The Boxing Issue | Vegas Seven Magazine | April 30-May 6, 2015

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Partying @ the Silent Disco

Beer Pong with Lucky the Leprecha un!

#BestNightEver Blvd. Cocktail Co. The best entertainment comes to the heart of the Strip. With free concerts at the fountain stage every Thursday, street performers, and an ever-changing lineup of the biggest names in music, The LINQ is the place to party. Explore the possibilities at  Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. ©2015, Caesars License Company, LLC.

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4/10/15 12:26 PM








Michael Skenandore


Matt Jacob Paul Szydelko, Xania Woodman A&E EDITOR Cindi Reed ASSOCIATE EDITOR Camille Cannon SENIOR WRITERS Steve Bornfeld, Geoff Carter, Lissa Townsend Rodgers CALENDAR COORDINATOR Ian Caramanzana EDITOR


SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Melinda Sheckells (style)


Michael Green (politics), Al Mancini (dining), David G. Schwartz (gaming/hospitality)


Ryan Olbrysh Jon Estrada, Cierra Pedro STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Anthony Mair CREATIVE DIRECTOR






Marc Barrington Jimmy Bearse DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR Jasen Ono





James Cale, Aric Lairmore, Angeline Ramirez, Danny Webster

Ryan T. Doherty

| Justin Weniger






PUBLISHED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE OBSERVER MEDIA GROUP Vegas Seven, 302 East Carson Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101 Vegas Seven is distributed each Thursday throughout Southern Nevada c 2015 Vegas Seven, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without the permission of Vegas Seven, LLC is prohibited.

VoTeD #1 BeST ReSTauRaNT iN LaS VegaS By TRiP aDViSoR


American Prime. Italian favor. Located on the 2nd Floor. Nightly 5 PM – 11 PM. Call 702-388-2220 for reservations.







Saturday – Wednesday at 8:30 PM. For tickets, call 388-2111 or Dinner and show packages available.

Downtown at Fremont Street Experience




You don’t see a lot of leather in these parts, on account of our weather. But Jessica Galindo is out to change that with Leather Couture, her accessory boutique in Container Park that features handcrafted goods such as tassel necklaces, statement earrings and cocktail clutches. DTLV contributor Amber Sampson caught up with Galindo to chat about her store at THE WIZARDS COMETH


Wizard World Comic Con passed through Las Vegas from April 24-26, and it was just as you’d expect it: a fullon geek fest complete with celebrity meet-and-greets, merchandise and, of course, cosplay. Senior writer Lissa Townsend Rodgers guides you through the highlights, including her favorite costumes, at VegasSeven. com/WizardWorld.




The ninth annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit delivered on its promise of an eating and drinking nirvana. More than 70 chefs, along with an army of mixologists and sommeliers, mixed it up with the general foodie public. Browse the highlights—but not on an empty stomach!—at VegasUncorkd.

Memo to regular visitors of No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The website has indeed received a face-lift. In addition to the new look, the site has gone mobile, so now you can get all your Rebels game recaps, news, analysis and podcasts on your phone or tablet. Subscribe to our push notifications and receive the latest Rebels news as it happens. Browse away at

If you’ve got a weakness for interior design and open houses, you can thank the Nevada Preservation Foundation for hosting the first historic homes tour on May 3, when you’ll be able to explore 15 homes inside and out. Learn more details and get a complete preview at HomeTour.

FACEBOOK: /VegasSeven TWITTER: /7Vegas INSTAGRAM: /VegasSeven

“This year’s Kentucky Derby falls on the same day as a big fght, meaning this is the closest you can come to the ’40s without actually bothering to visit your grandfather.” BETTING {PAGE 18}

Combined, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao stand to rake in more than $200 million from their May 2 bout.

Brawl About the Benjamins A look at the money and mayhem surrounding the Mayweather-Pacquiao fght By Camille Cannon

April 30–May 6, 2015




Jersey raised $1,500 on GoFundMe for a trip to Las Vegas for the May 2 boxing showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. “I’m cute. I like free money. You donating or naw? Lol!” she wrote. The crowd-funding campaign was at once ridiculous and genius. Because experiencing the latest “Fight of the Century” in Las Vegas isn’t going to come cheap. To paraphrase the lyrics of Wu-Tang Clan: Cash rules everything around May 2. First, consider the hotel prices across the Valley, particularly on and around the Strip. Shortly after the fght was fnally made offcial February 20,

ESPN reported that rooms for May 2 at MGM Grand (the fght’s host venue) had gone from $190 per night to $705. Despite the rate spike, all 5,044 of MGM’s rooms quickly sold out. Room searches for fght night at MGM Grand’s website have since referred visitors to other MGM Resortsowned properties, including Aria (where—at press time—nightly rates start at $1,199), Vdara ($599) and the usually budget-friendly Circus Circus ($289). Other Strip hotels raised their rates, yet most properties are sold out for May 2. A mid-April search through all Caesars Entertainment-owned hotels yielded rooms only at Caesars Palace, starting at a cool $999—again,

per night. And most places were insisting on at least a two-night minimum. But let’s say you don’t want or need to stay on the Strip; you just want to watch the fght there. You’ll have to do so at an MGM-owned property, as the corporation controls the closed-circuit hotel-casino broadcast rights in Clark County. (This restriction does not apply to neighborhood establishments.) Entry into one of these closed-circuit viewing parties will start at $150, beating the previous record of $100 for Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in September 2013. (National spots blog quipped that “this display of greed is a great example of why Vegas is called ‘Sin City,’” which might be true.)

If you’re not interested in being one of the expected 25,000 people to buy closed-circuit tickets, you could stay home and watch the fght on pay-perview. Sadly, that’s still likely to make your wallet cry: To get the fght in HDTV, you’ll have to pony up $99.95 (plus tax)—a record pay-per-view price tag. If you want to live like it’s 1995, you can go for the standard-defnition broadcast and save $10. Want to trim a few more bucks? Pick up an 18-pack of Tecate; the beer company paid $5.6 million to sponsor the fght and is offering a mail-in rebate of $15-$50. (Like you weren’t going to buy beer anyway!) Then again, maybe watching Mayweather-Pacquiao on TV isn’t good enough. Maybe you’re determined to see the action in person—and to do so, you’re willing to forgo the down payment on that new house you’ve been eyeing. Well, about 500 tickets fnally went on sale to the public April 23, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. And they were gone in less than two minutes. That’ll force you to the secondary market, where ticket aggregator shows tickets starting at $3,422—with foor seats as high as $344,000. The startling median ticket price of $7,984 shatters the previous record for a boxing match ($1,616 for Mayweather-Alvarez) and even the most recent Super Bowl ($3,290). Now let’s say you’re an A-list celebrity—someone who always star-powers your way into big events. No way you’ll have to pry open your wallet to be among the 16,800 spectators inside the Grand Garden Arena, right? Wrong. “Nobody is going to get these tickets without paying for them,” Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum told ESPN Radio 1100-AM. To that effect, Arum says the live gate could reach $74 million. ESPN reports that the total money generated could “easily surpass” $400 million, doubling the record gross of $200 million for Mayweather-Alvarez. So what do these crazy fgures mean for the fghters? Mayweather and Pacquiao will spilt the pot 60/40, with Mr. Money Team getting the bigger haul. Forbes predicts each fghter will walk away with more than $100 million—and that’s for a maximum of 47 minutes of work (12 rounds at three minutes each, plus one-minute breathers between Rounds 1-12). Makes you want to sprint to the nearest boxing gym and start a new career, doesn’t it? For $20, we’ll send you directions.


News, deals, style and a Really Rotten discussion about wishing failure on others


➜ Ever since U.S. Senator Harry Reid revealed a month ago that he was retiring in 2016 at the conclusion of his fifth term, we’ve been wondering: What should our state’s top-ranking Democrat do to keep busy once he comes home?



Those treadmills won’t know what hit ’em.

It’s really not much of a leap from a morally bankrupt organization to an actually bankrupt organization.



Well, he was Majority and Minority Whip.

Spewing massive amounts of hot air into the world while doing little real work: the actual definition of “senator” in the Constitution!



It’s coming in July, but it may not yet be too late to digitally map Harry’s face over Frankie Muniz in post-production.

Because it’s no less ridiculous than the champ’s current ring escort: none other than Justin Bieber. Plus, Harry actually knows something about staying off the ropes.



Which is totally a real thing (just ask any Las Vegas Review-Journal commenter).

“Show me ‘whitewash an issue.’ Show me ‘obstruct useful legislation.’ Now sweep your own leg.”

By Bob Whitby THURSDAY, APRIL 30: Always fancied yourself something of a wordsmith? Perhaps you should plan on catching best-selling author, newspaper columnist and public speaker Jack Sheehan’s free talk on how to make a living as a writer, 11:30 a.m. at UNLV’s Greenspun auditorium. We’ll be in the front row.

