The vocal group, MO5AIC, who almost single handedly has moved a cappella music (music without instruments) back to the forefront, has begun a 12-month residency at LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The five-member band, described by Tony Bennett as “the best vocal group I’ve ever heard,” will perform a brand new 70-minute show in the 350-seat Shimmer Cabaret showroom at 8:30PM on select nights (as of this column every Friday through Sunday). And, to help them get things started with a bang, their very close friend, and the man who brought them to Las Vegas in the first place, George Wallace, opened the evening with a 15-minute introduction. That was, without question, something very special.
MO5AIC was the winner of MTV’s Top Pop Group competition in 2008, was a semi-finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent in 2009, and has since opened for Prince, Stevie Wonder, Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, and Jay Leno. Although the group has performed many times in Las Vegas (three years as Wallace’s opening act at the Flamingo Hotel), this will be their first headlining engagement, marking an exciting milestone for its members, Josh Huslig, Heath Burgett, Jake Moulton, Corwyn Hodge and Roopak Ahuja.
Josh, who founded MO5AIC in 2002, says: “This is the culmination of many years of dedication and hard work for us as performers and our belief in this style music, and also the idea that purely vocal music is a draw, that it is something people enjoy and want to hear. It’s a very proud moment for us.”
Hailing from the tradition of a cappella music, MO5AIC performs with no instruments, using just their voices and microphones to create a full sound that frequently has audiences puzzled over where the band is. The result is vocally astounding performances, such as its rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, that have audiences amazed at what is coming out of their mouths. MO5AIC has also garnered accolades from many fellow performers, including Boyz II Men, who are currently headlining their own Las Vegas residency at The Mirage Hotel. The two groups first met in 2007 when MO5AIC won a nationwide search held by CBS’s The Early Show for “The Next Great A Cappella Group,” judged by Boyz II Men.
MO5AIC’s first big Las Vegas opportunity came in 2006 from comedian Wallace. Originally engaged to open for George on a 30-day trial, on the second night MO5AIC performed, Wallace was so impressed that the group was hired immediately for a 12-month engagement, frequently sharing the stage with Wallace during the evening’s show and exposing them to the Las Vegas entertainment community.
MO5AIC’s Shimmer Cabaret show is a blend R&B, pop, rock, jazz, big band and Top 40 songs, all performed with a twist and suitable for all ages. The show includes audience interaction and will showcase the members’ endearing and entertaining camaraderie and humor. Josh says there is something extra special about performing at LVH, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, with its storied entertainment history: “There is no question that being on the same property where Elvis performed is cool! When you come to Las Vegas, you learn about the history, and to work here, and to be a part of that, is a very gratifying feeling.”
I believe, as a matter of record, I know, this is a show you just have to make time for. They put out more sound on the Shimmer stage than any live band. Each member also performs a solo or two, with Josh (who studied Grand Opera in college) giving out with a wonderful aria. My personal highlight was the percussionist sounds created by Jake Moulton—you can just hear the sticks of Gene Krupa or Buddy Rich on the stage if you closed your eyes.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
On Sept. 27, 2013, entertainer Tony Sacca celebrated his 50-year anniversary in showbiz with a special edition of “Las Vegas Rocks Variety Show,” filmed live at The Railhead at Boulder Station. The show featured some of Las Vegas’ finest entertainers, who along with Sacca have longevity working in Las Vegas. The variety of guests joining Sacca included singers: Jerry Tiffe, Kelly Clinton, four-member group Spectrum; longtime guitar virtuoso, Sidro Garcia, with his group Sidro’s Armada; “The Birdman of Las Vegas,” Joe Krathwohl; Lewis and Martin comedy tribute artists Tom Stevens and Tony Lewis; and the sexy male revue, “Thunder From Down Under.” A show highlight was Sacca joining Thunder as a surprise member of the troop showing off his hard-earned abs.
“I trained for 90 days and lost 18 pounds to participate for this performance,” said Sacca. “What a treat to perform with them as I celebrated 50 years in show business.” The free hour-long “Las Vegas Rocks Variety Show,” tapes before a live audience in the Railhead Showroom every Friday at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and guests must be 21 years or older. Taped shows air a week later on Saturday locally at 3 p.m. on Vegas TV Cable 14, as well as regionally including on KLBC TV Cable 2 airing in Laughlin, Bullhead, Kingman, Pahrump, and Lake Havasu.
The one and only Cher revealed that she will kick off her 49-city North American Tour, Dressed to Kill, in March, and will make a stop at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Sunday, May 25. Cher shared this news with her fans following her performance last month on “The Today Show.” Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 11 at noon and are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Tickets are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Cher’s previous tour, The Farewell Tour, later dubbed The Never Can Say Goodbye Tour, was one of the most successful tours ever by a solo artist. Cher played a record-breaking 325 dates in front of more than 5.5 million fans. For fans anxious to purchase seats to highly anticipated concerts and events, M life – MGM Resorts International’s loyalty program – provides members exclusive access to pre-sales for sporting events and concerts. The program also features rewards, benefits and once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the incomparable collection of MGM Resorts’ world-renowned destinations. To join, or for more information, visit: www.mlife.com. For all tickets purchased online (pre-sale and general public), ticket holders will receive a free copy of Cher’s new album Closer to the Truth, now out on Warner Bros. Records.
The Golden Nugget Las Vegas welcomes a saucy and exciting new show, Spank! The Musical, to the intimate 600-seat Showroom, Oct.18-Nov. 9, 2013. It’s time for the book that caused a world sensation to get SPANKED. SPANK, The Fifty Shades of Grey Parody is the hilarious new musical that brings all the naughty fun of the best-selling book to life. The audience’s inner goddess will be laughing out loud with this new imagining of the characters as they come to life with sharp-witted comedy, musical numbers, steamy and fun performances, from the hunky leading man, plus lots of surprises. Grab your girlfriends and don’t miss the funniest and most exciting girls’ night out of the year. General admission ticket prices are $35, or $45 for premium seating, and $55 for VIP seating (plus tax and fee). Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 866-946.5336, or visiting www.goldennugget.com
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week.
I’m outa here!