Rockin’ It in Vegas Rio Style

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The percussive beat reverberates throughout your body like a sensual jackhammer as you gyrate and sway to the overwhelming wall of sound emanating from the stage. Your hips sway in tempo with your partner as you both feel the music in the core of your souls. You melt into the moment as your mind and body become one with the harmonic vibrations and pulsating rhythms. You’ve never felt this way before and you’ll never feel this way again.

Out of the corner of your eye you see her…with him. There they are, Taylor Swift and her latest beau, Hakkasan’s uber DJ Calvin Harris divinely entangled in one another, creating a seismic aftershock of libidinous excitement that can only be described in one word: Canoodling.

The Urban Dictionary describes canoodling as: “snuggling, kissing, and making out.” Pretty much sums it up, don’t you think? (By the way, Harris is available for booking through Destination Fabulous’ XtremeEntertainment™ talent booking service. And where Calvin goes, you know who may follow. Just saying.

The tall, leggy, sexy, and incredibly talented Taylor Swift – who prefers to chronical her latest and lost loves in song instead of a private diary – is arguable the hottest commodity in pop music. And she is just one of a mind-boggling list of pyrotechnic entertainers scheduled to appear at the world’s ultimate music festival, Rock in Rio, happening here in Las Vegas over two consecutive weekends: May 8th and 9th and May 15th and 16th.

These Brazilians really know how to par-tahy har-tahy. Because, when it comes to Las Vegas special events, this is the biggest. And that’s a huge understatement. Of course, that’s why we here at Destination Fabulous Las Vegas DMC are your go-to authority for everything happening on the Las Vegas entertainment scene. So we’re rockin’ this blog with all the dish on this synapse-bending super Las Vegas entertainment event.

Only Vegas can play host to two back-to-back mega events: The stupendous Mayweather/Pacquiao title fight (see my last month’s blog on this subject) and Rock in Rio, which is perhaps the biggest and most explosive live entertainment festival on this or any other planet. No Doubt about it.
Speaking of which, No Doubt was among the first super groups to sign up for Rock in Rio’s USA debut. Because “Underneath It All” it’s going to be one “Hella Good” show with the magnificent Gwen Stefani, late of The Voice, fronting the group on May 8th.

Rock in Rio is split up into two weekend blockbuster events. The first weekend showcases a who’s who of rock, including the sledgehammer sounds of Metallica, Mexican rockers Maná, Linkin Park, Rise Against, Hollywood Undead, The Pretty Reckless, the Deftones, and more.

We’ve just scratched the surface here, so hang on.

Then, the following weekend of May 15th and 16th, a pantheon of pop stars takes the stage; including my personal favorite, Bruno Mars.

Oh, baby.

With two Grammy Awards and 11 million albums sold, Bruno Mars, who appears May 16th, will spin his impeccable vocals and unique dance moves into a mesmerizing and memorable musical performance. It should also come as no surprise that beautiful Bruno is also available through our Destination Fabulous DMC’s XtremeEntertainment™ talent booking service. Like I said, I love this guy. He is just so good. And oh, so sexy.

But I digress.

Like the troops hitting Omaha Beach on D-Day, this tremendously talented army of pop entertainers just keep coming and coming in wave after wave. The remarkable John Legend will be performing and perhaps collaborating with fellow entertainers. Who knows what musical chemistry could happen? Of course it’s no “secret” that Legend’s lovely other half, that tempestuous temptress and Victoria’s Secret supermodel Chrissy Teigen, will be at Legend’s side; not to mention his front, and his back. In fact, just like the classic nursery rhyme, this is one “little lamb” who is sure to go wherever Legend goes. Then there’s Jessie J, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Magic!, Empire of the Sun, triple Grammy winner Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and the truly amazing Joss Stone.

Perfectly channeling that raspy, soulful sounds of Janis Joplin and the legendary Aretha Franklin, the utterly beautiful Joss Stone is like a reincarnated flower child from the 60s. Not only is she stunning, but this “Diva of Soul” can really belt out a song unlike anyone else. She released her debut album, The Soul Sessions, when she was just 16 years old. Since then, she has risen to the top of the pop charts, winning a Grammy and two BRIT awards. Let’s just say this: Mick Jagger actually invited her to form her own “SuperHeavy” band which included Dave Stewart, Damian Marley, and A.R. Rahman. She is one Stone that just keeps rolling. Now that’s serious street cred.

Joss Stone is also really tight with Prince William and especially the almost bursting-with-royal-baby-number-two, Princess Kate. They’ve obviously been enjoying some “Super Duper Love” behind the gates of the palace, eh? Will the with-child Kate traverse The Pond to watch one of her favorite artists perform at Rock in Rio? Who’s to say? The paparazzi are on high alert, nevertheless.