FRIDAY, MAY 1: The term “foodie” has sorta jumped the shark, but the allure of victuals served from the side of a truck remains. There will be plenty to choose from at the Great American Foodie Fest, Thursday through Sunday at the Rio. Some 50 trucks, as well as TV chefs galore, will be serving it up. (For more, see Page 56.) SATURDAY, MAY 2: Boulder City is such a fun little town. Proof: the annual Spring Jamboree, 8:45 a.m. today through Sunday at Bicentennial, Escalante and Government parks. The city has lined up a car show, arts and crafts vendors, folks hawking antiques, live entertainment, doggies on display and a kids’ carnival. SUNDAY, MAY 3: Ready to unleash your

STAR OF HARRO , HIS OWN CIRQUE DU SOLEIL PRODUCTION It will reuse the performers from Viva Elvis, the sets from Viva Elvis, and the entire plot of Viva Elvis—and enjoy the short lifespan of Viva Elvis.



Between infrastructure, funding and legislation, the education system in Nevada has plenty of issues. Now, testing corporations and possibly the federal government are adding to the Silver State’s woes. A series of computer glitches in recent weeks forced the state to postpone issuing the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a Common Core-aligned, federally mandated test in math and English language arts. Nevada students in grades 3-8 were all set to begin testing in late April, but the computer servers controlled by Measured Progress—the assessment company contracted by the state—were unable to handle the flood of students. “Our students were ready, our teachers were ready, our tech was ready, the infrastructure was ready and the state was ready,” says Leslie Arnold, assistant superintendent of assessment, accountability, research and school improvement for the Clark County School District. “This was very disappointing.” After several failed attempts, Arnold says some students were able to log on and begin taking the


test, but “content glitches” such as skipped questions and missing texts or graphs kept many from being able to complete it. While the technical difficulties shouldn’t affect Nevada’s federal education funding—an alreadyin-place “accountability pause” meant this year’s data was simply going to be a baseline—there is still a federally mandated level of student participation, which could become an issue. “We are trying to document that we are giving a good-faith effort,” Arnold says. Dale Erquiaga, Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, has asked both Measured Progress and Smarter Balanced Assessment to either fix the problem or devise a work-around—solutions that would have to be approved by both the state attorney general and Department of Education. If the problem isn’t resolved, the state may wind up taking the testing companies to court. And even if it is, it’s unknown if there would be enough time for all students to complete the exam before the school year ends. “We were prepared for online assessment,” Arnold says. “It’s just sad we’re not going to get a chance to prove that.” –Lissa Townsend Rodgers

inner artist? Here’s your chance: Commonwealth’s Uncommon Canvas Paint Night, 6 p.m. Sundays through May. Each week local artist Christina Ambubuyog guides students through a stepby-step re-creation of a painting. And because the class happens in a cocktail lounge, you can drink until your painting becomes a masterpiece.

MONDAY, MAY 4: It may be May, but there’s still football being played—Las Vegas Outlaws arena football, to be precise. Catch all the high-scoring action when the Outlaws host the L.A. KISS, 7:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. TUESDAY, MAY 5: What would our city be without

showgirls? A drier Fargo. OK, maybe not, but it wouldn’t have the same storied history of glamorous ladies in outlandish costumes. UNLV’s Lied Library explores a bit of that history in the new exhibit French Connection, which features costumes, set pieces and photographs from the city’s first French revues. Daily through Oct. 1;

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6: Has it really been 36 years since we celebrated the first San Gennaro Feast? That’s a lot of spaghetti and meatballs. As you might guess from its longevity, this party honoring Saint Gennaro (and featuring entertainment, rides and endless Italian food) is hugely popular. It runs through May 10 at 4245 Grand Canyon Drive. Have an event you want considered for Seven Days? Email



Dortmund is our handicapper's (doomed) pick to win the Derby.

Proceed With Caution

American Pharoah headlines a talented Derby feld. But is he too good to be true? By Jason Scavone

April 30–May 6, 2015




stupid hats, or suits that make you look like you’re doing small-town Southern lawyer cosplay. But you don’t get to spend nearly enough time ripping up losing betting tickets. Thank whatever degenerate gambling god you worship, then, as the frst Saturday in May is near. Your personal julep-soaked Coachella of playtime high society is back for one more glorious two-minute romp in Kentucky, followed by several hours of vomiting up mint sprigs. Even better, this year’s Kentucky Derby falls on the same day as a big fght, meaning this is the closest you can come to the ’40s without actually bothering to visit your grandfather. A typical gripe, going back to, oh, Alydar and Affrmed in Nineteen Seventy Goddamn Eight, is that “this year’s crop of 3-year-olds isn’t any good.” That there’s somehow a taint on the hallowed Derby because the ghost of Seabiscuit isn’t running against zombie War Admiral. (We would buy that payper-view, by the way.) This time, there’s zero validity to that complaint, because we’ve got the most stacked feld in years. In theory, that makes it a devastatingly diffcult race to handicap. On the other hand, let’s be honest: Given our track record, it’s not going to matter. Pick a live horse, get a pretty good price. Because there won’t be one overwhelming favorite, the odds should fatten out among the feld, making straight win bets a viable route and exactas juicier than a post-Diane Sawyer, pre-Rob-inrehab Kardashian family reunion. Really, you can make a solid case


Win: Dortmund Place: Carpe Diem Show: International Star

for nine of the 20 Derby entrants (and if you’re not running yet to get down on one of the other 11, then you’re not paying attention), but there are two standouts that top this very talented feld: American Pharoah and Dortmund. Pharoah is the bully of every 1980s teen comedy: talented, anointed, handsome, effortlessly excellent. His wins in the Arkansas Derby and Rebel Stakes were like watching Clayton Kershaw pick apart the 51s. (Would also buy that pay-per-view.) Dortmund, meanwhile, is like the bully’s main henchman—also at the top of the heap, but secretly sympathetic to the nerds/geeks/Judd Nelson. He cruised in the San Felipe Stakes and Santa Anita Derby, but he had to work just a little harder for it. One of these horses will go off as the favorite—likely Pharoah, with Dortmund close behind. Then there’s the second tier: Carpe Diem, Mubtaahij, International Star and Materiality. The latter didn’t race as a 2-year-old, which is essentially the kiss of death—a horse that was dormant as a 2-yearold hasn’t won the Derby since 1882. Mubtaahij is a talented cipher that seems impossibly hearty, and was tested with the distance more than his contemporaries, but he's had all his success overseas. He’s Racer X, without the mask and goggles. John

Velazquez—the Hall of Fame jockey who’s only the all-time money earner in North America—had the choice between stablemates, and picked Carpe Diem over Materiality (which should tell you something). Meanwhile, International Star closes as well as any horse, a valuable trait in the cavalry charge of the Derby. The third tier (Frosted, El Kabier and Upstart) are all capable, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see any hit the board. But you didn’t come here for capable. You came here to make money. (Sucker!) Bottom line: American Pharoah looks phenomenal, which is exactly why I’d stay away. If any horse is likely to be overbet, it’s this one— and deservedly so. But Pharoah loves to be out front, and it’s really, really tough to wire the feld in the Derby. It’s only happened once in 27 years (War Emblem in 2002). Depending on the post draw— which occurred after press time—if Pharoah ends up wide or well inside, it’s not hard to envision him struggling to get that early lead, and thus struggling to run his race. You don’t feel good about tossing out a horse this talented, but there’s too much value everywhere else. Dortmund has more grit, and has come off the pace before. It’s a 50/50 shot: Him … or one of the other 19 horses. (Incidentally, by choosing to fade Pharoah, I’ve essentially guaranteed a Triple Crown. You’re welcome, America.) For updates to this column following the post draw or any changes to the field, visit

Was there really a time when our casinos didn’t have many deals specifically for seniors? Or was I just so young that I didn’t notice back in the day? Regardless, such offers are everywhere now, and one of the better ones resides at Gold Coast, Suncoast, Orleans and Sam’s Town. The Young at Heart promo runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, and is open to anyone 50 and older. Among the program’s several perks are $4 movie tickets and a big drawing that has a bunch of rules you need to follow to be eligible. But two other components interest me more. The first is a point multiplier for players. When you swipe your B Connected players card at a kiosk, six boxes pop up, with a multiplier behind each box, and you simply select one of the boxes. I’ve seen multipliers range from 4-times to 30-times points, and ads say it goes as high as 50-times. Each point is worth 0.1 percent in free play. Hence, a 4-times bonus is worth 0.4 percent. If you’re a video poker expert, you know that’s enough to turn a good game like 9/6 Jacks or Better into a breakeven gamble, which ain’t half bad. But that’s not where the honey is. Hitting a 30-times multiplier adds 3 percent; 50-times adds 5 percent. That may not be enough to get you over the breakeven hump on a slot machine, but it absolutely will get you there on most video poker schedules if you know what you’re doing (and get you darn close even if you don’t). The maximum you can earn in a day is 10,000 base points at each casino, except Suncoast, where the max is 25,000 points. If you like this arrangement, go for it. But if rocking $10,000 coin-in isn’t your thing, there’s still a reason to play. After playing just $10 through, you get a two-for-one buffet voucher (available automatically from the kiosk). After $50 coin-in, you get a free breakfast or lunch buffet. And after $100 coin-in, you get a free dinner buffet. The expected loss for playing $100 is only a dollar or two, but if you don’t want to risk that much, just play $10 through for the twofer. Now for the fine print: Everything must be done within the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. window. You must swipe, play and retrieve your buffet voucher from a kiosk before 7 p.m., or it disappears. You have until 9 that night to eat, but confirm at the booth to make sure, as this rule seems to be open to interpretation. A good way to play it is to swipe your card early on Wednesdays to see what your multiplier is, then determine if you want to play to the max, just enough for the buffet or not at all. Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and



YOUR DOLLARS. THEIR CHANGE. At After-School All-Stars, what we want for our participants is the same thing everyone wants for their own children: to be safe and healthy, graduate high school and go on to college, find a career that they love and give back to their community. We provide children with academic and enrichment activities that help them succeed in school and in life. Every child can be an All-Star. They just need your help.


