Usher performs during the Lovers & Friends music festival on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Las ...

Usher wants Las Vegas Super Bowl stage: ‘I’d be a fool to say no’

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Maybe we’ll see a roller-skate party, a dance scene from famous strip club, and a blizzard of Ushh Bucks at the Las Vegas Super Bowl.

Usher features all of this merriment his “My Way” show at Dolby Live at Park MGM. He and his backing dancers swirl around the stage on “quad” skates during “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Good Love.” He reconstructs a two-story, Magic City-styled gentlemen’s club dating to his days in Atlanta.

It looks like a spectacle fit for Super Bowl halftime show. The superstar would be up for it, as Super Bowl LVIII is set for Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium.

“I’d be a fool to say no,” Usher told Aces Hollywood’s Scott Evans in an interview posted Friday. “If things line up the way we would all hope, one day that moment would happen. I’ve had the opportunity to graze the stage in support of ‘OMG’ and Will.i.am but that was one moment.”

Usher answers a question not yet asked. The Super Bowl halftime show announcements are far off. His reference to “OMG” was his performance backing headliners Black Eyed Peas at Super Bowl XLV in 2011, when the Packers beat the Steelers 31-25 at Cowboys Stadium.

Usher’s prominence as a Las Vegas Strip resident headliner and the immense production value of his stage show make him a natural for the Super Bowl stage. He’s certainly on the Raiders’ radar to play a regular-season halftime show, regardless.

“I think I have a catalog that obviously speaks for itself, so to be able to celebrate on that day, it’s obviously about football, but everybody really anticipates the performance,” Usher said. “Seeing Michael Jackson perform and recently seeing Snoop (Dogg) and (Dr.) Dre … Seeing so many incredible performances like Prince… It has always been kind of a bucket list.”

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar performed at the 2022 Super Bowl in SoFi Stadium. The Weeknd starred in 2021; Shakira and Jennifer Lopez co-headlined in 2020.

The stature of those superstars, and Usher’s affiliation with Vegas, seem to leave stage open. He is booked at Dolby Live through October, and a Super Bowl announcement paired with an extension of “My Way” would be a marketing move to attract international attention. Just thinking out loud, of course.

What Works In Vegas

Sam Hunt at Resorts World Theatre. A solid appearance from the country artist, selling out both shows with the theater filled with adoring fans. As we say, these folks were there on purpose.

We most recently caught Hunt on Sept. 30 at Route 91 Harvest. He was the last show-closing headliner before Oct. 1.

Hunt has since advanced his career nobly. He and his tight backing band ran with “House Party,” “Leave the Night on,” “Outskirts.” The crowd new the words to them all.

I especially liked “23,” a chart-topping, straight-up country anthem with the lyric, “You can marry who you want/Go back to Tennessee/But you’ll never be 23 with anyone but me.”

Hunt (who favors T-shirts, Wrangler jeans and trucker hats onstage) even made a famous big-box store feel melancholy, “I saw your mama at Walmart with your little girl/She had your eyes and your smile, she had your nose and your lips/Somewhere in our little small town, small talk girl/Lost in the grocery aisle, holding a bag of some chips.” That’s some reality-based prose, right there. I enjoyed this Hunt expedition.

Light us up

On the topic of RWLV …

Transfix has flicked the switch at Resorts World’s open event space. This festival of ingenuity is billed as the world’s largest immersive art experience.

A swift, accurate description of “Transfix” is that it’s a Burning Man festival, next to the Strip. Fittingly, one of Burning Man’s famous installations, the art car “El Pulpo Magnifico” (a 25-foot-tall, mechanical, fire-belching octopus) is featured in Transfix’s opening two weeks.

The walk-around attraction takes over the hotel’s Strip-adjacent parcel where Enchant was presented. The 200,000-square-foot experience on the 2-acre plot is filled with more than 50 interactive artworks. Those featured are such adventurous artists as Christopher Bauder & KiNK, Marco Cochrane, Foldhaus Collective, Kate Raudenbush, Christopher Schardt, Playmodes, HOTTEA and Kevin Clark.

Transfix takes as long as you want. Plan for 90 minutes to two hours. I spent an inordinate amount of time at the Hand of Man mechanical installation, watching the massive claw crush oil barrels. Idea: Brand those containers as some fictional beverage, RW Cola or something. Dress up that scene.

Elsewhere, the Transfix is filled with 10 artist-conceived bars and hideaways, among them Control No Control and Shrumen Lumen.

The layout brings to mind a high-tech carnival. It’s set up for families, with family four-pack tickets running $36.25 apiece without fees. Tickets rise to $69 for 15-over. If you pay that, take your own sweet time, and order the RW Cola.

For his presidential library

John Di Domenico has achieved unimpeachable fame with his Donald Trump impression. His 38 appearances on “The Howard Stern Show” are evidence of that.

The Vegas-based comic actor is now featured in the new book “Playing POTUS- The Power of America’s “Acting President” by Peter Funt, son of the late Alan Funt of “Candid Camera” game (research that show; it was the pre-runner of reality TV).

The tome chronicles presidential impersonators dating to Will Rogers’ impression of Calvin Coolidge those performing as Joe Biden.

Funt dedicates four pages Di Domenico, stating, “So began a long and lucrative career for Di Domenico as, arguably, the nation’s best and busiest Trump impersonator.” We quibble with “arguably.” Johnny D. is the best.

Cool Hang Alert

Wassa Coulibaly, who is our hero, has a wild “Speakeasy Saturday” variety show blowing up her Baobab Stage at Town Square. Show time is 8 p.m. This is a full hideaway-style cabaret show with singer, dancers, acrobats, comics and musicians. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, VIP $40. Go to baobabstage.com for info.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.





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