “I see it at my shows all the time—somebody will be holding up a flag that says ‘Route 91 survivor.’ It didn’t matter if you were an artist or a fan; everyone there was a victim of that evil, but recovering has allowed everyone to connect with each other on another level.”

Rice is currently touring behind his fourth album, November’s Lambs & Lions, which took a few years and a label switch to release. His live show has become more intense, partially because he’s been waiting a long time to play what he believes are his best songs yet.

“‘Three Chords & The Truth’ is our first top-30 single in two years, and it’s continuing to move. And ‘Eyes on You’ is, I believe, the biggest song of my career to date,” he says. “It’s just a bunch of songs I believed in from day one that weren’t necessarily believed in by everybody, and I’m thankful I could take them to Broken Bow records and realize I wasn’t crazy those two years.”

ACM POOL PARTY FOR A CAUSE WITH CHASE RICE April 14, noon, $16. Flamingo’s Go Pool, 702-697-2888.

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