Left: Evander Holyfield flattens Mike Tyson midway through their first fight. Below: Tyson and Holyfield clinch before the infamous bite.

cidental. Tyson thought otherwise. Fast-forward to the rematch: Early in Round 2, Holyfeld cut Tyson over his right eye with another head-butt. Again, Tyson believed it was intentional. And again, the referee—in this case, Mills Lane—saw it differently. So, hungry for justice, Tyson late in the third round took matters into his own, uh, mouth. Not once, but twice. The image of Tyson spitting out his mouthpiece and clamping down on Holyfeld’s left ear—followed instantly by Holyfeld grabbing his ear, jumping up and down, and spinning around in pain as though he’d been shot—will always be synonymous with Tyson-Holyfeld II. So, too, will the post-fght chaos that ensued in the MGM Grand casino. Often forgotten, though, is the fact that Holyfeld was well on his way to proving his frst victory over Tyson was hardly a fuke. Holyfeld won the frst two rounds on all three scorecards, again playing the role of aggressor, taking Tyson’s best blows, and countering with effective jabs and power shots. Rewatch the fght, and you’ll see the frustration building within Tyson as he realizes he can neither hurt nor fgure out Holyfeld. The Baddest Man on the Planet knew he was in for another long night, and he wanted no part of it. So he resorted to a tactic that horrifed the millions who saw it, and forever tarnished a once-legendary career.

Nov. 9, 1996 MGM Grand Garden Arena

In February 1990, half a world away, an unknown heavyweight named James “Buster” Douglas crafted—and then executed—the perfect blueprint to take down the invincible Mike Tyson: He bullied the bully, stunning the boxing world by knocking out the self-proclaimed Baddest Man on the Planet. More than six years later, though, the bully was back in business. After serving three years of a six-year prison sentence following a rape con-




Sept. 16, 1981 Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion

Midway through his match against undefeated welterweight mauler Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard was in complete control. He rocked Hearns late in the sixth round—nearly fooring him—then continued his assault into the seventh. Yet he failed to


June 28, 1997 MGM Grand Garden Arena

Some boxing matches become instant classics based purely on raw, intense action (see No. 1 on this list). Others become instant classics based purely on an unpredictable, unforgettable moment. See “No Mas” … and “Fan Man” … and “The Bite Fight.” Nobody who watched Iron Mike morph into Hannibal the Cannibal in Round 3 of this rematch had any clue at the time that the seeds for one of the most bizarre moments in sports history were planted 7½ months earlier. It was in the sixth round of the initial clash—the same round in which Tyson got knocked down—that Holyfeld’s head rammed into Tyson’s. The head-butt was ruled ac-


At the end of the 10th, Holyfeld—who by this point was in complete control— rocked Tyson with a series of vicious shots that landed fush, with only the bell saving the champ. At the start of the 11th, Holyfeld immediately went on the attack, fnishing off Tyson with another furry of punches that forced referee Mitch Halpern to step in and halt the bout 35 seconds into the round. Before a single bead of sweat had dried on either fghter, the talk had begun: rematch.



viction, Tyson obliterated his frst four opponents—to use boxing parlance, all four were tomato cans—needing less than eight total rounds to do so. His next victim: Holyfeld, a former heavyweight champion whose career was leaning heavily toward “washed up” rather than “in his prime.” In fact, Holyfeld looked so shaky in his two previous fghts—he was knocked out by Bowe in the fnale of their trilogy in November 1995, then posted a lackluster victory over unheralded Bobby Czyz six months later—that the Nevada Athletic Commission refused to license Holyfeld until he passed a battery of medical tests. Well, Holyfeld passed them, received his license and signed to fght Tyson nearly fve years after their initial meeting had been postponed (because of a Tyson injury), then canceled (because of Tyson’s legal issues). Nevada oddsmakers immediately established the champ as a 25-to-1 favorite. What they clearly didn’t bank on was that the challenger would copy Buster Douglas’ blueprint to a T. Holyfeld pressed the action from the outset, and even though Tyson connected several times early on, Holyfeld absorbed every blow—which surely raised both his self-confdence and Tyson’s self doubt. Midway through the fght, the pendulum swung in both directions: In the ffth round, Holyfeld took a punch that nearly knocked him to the canvas; in the sixth, Tyson took a punch that actually did.

April 30–May 6, 2015


in the overhead lighting rig. The match was stopped for more than 20 minutes while security and arena personnel worked to clear the area, and Miller was dragged into the crowd and knocked unconscious before being detained by police. After the impromptu “halftime,” Holyfeld edged ahead on the scorecards and narrowly regained his titles with a 115113, 115-114, 114-114 majority decision. The second half of the fght failed to live up to the frst six rounds in terms of excitement, but it was a textbook Holyfeld performance. And thanks to one crazy fan, the entire affair became an indelible moment in both Las Vegas and boxing history.


HOW SWEET IT IS Sugar Ray Leonard


fnish the job, and by the end of the 12th round, Leonard’s left eye was swollen half shut, and a rejuvenated Hearns was leading big on all three judges’ cards. Even worse for Leonard was that Hearns was showing no signs of slowing down. Essentially, Leonard would need a miracle to win. Even his legendary trainer knew it: Between the 12th and 13th rounds, TV cameras caught Angelo Dundee scolding Leonard, “You’re blowing it now, son—you’re blowing it!” Spurred on by Dundee’s frank, Rockylike pep talk, Leonard went out for the 13th gunning for a knockout. What followed was boxing nirvana: maybe the greatest pound-for-pound fghter the sport has ever seen, ascending to the highest plane of his pugilistic existence. Leonard went on the attack, knocking Hearns off-balance with lightning-quick punches and power combinations. Late in the round, Leonard pinned Hearns against the ropes, then nearly knocked him through them; Hearns recovered at the bell, but the momentum had clearly shifted. Leonard continued his barrage in the 14th, again forcing Hearns against the ropes and raining down blows until referee Davey Pearl halted the fght at the 1:45 mark. Entering the 14th, Hearns was ahead 124-122, 125-122, 125-121—meaning had the bout gone the distance, Hearns would’ve been victorious. The miracle comeback made Leonard—already a fan favorite and media darling—a superstar. It also forever marked him as a fghter not only with

unparalleled skill, but with the heart to match. Which he would display again more than fve years later.



April 6, 1987 Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion

In the spring of 1987, the thought of this fght someday winding up on a list such as this would’ve been preposterous. After all, in one corner was the menacing Marvin Hagler, the reigning middleweight champ, one of the most devastating punchers in the sport and someone who hadn’t lost a fght in more than a decade. In the other corner was the charismatic Leonard, a former welterweight champ and one of the most skilled boxers of his era … a skilled boxer who hadn’t stepped foot in the ring in nearly three years. In fact, from his classic battle with Hearns in September 1981 to this fght against Hagler, Leonard had faced exactly two opponents: One scrub named Bruce Finch (February 1982) and another named Kevin Howard (May 1984). In all, Leonard had boxed 12 rounds in 5½ years. So while there was tremendous hype and anticipation leading up to fight night—it was arguably the biggest fight of what was a glorious decade for boxing—few gave Leonard much of a chance to survive more than a handful of the 12

rounds, let alone actually win. What the doubters didn’t account for was that, while Leonard’s body was rusty, his mind (always one of his biggest strengths) remained sharp. He fought a tactically impeccable fght, avoiding Hagler’s power by dancing around the ring—a ploy that frustrated the champ. (At one point, Leonard claims Hagler told him, “Slow down, you little bitch. Fight me like a man.”)

