Sunday, September 30, 2012

Taylor Hicks 'Continues to Bring the Roadhouse to the Las Vegas Strip' ~Luck be a song...

“As a testament to his musical talent and showmanship, ‘American Idol’ winner Taylor Hicks will continue to bring the roadhouse to the Las Vegas Strip with a year-long extension performing at Bally’s Las Vegas through 2013, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 17..”

In a town of winners and losers, it’s nice to be a winner.

But it wasn’t the Lady laying down the luck for Taylor Hicks in Las Vegas.

Luck be a song!

Wise people have said that you make your own luck. Music blogger, Bob Lefsetz, says you have to “be there” when opportunity arrives.

This American Idol’s luck started in bars in Birmingham, Alabama, at Florabama on the Gulf Coast, and all the roadhouses and clubs in between where Taylor Hicks, at times, sang to an empty room. He has said you have to sing for no one before you can sing for someone.

He learned his craft and practiced his artistry. He worked hard and never gave up, although he came close to giving up—in Las Vegas. Las Vegas, he said, is where it would have been so easy to walk away from the American Idol auditions and, he admits in his autobiography, Heart Full of Soul, where he had hit the wall and wondered how much longer he could try before admitting that it was all a futile exercise.

Las Vegas might well have been the end of the road instead of the beginning.

But Las Vegas was not one more futile exercise. American Idol in Las Vegas gave America an opportunity to hear the soul singer from Alabama, and that has made all the difference.

Taylor Hicks brought it all back to Las Vegas, laid it down, and struck a chord with a highly sophisticated entertainment community. Las Vegas has seen the best. It knows good entertainment and musical talent.

American Idol in Las Vegas? “Roadhouse” on the Vegas Strip? The Vegas players might not lay down a bet on that. Then they wouldn’t know Taylor Hicks, the first American Idol with a residency in Las Vegas. Never bet against this Alabama native who had already beat all the odds with his Season Five American Idol victory!

And he won big in Las Vegas this summer. What Vegas named “Roadhouse” from Taylor Hicks and a kick-ass band with Jamie McLean, Brian Gallagher, Brian Less, Brian Griffen, Mark Vanderpool, and Joe Bergeron took the Strip by storm. This is not from fan reviews. This is from the music community, media, and Vegas insiders who came to see, and came back to see, the newest sensation on The Strip. The positive reviews never stopped. From opening night when Las Vegas icon Clint Holmes called it the “real deal” to the last week when Vegas insiders returned for a second or third time to see what, by then, truly was the Hottest Show on the Strip: “Fun night ahead!”

The print media echoed the applause for one of the best new shows in Las Vegas—high energy to the point of a “hurricane showing up on Dopler radar” with the ability to reduce the small Indigo Lounge to “rubble.” Taylor was named a new “Lounge Cat” that made Vegas lounges “cool” again!

Taylor also became a part of the Vegas entertainment community supporting local charities and being a “club kid” himself after hours in other venues, here at Stifler's with Joey Fatone and Frankie Moreno.

He supported Special Olympics with the Torch Run at The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace with Anthony Cools and Donnie Osmond.

He was not only accepted but, obviously, well liked. Johnny Katsilometes of the Vegas Sun tweeted to Bally’s after the final summer show in August asking that they have this “…Hicks kid back. We kinda like him around here.”

Fans couldn’t have been happier. But we knew what Taylor and a kick ass company could do, from the very successful 2007 solo tour (of which Brian Gallagher and Brian Less were a part), his Broadway summer run as Teen Angel in “Grease,” 2008, the National Broadway Across America “Grease” tour in 2008-2010, a kick ass summer tour of 2010, and an ongoing tour of appearances and concerts, including outstanding support for charities and good causes like the huge BamaRising concert for tornado relief in 2011.

He has an impressive career resume, and the first Las Vegas gig is an addition of which Taylor Hicks can be proud.

From one who was there, the difference in the Vegas Gig was that Taylor had gone further, experimented with “classics” that we thought we knew, made every song “new,” and donned the chic jackets that are the look of his class and style. Perhaps most importantly, he brought the trademark over-the-top energy and sheer “having-fun” that happens with Taylor Hicks and the amped-up musicians that come together. It all fit together to say that this was important and that Taylor truly wanted to honor the traditions of the entertainers who had gone before him in Las Vegas.

It all comes down to the music. He can be most proud of the music. It was inventive, it connected with those who were there, and it paid homage to other great entertainers who had played in Vegas. Perhaps most to his credit, this was not a “made-for-Vegas” show. Taylor stayed true to his roots--roadhouse, done his way.

The music is lasting, and it is the luck that this American Idol brings to the game.

Las Vegas is a long way from Florabama on the Gulf Coast where Taylor says he “cut his musical teeth.” The journey is greater than the miles.  If there are milestones, touchstones, or capstones in one’s life, Las Vegas may be one for Taylor Hicks. It’s been good to him. And through all the success, Taylor never failed to be thankful and express how “blessed” he was to be performing in Las Vegas.

He doesn’t forget the long way there.

And he just happens to have the musical chops to earn his spot!

And another one...

“By Popular Demand, ‘American Idol’ Taylor Hicks Returning to Perform at Bally’s Las Vegas With Year-Long Extension”
“As a testament to his musical talent and showmanship, ‘American Idol’ winner Taylor Hicks will continue to bring the roadhouse to the Las Vegas Strip with a year-long extension performing at Bally’s Las Vegas through 2013, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Taylor will perform nightly in The Indigo at 7 PM October 17 - November 12, and December 3 - 16, with 2013 performances to be announced at a later date.

"Tickets are now available for purchase by clicking here, visiting the Bally's Box Office (3645 Las Vegas Blvd South), or calling (888) 746-7784 or (702) 777-7776. Tickets are priced at $39.99 (regular) and $69.99 (VIP). The $69.99 VIP ticket includes a pre-show meet & greet with Taylor. Additional service fees apply.”

Get your tickets, get to Vegas, and see what we’re all raving about!

From Bally’s Las Vegas:

Video shared by Bally’s Las Vegas. There is a “no video or audio recordings and no flash photography” policy in place at all Taylor Hicks performances at Bally’s.

Top: BamaRising, Getty Images via MJsBigBlog
Indigo Lounge: Martin Martinez, Bally's
Stiflers: from JohnnyKats
Special Olympics: Caesar's Entertainment
BamaRising, Getty Images via MJsBigBlog