And (“stay with me” here), Rock in Rio certainly scored a coup when they booked uber British pop vocalist Sam Smith prior to his running the table at the Grammies with six nominations and three Grammy awards. He may have a common-sounding name, but there’s nothing commonplace about his super talent.

Rock in Rio is so massively huge that not just one stage can contain it. In addition to the Main Stage, there’s also the Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage, and the EDM Stage. But wait, there’s more.

This super festival also brings the world of music to Las Vegas with three differently themed international street entertainment environments. There is Rock Street Brazil, which immerses festival goers into a Brazilian Carnival atmosphere with dancing, characters from Brazilian folklore, and a wide variety of street entertainment. Rock Street USA also features street dancers, jazz players, a guitar biker (hmm…interesting), and one bucket drummer (well you just gotta have a bucket drummer). Rock Street UK is a British Invasion unleashed with Irish music jam sessions, magicians, jugglers, Victorian photographers, caricaturists, the Queen’s Guard, bagpipes, and performances by Celtic Fire, Wicked Tinkers, and Stone the Beetles, to name a few.

That’s why they call it The City of Rock.

It’s all happening right across the street from the SLS Hotel and Casino, formerly the Sahara Hotel and Casino. Historic factoid: The Rock in Rio venue is on the site of the old El Rancho Vegas, the first resort hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Can you imagine if one of those El Rancho guests from the 1950s somehow magically transported themselves to the Rock in Rio event in search of this long-forgotten hotel? I can see them hopping out of their 1954 Buick Roadmaster and looking wide-eyed at all the going’s on. The conversation would go like this:

  • Fred: Sweet Mother MacCree, Ethel! Just what in the Sam Hill is this? Where’s the hotel? Where’s the buffet?
  • Ethel: Look over there, Fred. That, that man has a ring through his nose! And all those tattoos!
  • Fred: And the noise! What is that racket? It sounds like ten thousand buzz saws.
  • Ethel: Don’t look over there, Fred. That woman is walking around practically in her underwear.
  • Fred: I can’t hear you, Ethel. I’m looking at this woman walking around in her underwear.
  • Ethel: Oh my Gawd, Fred, there are these people flying about above our heads on these lines. Are they crazy? Look at that man on stage over there! He’s, he’s…well he’s gorgeous, actually. What’s his name on that sign? Bruno Mars? Never heard of him.
  • Fred: Great Caesars Ghost! There’s a gigantic spider over there! And there are people performing on it.
  • Ethel: Let’s get out of here. We must have taken a wrong turn at Barstow. Fred! What are you doing? Put down that camera!
  • Fred: The guys at the Encino Elks Lodge aren’t gonna believe this!

I couldn’t end this blog without paying tribute to “The Wizard of Rock,” master impresario and event producer Robert Medina. He began his odyssey to create the ultimate global music festival back in 1985. The original festival celebrated Brazil’s awakening from 20 years of autocratic rule and was an expression of the country’s exuberance. He created a unique, 61-acre festival venue and invited a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lineup, including Queen, AC/DC, James Taylor, George Benson, Rod Stewart, Yes, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden, performing alongside some of Brazil’s hottest acts. It attracted 1.4 million people.

His bold, imaginative, strong-willed, and laser-focused vision has created a global entertainment event of truly epic proportions. Spanning three decades, his 14 festivals have attracted more than 1,120 of the world’s top performers. More than seven million people have attended his events. And more than 11 million people are connected through social networks. That’s more than the population of New York City. When you include the number of people who have experienced Rock in Rio via the Internet and TV that number jumps to a head-spinning one billion people.

That’s billion with a capital “B.”

With dozens of top-named acts performing on three stages, an astonishing array of mind-bending events and activities, and the glittering skyline of Las Vegas as a backdrop, Rock in Rio simply defies description and categorization.

In fact, there’s only one word that can really describe this extraordinary Las Vegas special event: “Fabulous.” Or, to paraphrase a famous slogan: “What happens in Vegas…brings the world to Vegas!”

“Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now:” I’ll be taking advantage of my VIP All-Access passes to take in all the spectacular sights and sounds of the world’s biggest music festival, and I hope to see you there. Maybe we can hook up at the Ferris Wheel or in the huge VIP tent. Meanwhile, I hope Taylor and Calvin just go get a room. Or as Ed Sheeran (who Taylor swiftly added to her growing entourage of crestfallen boyfriends) would say: “Don’t!”

Fred:   Ethel, just what is “canoodling,” anyway?

Ethel:  Shut up and drive. And wipe that silly grin off your face!

Fred:   Yeh are you digging on me, yeh, yeh, yeh. Yeh do you wanna little bit of my love, yeh wait a minute, wait a minute…

Ethel:  We should have turned around at Barstow.

Be fabulous,