When Leonard did slow down and engage Hagler, it was almost exclusively in the fnal 30 seconds of the round—which was part of his prefght plan. Since most rounds were close, Leonard’s late furries made an impression on both the crowd and the three ringside judges, even though only a portion of the punches actually landed. From a standpoint of pure, awe-inspiring action, Leonard-Hagler doesn’t exactly rate with the other bouts on this list. Neither fghter was knocked down, and while Hagler landed the bigger shots, he never truly hurt Leonard—a sign, in retrospect, that Hagler’s power had diminished. In the end of what was an extremely diffcult fght to score, Leonard earned a highly controversial split decision— with much of that controversy tied to judge Jo Jo Guerra. While his two colleagues scored the bout 115-113 (one had it for Leonard, the other for Hagler), Guerra scored it 118-110 in favor of Leonard—outrageously giving the challenger 10 of the 12 rounds. Whether incensed by the outcome, aware that his skills were declining or both, Hagler never fought again. And more than a quarter-century later, he continues to insist that Leonard didn’t beat him. “I know I won,” Hagler told in a fascinating 2013 oral history about the fght. “In my heart, that’s something you can’t take away. You can take my belt, but you can’t take the feelings, the pride.” Countered Leonard in that oral history: “You know what? He’s a proud man. He’s an old-school guy, and he feels in his heart that he won the fght. If he’s not ready to let it go, then I can understand that.”


April 30–May 6, 2015


raises Tommy Hearns’ hand during the press conference following their 1982 bout, and raises his arms in triumph after the final bell against Marvin Hagler in 1987.

Best of the Rest 6 other memorable Las Vegas-based boxing matches:

JAN. 24, 1976 George Foreman scores a 5th-round knockout of fellow heavyweight Ron Lyle at Caesars Palace. The fight includes three knockdowns in a thrilling fourth round, with Foreman hitting the canvas twice. JUNE 11, 1982 Larry Holmes retains his heavyweight titles with a 13th-round TKO of Gerry Cooney before a crowd of more than 29,000 at Caesars Palace. With Holmes pummeling Cooney in the 13th, Cooney’s trainer enters the ring, halting the bout. MARCH 17, 1990 In a battle of unbeaten junior welterweight champions, Julio Caesar Chavez scores a dramatic—and highly controversial—comeback victory over Meldrick Taylor at the Las Vegas Hilton. With Taylor easily winning the bout but taking a beating late in the 12th and final round, referee Richard Steele steps in and stops the fight with two seconds left on the clock. NOV. 13, 1992 In the first of their three wars, Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield stage an action-packed battle for the heavyweight crown at the Thomas & Mack Center, with Bowe winning a 12-round unanimous decision.

MAY 5, 2007 Floyd Mayweather puts on a defensive clinic and reaches full-blown superstar status with a 12-round split-decision victory over Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Garden. The fight generates $19 million at the gate, 2.4 million pay-per-view buys and earned the combatants more than $75 million—all records at the time. –MJ

fghters dragged that disdain into the ring, mauling each other from the opening bell. Two of the hardest punchers of their era, Hagler and Hearns traded vicious haymakers—including one to Hagler’s head that broke Hearns’ right hand—during what many historians consider the most actionpacked opening round in modern boxing history. (After the bell, play-byplay man Al Michaels summed it up best when he said, “That was an entire fght accomplished in three minutes!”) Although the pace waned just a bit in the second round (how could it not?), the action was still ferce. Then in the third, Hagler—affected by a cut on his forehead that sent blood streaming down his face—came out of his


Eight minutes, one second. That’s how long the greatest fght in Las Vegas boxing history—and one of the greatest fghts of all time, anywhere—lasted. Whether you were lucky enough to be one of the 15,008 fans at Caesars’ outdoor arena or you watched it from your sofa, you’ll remember Hagler-Hearns for as long as your memory is functioning. Pick an adjective: exhilarating, exhausting, delightful, disturbing, beautiful, barbaric, riveting, ruthless—those 481 seconds were all that, and then some. Hagler and Hearns—who were originally supposed to square off in the fall of 1982—had built up a healthy disdain for one another during the pre-fght media barnstorming tour. And both

MAY 7, 2005 After twice getting knocked down in the 10th round, Diego Corrales somehow battles back and stops Jose Luis Castillo in the same round to unify the lightweight titles. The nonstop brawl at Mandalay Bay was widely regarded as the 2005 fight of the year.

April 30–May 6, 2015

HAGLER vs. TOMMY HEARNS 1 MARVIN April 15, 1985 Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion

corner on a mission to end the fght on his terms, rather than the ringside doctor’s. Two right hands wobbled Hearns, and two more fnished him off, his limp body violently crashing to the canvas. Although Hearns somehow beat the 10-count by a second, referee Richard Steele had seen enough. He propped up Hearns with one arm and waved the other in the air, signaling an end to the brutality. In honor of the 30th anniversary of that epic war, Hagler recently granted an interview to, and was asked how he felt after the victory: “The fght had so much feeling, so many emotions. I felt such intensity. If [Hearns had] got up, I probably would have tried to kill him. Even today when we talk about that fght, Tommy still says he thinks we should do that again. And I say, ‘Why? Because you don’t remember the frst time I knocked you out?’”


If you’re going to lay the 2-to-1 odds, you’d better be confdent Mayweather has a decided edge. On the other hand, if you’re looking at backing the underdog, you have to determine how Pacquiao is going to break through when each of Mayweather’s previous 47 opponents failed. If you’re just betting low stakes for fun, pick your favorite guy and root your heart out. If you’re looking at this fght as a moneymaking opportunity, work through the process and try to fnd value. Which is exactly what I’ve done. Here’s how I see things unfolding: Many experts believe Pacquiao will attack early and often, looking to end the fght quickly. I’m not so sure this would be a wise tactic, because this isn’t the 2010 version of Manny. As usual, he’ll likely want to come with his straight left, but as we saw against opponents who move well, Pacquiao missed. In fact, he missed a lot. That spells trouble against one of the best counterpunchers in boxing history. Remember Pacquiao’s aggressive style early in his career, how he would constantly move forward and press the action from start to fnish? Well, when the level of competition increased and he was forced to fght a more intelligent opponent, Pacquiao didn’t always fare well. Márquez and Timothy Bradley both made Pacquiao change his approach in the ring, and Manny went just 3-2-1

fghts since I moved to Las Vegas 31 years ago. I’ve witnessed some of the best in the sport, including Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and Evander Holyfeld, and I have never seen a more intelligent fghter than Floyd Mayweather. Yes, he’s 38 years old. And, yes, even the greatest of the greats usually end their careers with a loss. But Floyd is too ring-savvy for Manny, and Pacquiao’s skills aren’t what they used to be. In the end, I see Floyd—after frustrating Pacquiao as the fght progresses into the later rounds—exiting the ring with a 48-0 record. So my top play is a bet on Mayweather to win. (As recently as six days before the fght, you could’ve found Mayweather as low as minus-203, so shop around for the best price.) I also think the fght will go to the judges’ scorecards, but the prop of “Will the fght go over 11½ rounds?” is minus-300. That’s some big juice to lay, so while my opinion is to play the “Over,” my only offcial recommendation is betting Mayweather to win. Whether you get involved monetarily or simply take it in as a spectator, enjoy the Fight of the Century—and may the night end with a clear-cut winner. A longtime Las Vegas-based handicapper and sports bettor, Scott Spreitzer is also the host of’s “First Preview,” which airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1100-AM, 100.5-FM.

One of fve boxers to face Mayweather and Pacquiao, Shane Mosley weighs in on the superfght

Mayweather and Mosley scuffle before their bout in 2010.

➜ Floyd Mayweather (47-0) and Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2) have combined for 111 professional fights, and although they’ve never crossed paths in the ring, their opponents form a litany of boxing’s best from the past two decades. Five of those opponents have had the “pleasure” squaring off against both Mayweather and Pacquiao, and despite all the analysis, opinions and predictions flying around in advance of the May 2 mega-fight, those shared foes are the only people in the world with first-hand ring experience against the two greatest pound-for-pound fighters of this generation. Former champion Shane Mosley is one of the five. “Sugar” Shane lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in May 2010, then lost another unanimous decision to Pacquiao almost exactly a year later. That makes him one of only two fighters to go the distance against both Mayweather and Pacquiao (the other being Juan Manuel Márquez). We recently caught up with Mosley to get his unique perspective on the historic matchup. How do you see this fight playing out? It’s going to be very interesting. It can be a very boring fight, with Mayweather just picking at [Pacquiao], or it could be a very exciting fight if Mayweather is standing more flat-footed. It depends on the dynamics and the direction that the fight takes. Does one fighter have the upper hand? In the beginning, I thought Mayweather had better technique, better skills and better strength, but Pacquiao does have good power. Pacquiao can challenge him with his power, so that’s a definite plus. They both have the ability to win; that’s the thing that makes this fight so dynamic. Is there an underplayed storyline surrounding this matchup? You can start talking about the changing of strength coaches, and how that is going to affect the fighters. For a long time Manny had [Alex] Ariza as his strength coach, and that seemed to work pretty well for him; he even knocked me down when he had Ariza. But now that Ariza has switched corners, is that going to add more power to Mayweather? Manny hasn’t knocked anyone out since Ariza left, so there are questions there. –MG


I’ve witnessed some of the best in the sport, including Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and Evander Holyfield, and I have never seen a more intelligent fighter than Floyd Mayweather.



in six fghts against those two boxers. Well, no fghter forces his opponent to adjust as much as Floyd Mayweather. Now, Pacquiao’s speedy footwork could work in his favor, and he does close distance as fast as anyone in the squared circle. However, he also tends to get a little wild at times and overreach. If this happens May 2, Mayweather will land his straight right hand. Then there’s Mayweather’s highly intelligent defensive game plan. Over the years, I’ve said several times that you have to be in attendance to fully appreciate Floyd’s incredible skills. When facing right-handers, he uses his shoulderroll defense and is virtually unhittable. However, he doesn’t use it in the same way against southpaws. Instead, he will look to get in and quickly get out, using his feet to avoid a puncher’s range. If this fght had taken place in 2010, I believe Manny would have caught Floyd often because of his hand speed and his straight left. But this is 2015, and the video doesn’t lie: Manny’s fsts no longer fy with the same speed and accuracy as they did fve years ago. Bottom line: Pacquiao would love to make this a brawl; Mayweather is too smart to let that happen. I’ve sat in the frst 10 rows for many

April 30–May 6, 2015

One handicapping tool I used to break down this matchup was to review what happened when Mayweather and Pacquiao battled fve common opponents: Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Márquez. It’s a luxury for one boxing matchup to have that much common history to study, so what did we learn? Well, Mayweather swept the slate, going 5-0. Pacquiao swept the frst four, then went 2-1-1 in his epic fourmatch rivalry with Márquez. Those results are largely refected in the odds for this bout: Mayweather is essentially a 2-to-1 favorite. Many boxing pundits are picking Mayweather because it’s so diffcult to bet against a guy who always fnds a way to win (plus, it’s easy to side with the minus-200 favorite when all the media is asking you to do is pick the winner, not actually lay the chalk!). The 2-to-1 price makes it easy to evaluate the matchup in mathematical terms. Imagine if these superstars fought three times: Is it reasonable to think Mayweather would win all three? Could he win two and force a draw in the third? Would Pacquiao prevail at least once? Could Pacquiao split two and earn a draw in the third?



New resident Tyler Sherritt steps up to Omnia Nightclub By Kat Boehrer

| April 30–May 6, 2015

Breaking In


newest. The Hakkasan Group resident moved to Las Vegas only a few short days before the opening of Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace to play its inaugural weekend. Sherritt has fellow Hakkasan Group resident Mark Eteson to thank for his new gig. And now, you can fnd Sherritt opening and closing the main room at Omnia on select nights.

Your city after dark, photos from the week’s hottest parties and your último Cinco de Drink-o Cheat Sheet


NIGHTLIFE I moved to Vegas a month ago. To be the new resident at Omnia, Hakkasan and [Hakkasan Group’s] other venues, it was just a great opportunity I had to take. I got here probably only four days before it opened, and I was one of the frst residents to play at the venue. Did you even get to see Omnia in person ahead of time?

Nope. The frst time that I walked into the venue is the frst time that I played there.

April 30–May 6, 2015


Where did you call home before that?


I grew up in Alaska, and I moved to L.A. when I was 17 to pursue music. I moved to New York when I was 20 and started to really grow and accomplish goals there. I played [multiple] venues there and signed tracks to labels and stuff like that. Then I had this opportunity [with Omnia] in front of me, and I just jumped on it. I’m somebody who takes chances and chases after what I believe in. What has your relationship with music been like over the years?

I’ve been a singer since I was a little kid, since 4 or 5, just singing in the car. Through middle school and high

“I CAN GO SEE A MOVIE AND BE INFLUENCED TO CREATE A SONG THAT WAS INSPIRED BY THE EMOTION.” school I had a bunch of bands. I’ve always been a singer/songwriter with guitar and piano. I was on NBC’s The Voice in L.A. at the age of, like, 20. I fell in love with dance music, and I decided that I could combine the two worlds that I was in: singing/ songwriting and producing/DJing. What was your first DJ gig like?

My frst gig was in New York at a little sports bar. I prepared a full-on festival set, because I wasn’t capable of reading a room at that point and understanding what type of music had to be at a certain venue. It quickly grew after that, because I started to learn people’s reactions and what was appropriate [for different venues]. My frst real gig where I was really conscious about the crowd and playing to a room was really [Manhattan’s] Pacha, opening and closing.

How did you learn how to use the equipment?

I’ve always been a computer guy and a music guy. I’ve been playing guitar and piano since I was young and also playing computer games. So when music came to a software kind of format, I was able to understand time sequences and key changes and beat matching. Learning the technology was not the hard part. So you were self-taught?

Yeah, I’m self-taught.

Do you also produce music?

In the dance-music world, I started as a trance DJ. My frst release was on Black Hole recordings, which is a trance label. Armin van Buuren played it on [his weekly radio show] A State of Trance, and that was what gave me confdence to pursue it further.

I’ve signed records to Armin’s label and to Gareth Emery’s label and a few others. I’ve always been on that higher range of progressive house and medium trance—128 to 130 [beats per minute] dance music. But lately, I’ve been experimenting with my musical capabilities and playing piano or keyboards or midis live, and singing live as well. Do you ever plan on putting out an EP or an album?

Moving here was a way for me to have consistency in my life, and I’ll be able to work in the studio throughout the week. The main goal right now is fnishing up a body of work, not just single releases. I’m gonna just be constantly working throughout the week while I’m here and working [at Omnia] on the weekends. Tell me about your influences.

I can go see a movie and be infuenced to create a song that was inspired by the emotion. I can listen to a folk song or really intense 138BPM trance track and still get just as infuenced. I think the quality of art is what infuences me—people who care about their craft and people who want to keep pushing themselves.


When did you move to Las Vegas and why?


By Ian Caramanzana

Southern Nevada, so you’ll be partying for a good cause. Pat yourself on the back for this one! (525 Fremont St., 2-5 p.m.,

Lil Wayne.

SUN 3 R. Kelly and Lil’ Kim team up for the Vegas Royalty Concert at House of Blues. The two released some killer singles in the late ’90s and early 2000s, and tonight, they’ll be brought back to life. “Bump ’n’ Grind” with the King of R&B and put your “Lighters Up” for Queen Bee in this bodacious, nostalgic affair. (In Mandalay Bay, 8 p.m., It sure feels like summer, doesn’t it? Calvin Harris continues his residency at Hakkasan, where he’ll be joined by Burns. The latter just released the monster big-room single, “When I’m Around U,” on Spinnin’ Records. Hopefully the dance foor is still intact for Harris after Burns drops the banger. (In MGM Grand, 10:30 p.m.,

MON 4 Lil Kim.

April 30–May 6, 2015


THU 30


Put on your swimsuit and party with French producer and DJ Martin Solveig. The 38-year-old wowed thousands at Coachella’s Sahara tent with a house-heavy set that kept the crowd jumping. We can’t wait to say “Hello” to him as well as the club at Encore Beach Club at Night’s season grand opening. (In Encore, 10:30 p.m.,

FRI 1 Ditch Fridays is back! The weekly pool party at the Palms hosted some pretty big names in the past such as French Montana and Grouplove. This time, it’s a SKAM Artist DJ Takeover. DJs Samantha Ronson, Prostyle, Melo D, Jessica Who and Justin Credible are

all slated to hit the decks, which is more than enough reason to skip work. You deserve a break! (At the Palms, noon, After, hit up Drai’s for a performance by New York rapper and G-Unit founder 50 Cent. The “Wanksta” apparently bet more than $1 million on Mayweather to win the big fght. If he’s willing to throw down that much on a sporting event, then chances are, he’s got enough to share with fans, right? Find out. (In the Cromwell, 10:30 p.m.,

SAT 2 With the big fght and the Kentucky Derby falling on the same day, it might just be one of the biggest sports weekends in Las Vegas history. That means even more celebs will party in our humble little city. Alesso hits up Light for a

post-fght celebration (In Mandalay Bay, 10:30 p.m.,, while Young Money artist Lil’ Wayne heads to Foxtail Pool Club for an “after dark” performance. He claims Cash Money Records mogul Birdman refuses to release his 11th album, Tha Carter V, so maybe Weezy will pull a Drake and perform new songs ahead of an offcial release. (At SLS, 8 p.m., Want to stay away from the madness on the Strip? Commonwealth brings the festivities Downtown for “Talk Derby to Me.” The Kentucky Derbyfocused event will feature specialty cocktails, live music and passed hors d’oeuvres. Guests will also receive a free sports book ticket with a bet placed on a horse chosen at random. The best part of it all? Proceeds from ticket sales will beneft the United Way of

Got some extra cash lying around? Gather some friends and head to the Palms Pool, where you can rent a cabana for the bargain price of $100. The promotion is part of Cabanas for a Cause with proceeds benefitting Opportunity Village. So you can turn up without feeling guilty. Not bad for a Monday! (At the Palms, 1 p.m.,

TUES 5 Spend Cinco de Mayo with a UFC Octagon Girl! Arianny Celeste hosts Sexy de Mayo Dos in Luxor’s Tacos & Tequila, where you can indulge in food and drink specials. Enjoy $5 El Jimador frozen margaritas and Jose Cuervo shots to prep for some “Cock-A-Doodle Duel” matches. What’s that, you ask? Human rooster fighting! Two men dressed in rooster costumes race to pop balloons tied to the others’ legs. We’re cluckin’ excited. (In Luxor, 6-9 p.m.,

WED 6 Don those hideous acidwash jeans and head to Gold Spike for #RetroWednesdays. DJ Hector of Rawkerz will spin all your ’80s favorites including hits by the Smiths, Depeche Mode and Violent Femmes. It’s bound to be a radical evening. (217 Las Vegas Blvd. North, 9 p.m.,

Martin Solveig.




Your Último Cinco de Mayo Party Guide By Ian Caramanzana

April 30–May 6, 2015




It’s time to honor the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla by ingesting liquor and acting a fool. Here’s where you can drown yourself in liquid courage and participate in the parade of debauchery on May 5. STRIP

Cinco de Mayo just happens to be R&B singer Chris Brown’s 26th birthday, so you can commend the “Loyal” hitmaker when he performs at Drai’s Yacht Club with DJ Sourmilk. It’s two celebrations in one, and it’s defnitely going to be “Poppin’.” (In the Cromwell, 10:30 p.m., SKAM Artist DJ Turbulence spins at 1 Oak, where he’s sure to drop his remix of Big Sean and Drake’s “Blessings,” so you can go “way up!” on this holiday. (In The Mirage, 10:30 p.m., Afrojack commands Omnia’s main room while FAED, the

tag-team duo of Eric D-Luxe and DJ Five, tackles the super exclusive Heart of Omnia. (In Caesars Palace, 10 p.m., Not a club person? Cabo Wabo Cantina moves the festivities outdoors with a Strip-side festa. The Sammy Hagar-founded bar/restaurant will have live music and drink specials to complement their signature Cabo San Lucas-inspired dishes. Sample three Cabo Wabo tequilas including blanco, reposado and añejo for $21 in the Cabo fight. If shots aren’t your thing, opt for the $14 mango picante margarita, which mixes the blanco tequila with jalapeño, mango, triple sec and sweet and sour. Elegante! (In Planet Hollywood, 8 a.m.midnight, DOWNTOWN

If you like your celebrations on the loud side, head to Bunkhouse to catch a performance by Metalachi. The Hollywood-based mariachi band uses tradition-

al instruments such as trumpets and the guitarrón in their interpretations of classic heavy metal songs. We can’t wait to witness the raunchy lick of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” performed via a trumpet. (124 S. 11th St., 10 p.m., Not a rock fan? Vanguard Lounge hosts its third annual Sucio de Mayo event with resident DJ Sucio droppin’ the hottest in hip-hop and trap. Make sure to “BYOM” (bring your own mustache), so you can enjoy drink specials. Don’t worry, bar staff will let fake ones slide. (516 Fremont St., 10 p.m., Oh yeah, it’s also Nickel F---n Beer Night at Beauty Bar. You should know the drill by now. (517 Fremont St., 9 p.m., SUBURBS

The ’burbs aren’t exempt from the festivities. Tivoli Village’s Cantina Laredo will host a soirée with the holy trifecta of this holiday: cheap drinks, a DJ and salsa dancers. Indulge in $2 draft Dos Equis or $3 shots of Herradura and Casa Noble Crystal. And if you’re up to it, salsa instructors will be on-site to help with that acting-a-fool part we promised. (430 S. Rampart Blvd., The party in Henderson is at Due & Proper. Pair the live music on the patio with $1 Coronitas and $25 buckets of Modelo or Corona. Just remember that alcohol comes second in this celebration. (In the District at Green Valley Ranch, 702-307-2714.) Up north, Aliante Casino’s The Salted Lime will offer free shots of Tequila Cazadores for guests who dine in from 5-7 p.m. The party will continue with a live mariachi band from 7:30-9:30 p.m. (In Aliante Casino, 702-692-7777.)






April 30 Jesse Marco spins May 1 Krewella spins May 2 Calvin Harris spins

Las Vegas is the Boxing Capital of the World. It’s also the Entertainment Capital of the World, so if you’re still feelin’ riled up after the Fight of the Century, head to these places, where you can party with celebrities and DJs for a knockout evening. ➜ We’re still a little iffy on his new music-streaming service, Tidal, but there’s no denying Jay Z’s influence on hip-hop. The Brooklyn rapper and mogul will head to Marquee after the madness in the ring. He’s known to bring some of his Roc-A-Fella Records artists with him, so you might even get to brush shoulders with Kanye West or Big Sean as a bonus. (In the Cosmopolitan, 10 p.m., ➜ “Only” rapper Nicki Minaj hosts a star-studded night at Chateau, where she’ll perform on the rooftop with DJ Funkmaster Flex while R&B singer Jeremih and Sevyn Streeter take over the main room. With so many celebrities in one room, this event might just get as intense as the big fight. (In Paris Las Vegas, 10:30 p.m.,

April 30–May 6, 2015


➜ Hit the deck at Drai’s Beach Club for a full-length performance by Chris Brown. The “Loyal” hit maker played basketball with Floyd Mayweather at the Jordan Brand’s Terminal 23 basketball court in February, so we hope the boxer makes an appearance! (In the Cromwell, 10:30 p.m.,


See more photos from this gallery at

➜ Kaskade will drop beats instead of bodies at XS. The Chicago DJ was the only electronic act to play Coachella’s main stage, and he took full advantage of the opportunity by singing on a new song. (In Encore, 10:30 p.m., – Ian Caramanzana


➜ Snoop Dogg rolls into Tao for another installment of the Snoopadelic Cabaret. His Prohibitionstyled residency typically brings out the flapper dresses and cloche hats, but we’re sure he’s got something up his tuxedo sleeve on this special night. Fo’ Shizzle! Sorry—had to. (In the Venetian, 10 p.m.,



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702. 785. 6200







See more photos from this gallery at


April 30–May 6, 2015


April 30 Fabulous performs May 1 DJ Khaled spins May 2 Snoop Dogg’s Snoopadelic Cabaret


The Jogasaki Sushi Burrito truck will blur culinary lines at the Great American Foodie Fest.

Vegas-born food festival and its founder prepare to go national By Al Mancini

April 30–May 6, 2015




50 food trucks and vendors will assemble at the Rio for the Great American Foodie Fest. It’s the frst time for the event—at least under that name. But the Las Vegas Foodie Fest (run by the same organization, Red Dragon) has happened twice a year for the past three years. All are the brainchild of Noel Casimiro and partners Art Casimiro, Marc Tolentino and Oliver Tolentino. And while it was born here in Las Vegas, the festival recently expanded to San Diego (hence the name change), with more cities on the horizon. Food truck gatherings are nothing new. But they tend to be local or regional in nature, with most trucks staying close to their home base. Noel Casimiro says

he and his team were inspired by the popularity of food television shows to gather the most talked-about trucks and street vendors from across the country. “How many people watch TV and see these amazing eats from all over the country that they want to sink their teeth into, but they can’t?” he asks. “They see this awesome restaurant or awesome street purveyor or awesome food truck, but it’s in New York or South Carolina or Michigan. So we thought, how awesome would it be if we put together a food festival that would encompass all of those foods from all around the country that have been featured on the Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel, and bring them to one destination?”

TRUCK ROLL CALL WHITE RABBIT ORIGINAL FILIPINO FUSION As seen on Travel Channel's Man vs. Food and 101 Tastiest Places to Chow Down, and The Food Network's Outrageous Food. MIDDLE FEAST FOOD TRUCK Winner of Season 5 of The Great Food Truck Race on The Food Network. JOGASAKI SUSHI BURRITO As seen on The Food Network's Eat Street.


April 30-May 3, the Rio. Single-day Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the gate. Multi-day pass $11 in advance, $13 at the gate. Single-day VIP admission $75 in advance, $85 at the gate.


Keep on Trucking

In keeping with that inspiration, the festival concentrates heavily on what Casimiro calls “celebrity” trucks and vendors, those that have been featured on television. Other factors in the selection process include a vendor’s social media following and, fnally, how unique the product is. “We want something that’s gonna be fusion,” he says, “something that’s innovative, that no one has ever tried before, like Frach’s Fried Ice Cream or Jogasaki Sushi Burrito.” For all of those reasons, fans have no qualms about waiting in long lines to sample much of this fare. Casimiro warns that 90-minute waits are commonplace at some of the more popular trucks. Hitting even a fraction of the offerings in a single day is basically impossible. So in addition to singleday passes, the festival also offers fourday passes for just a few dollars more. Given its continuing success in Las Vegas, and a positive experience in San Diego from March 27-29, Red Dragon plans to export the festival nationwide. They are targeting the Bay Area in August and Phoenix in September. Then in 2016, they plan to roll their trucks into Portland and Seattle. “We’re expanding all across the country,” Casimiro promises. “We want to [eventually] bring in fve to six new markets every year.” Las Vegas, however, will always be home.

Belly up to the ceviche bar at Border Grill in the Forum Shops at Caesars.


a seat as those you’d fnd in the dining room. It’s more casual to pull up a seat, order a drink and a few bites—and repeat as needed. And more often than not, you may learn more about your dish by interacting with the person preparing your food right in front of you. If they like you enough, they might even make something special just for you. Try getting that kind of service in the main dining room! Here are three of the hottest counters in town right now:



There are numerous bars at Bazaar Meat in SLS: the Bar Centro cocktail bar, the mobile frozen cocktail bar, the bar that overlooks the open Seafood Kitchen in Sam’s Room … and then there's the meat bar. There isn’t necessarily an interactive component at the carnivorous-sounding counter seating. Servers still take your order, but you do get to sit within the company of cured meats. Hanging before you are the most glorious of hams, jamon Iberico, made from free-range black-footed Spanish pigs that feed exclusively on acorns. While you salivate over the

fancy charcuterie, you can watch as deft hands behind the bar prepare thinly sliced carpaccios. One such dish features paper-thin Japanese beef wrapped around crunchy Parmesan grissini breadsticks that you dip in a sweet, tangy caramelized onion puree. The other favorite takes the favors of Buffalo wings, using nearly translucent bison meat with pickled celery and blue cheese. For the really raw, Bazaar Meat’s classic tartare is one of the best you can fnd on the Strip: diced, raw beef sirloin mixed with mustard, egg yolk, HP sauce and anchovy, meant to be tucked into soft Parker House rolls. In SLS, 855-761-7757, THE CEVICHE BAR AT BORDER GRILL

At Border Grill, you can watch tortillas being made on the hot comal griddle, or even the guacamole, but the festive ceviche counter is a distant cousin to the sushi bar. Whereas the Japanese version has chefs pressing sushi rice into raw fsh to make custom nigiri to order, this South American counter features fresh, raw seafood tossed with herbs, vegetables and an acid, which “cooks” the protein, as well as oysters on the half shell or as shooters.

Border Grill sources its fsh responsibly, so you can feel good when you order the Peruvian ceviche, made simply with mahi mahi, lime, ginger and aji Amarillo chile for heat, served with a crunchy plantain chip. In the Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-8546700, THE R AW BAR AT EMERIL’S NEW ORLEANS FISH HOUSE

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s fagship restaurant got a much-needed makeover last year with the bar area opening up to make the space more guest-friendly. Although the full menu is served at the raw-bar counter, you’ll be eyeing the expert oyster shuckers. Strike up a conversation with one of the restaurant’s veteran bartenders while shuckers pry open, then liberate the tasty mollusks from their shells. They’ll keep them coming, too, along with Champagne mignonette, Kicked Up cocktail sauce and saltine crackers, as they do in the South. Come for happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m., or reverse happy hour from 9:30 p.m. until close for half-off Lagasse’s badass bivalves—which, at $1.75 a pop, are the cheapest oysters in town. In MGM Grand, 702-891-7374,

The bottle packaging is slick. The taste mixable, but also sippable—perfect for bottle service. The yachting theme is on point, though the privileged founders look young to be rolling out a line of vodka, tequila and rum. They really could hit it big, but only if they can attract the attention of distributors, which, looking at the thick stack of business cards in their hands, is going swimmingly. But it's still a big "If," and that's the trick of it really at the annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America convention and exposition ( The organization touches down each year in either Las Vegas or Orlando offering a chance to experience incredible new or new-to-America products that are about to (or are hoping to) hit the market, as well as reacquaint with venerable brands. I said I was going to stay away from wine this year and focus entirely on spirits, but this was a near impossibility thanks to the trend in mixing wine with spirits and even tea. Saludas Sangria in a not-too-offensive can caught my eye for its poolside possibilities. For the same reasons, Maven Cocktails stood out, though these vodka/ wine mixes are in glass. Owl's Brew is a tea concentrate for making wine cocktails. And Red Courtesy Beer is steeped a la minute with botanicals just before service. But my Hot, New, Now Media Award vote went to Enlightened Grain's Inspiration Vodka (, infused with lavender and rosemary. "I love the dichotomy of savory and floral," Cosmopolitan property mixologist Mariena Mercer says. "The unique botanical build and creamy mouthfeel are ideal for cocktails." Inspiration took Double Gold and Best in Show for flavored vodkas, and you can find it in several of Mercer's drinks at the Cosmopolitan. "I loved the concept and branding of the Colectivo Regional spirits of Mexico line," publisher Camper English says of what caught his eye. "They have tequila, raicilla, mezcal, bacanora, sotol and charanda all under the same label." I enjoyed watching Cognac un-stuffy itself thanks to ABK6, a modern, yet serious line by single-estate producer Domaines Francis Abécassis. When I visited them a few years ago, not a drop was making it to Nevada—not so, now that Total Wine & More has its hands on it. And ABK6's honey Cognac liqueur is a dream! Also debuting a product at WSWA was Philadelphia Distilling owner Andrew Auwerda, who brought along his new Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin, a beautiful crossover moment for gin into the ohso-hot brown spirit category. As for that slick trio of yacht-inspired spirits that you may or may not see on VIP tables someday, if Allaire spirits' pitch isn't in fact all air, then you can say you read it here first! – Xania Woodman

By Grace Bascos



Eating at the bar isn’t just for diners and sushi anymore


April 30–May 6, 2015

Counter Culture


Art Explosion New galleries and studios are popping up all over downtown Las Vegas. Here are a few of the most recent additions to the local art scene: THE ARTS FACTORY 107 E. Charleston Blvd. ➜ Eklectica Gallery A collaborative gallery featuring the watercolor paintings of Bill Fravel, mixed-media works of Debbe Sussman and surreal portraits by Lynne Adamson Adrian, plus workshops and art classes. Suite 110, EklecticaGallery. ➜ The Corner Gallery A multi-room artistic space featuring Nevada and California artists in partnership with Pomona, California-based dA Center for the Arts, as well as sculpting classes and lectures by the nonprofit Las Vegas Desert Sculptors. Suite 220, ➜ Invoke Studio & Gallery A compact gallery featuring mixed-media paintings by proprietor Seth Babcock. Suite 222, ➜ Mac Sual Studio A working studio and gallery for Sheridee Hopper, featuring her colorful, abstract, mixed-media art. Suite 235, EMERGENCY ARTS 520 Fremont St.

The return of an art original: Dray and his studio-gallery in the Arts Factory.

ists Zeilman, Dirk Vermin and Danny Roberts during a one-night event, How We Used to Do, in December. With the opening of Dray Studio & Gallery, Dray has come full-circle, returning to the center of the same Arts District he helped shape a decade earlier. “This is my frst time doing my own gallery in Vegas,” Dray says. “It feels good. I’ve always made a living based on my talents, but this is more offcial for me. To do it this way, it just feels like it’s time.” Although he’s known primarily for music-infuenced abstracts and portraits of beautiful women, Dray’s inaugural exhibit at his new gallery deviates from those familiar grounds. His space is flled with paintings—in various shapes, sizes and styles—all depicting the same subject: the Buddha. They’re just a fraction of the 68 pieces he’s created to date in a 12-month series called Year of the Buddha, which will wrap up on May 30 with a celebration at Dray Studio & Gallery. The

series was inspired by Dray’s visit to Sri Lanka several years ago, a trip that profoundly affected the artist. “It made me fnd out more about the philosophy of Buddha,” Dray says. “I saw what it brought to a country in chaos. The people have a peacefulness to them. I think a lot has to do with seeing these colossal images of Buddha.” The pieces in Year of the Buddha range from Cubist-inspired paintings to graffti-informed, multimedia collages. Dray says that forcing himself to paint variations on one subject for such a long period of time taught him a new kind of discipline, informed by the “calmness and peacefulness” he witnessed in Sri Lanka. “It’s been a challenge to keep [Year of the Buddha] interesting,” Dray says, “but it taught me how to meditate in a more focused way.” “I just now got to a point where I could express the calmness and peacefulness I felt there,” Dray says. “That’s where I’m thinking I’m at in my life. I think that’s what we all aspire to.”

➜ Rhizome Gallery Run by the husband-wife team of UNLV education professors Chad and Chyllis Scott, Rhizome’s goal is to exhibit innovative work of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators.

The Corner Gallery in the Arts Factory.



| April 30–May 6, 2015


away wasn’t fnancial—it was creative. “There was no growth at the time,” Dray says. “No personal growth, and the city wasn’t growing. It was that point when the Arts District got stagnant. I knew it was gonna pick up, but I didn’t know when.” Instead of waiting to fnd out, Dray went to Atlanta for a year, then to San Francisco for three and fnally back to his hometown of Los Angeles for about a year. Dray says he used this period to learn more about the business side of being an artist, those lessons learned both from book-study and from living in the midst of some very well-established art scenes. “In San Francisco, you have to be on point,” Dray says. “There are so many badass artists. You have to step it up a few notches. It made me realize how stuck I was [in Las Vegas], because there were just not enough people challenging themselves.” Although he resided elsewhere, Dray never lost touch with the Vegas scene he helped shape. In 2010, Sin City Gallery hosted a retrospective show commemorating Dray’s frst 10 years in Las Vegas, No Picassos in Vegas, and he made regular trips back to the Valley. “I kept coming back here, doing art exhibits, and I did see change,” Dray says. “I was gradually seeing the growth.” Just seeing that growth wasn’t enough to pull Dray back to Vegas. He was making a name for himself in San Francisco, working on public murals and teaching art to at-risk youth. It took the urging of friends such as frequent collaborator and former Five Finger Miscount member Shannon Dorn—who runs SolSis Gallery in Downtown Spaces—to convince him to come back for good. “I mentioned to him that there’s all these new things popping up, that Vegas was booming,” Dorn says. “I told him, ‘It’s a shame that you’ve been involved in the art scene, but nobody knows you because you’ve been gone so long.’ I asked him, ‘Why don’t you come back?’” A number of changes to the Downtown art scene captured Dray’s attention—the growth of First Friday, the expansion of the footprint beyond 18b to spots such as Emergency Arts and Downtown Spaces, even simple improvements, such as offcial signage designating the location of the Arts District. But it was the explosion in public art here that, for Dray, signifed a sea change in the local scene. “In San Francisco, murals are tourist attractions,” Dray says. “When I came back here, that’s what I noticed, all the public murals. That’s one of the things that identifies culture in an area. The writing’s on the wall, basically.” Since moving back to Las Vegas, Dray’s wasted no time diving into the cultural mix. He’s participated in I.S.I. Group live painting events, a mural project, and a reunion with fellow former fringe art-


Wild Moth Brings the Warm, Fuzzy Feeling The Bunkhouse Saloon, April 22


Wild Moth had to carry the weight of two cancelled performances after headliner Whirr and opening band Alaska dropped last minute. The San Francisco quartet seized the opportunity by delivering a short, but sweet set that was well worth the $5 admission. The young musicians appeared as high school outcasts from different cliques who, thankfully, joined together to create impressive ’90s-inspired fuzz punk reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. Blazing through seven songs from its succinct discography, the band provided the enthusiasm of a high school group, too. Singer/bassist Carlos Salas channeled his inner Dee Dee Ramone when he furiously swung the headstock of his bass during “Into Your Hands.” Drummer Cal Tung desperately fought through the buzz of “Behave,” smashing his cymbals so he could be heard. The result was a hazy, euphoric wall of sound that came and left as fast as the opening notes of “Souvenir (No Future).” Not bad for a pack of kids who barely look old enough to


April 30–May 6, 2015


By Camille Cannon


Word began circulating last year that Jamie Foxx will portray boxer Mike Tyson in a biopic directed by Martin Scorsese. No release date has been announced, but earlier this month, Foxx described the epic opening scene on New York’s Hot 97 radio show Ebro in the Morning, complete with shadowy fgures, time lapses and chorus-like voice-overs. We can already tell that the flm will lean heavy on the dramatic, thus ignoring some honest, essential and less trophy-worthy moments from Tyson’s life. Here we attempt to fll in the gaps. Watching The Notebook. Tyson has gone on record several times praising Nicholas Sparks’ 2004 masterpiece. “Every time I watch [it], I cry,” he told Us Weekly in May 2014. What we wouldn’t give to witness the tough guy’s salty tears glimmering against his

tribal face tattoo. It’d be a thing of beauty. A Double Date with Robin Givens, Madonna and Sean Penn. File under “you can’t write this stuff.” In 1988, the four unlikely friends took to the cinemas to see Big Top Pee-wee per Madge’s suggestion. Penn and Tyson had hit the bottle beforehand and fell asleep in their seats. (To be fair, who didn’t? Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is way better.) Tyson told Access Hollywood about the outing last month while promoting the documentary Champs and discussing his cameo on Madonna’s song “Iconic.” Also so weird, but so true. The passing of “The Whizzer.” Among the many TMI moments in his 2013 memoir Undisputed Truth,, Tyson confessed to cheating on pre-fght drug tests … by using a fake penis. “I had to use the whizzer,” he wrote. The phony phallus was flled with “clean” urine and carried to fghts by an affliate of his entourage. Chances are we won’t see anyone handling Tyson’s member on

EVIDENTLY CLARKETOWN English punk poet John Cooper Clarke has been spewing frank, irreverent verse since the late ’70s. One of his best-known rants (“Evidently Chickentown”) even popped up on an episode of The Sopranos. The alt-poet laureate plays Vinyl on April 30 ($20-$30).

the big screen. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Rehearsing for The Hangover. Hangover It takes time to perfect a theatrical air drum to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” (That’s his favorite part.) And his singing—were voice lessons required? Did he already know the song by heart? We may never know. We’re pretty sure he needed no practice knocking out Zach Galifanakis, though. Deciding to get the Face Tattoo. Tyson revealed to Rosie O’Donnell in 2012 that he initially planned “to get a bunch of hearts on [his] eyes … like a pirate patch.” (Yes, he was high). His tattoo artist convinced him to cover only half of his face, and to opt for a tribal pattern. Tyson’s friends all discouraged him from getting the ink. He says, “That’s why I said ‘yes.’” Now imagine Foxx as Tyson staring intently at his refection and lisping, “Yeah, that’s gonna look real good … for the rest of my life.”

MAKE IT KINKY Don’t let your rusty high school Spanish keep you from seeing Kinky at Brooklyn Bowl on May 3 ($25). The lyrics aren’t limited to Spanish, and their music is all over the map: funk, rock, techno. Kinky leaves you wanting “Más” y más. ¿Comprende?

ON SALE NOW Todd Rundgren is taking a break from Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band and hitting the road in support of his solo album, Global. The tour includes a DJ and some backup singers, but multi-instrumentalist Rundgren will play most of the music himself. He hits Vinyl on May 30 ($30-$45).


play a bar. ★★★✩✩ – Ian Caramanzana


Elvis Returns to the Building … with Priscilla and Lisa Marie


By Ian Caramanzana Good Enough to Eat.


A Single Woman by Any Other Name Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own (Crown, $26) is a fascinating, brave and incredibly smart new nonfiction narrative by writer and editor Kate Bolick of The Atlantic. Part-memoir and part contemporary feminist manifesto, Bolick examines the meaning and history behind


the laden title “spinster” and its social, economic, and even literary repercussions. In an unflinching examination of her own unmarried status and that of her five chosen “awakeners” (Maeve Brennan, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Neith Boyce, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Edith Wharton), Bolick asks the reader if society is “ready for a young woman to set out on the long road of her life as a human being who inhabits but isn’t limited by gender.” Recommended by Kristen Zory King of the Writer’s Block Book Shop, 1020 Fremont St., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon-Sat, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.

A YUMMY TREAT Artist Paula Billups has a soft spot for small, sweet things. This affection is embodied in her latest solo show, Good Enough to Eat, where items such as candies and oranges are portrayed in striking detail. See the collection of oil paintings at Jana’s Red Room in Emergency Arts beginning April 30, but please, don’t eat them. MR. LONELY You have until May 3 to catch Steve Solomon’s Cannolis, Latkes & Guilt! The Therapy Continues ... at The Smith Center. Witness the comedian bring more than 20 characters to life in this one-man show about his dysfunctional, multiethnic family. PIZZA MY ART Head to Grinder’s Pizza Lounge (5625 S. Rainbow Blvd.) from 2-5 p.m. May 3 for Arts N Crafts 4. The event will feature a gallery showing by prolific Las Vegas photographer Erik Kabik, who has taken photos of big names including President Obama, KISS and Kayne West. While you’re there, you can enjoy live music by Kalsey Kulyk as well as well as craft beer, so you can satisfy your art, beer and pizza cravings simultaneously.

that people recognize that.” The Westgate also features a tribute show and wedding chapel, but the King’s relics are the heart of the experience: his cars, jewelry and, of course, those jumpsuits. Which one was Priscilla’s favorite? “Oh, they’re all so beautiful. I think the American Eagle … I remember him walking out onstage in that one, holding out the cape and turning around.” She extends her arms and smiles. “Even though you can’t bring Elvis Presley back, you certainly can bring the experience back and we’re doing that.” – Lissa Townsend Rodgers


Eloise situation in a way,” she recalls, adding, “When this project came up, it felt very right that this be here and his presence should be here.” Why does Elvis still resonate with people after all these years? “He was so authentic. He came on the scene just doing what he loved to do, being who he was, moving to his music and, yes, he changed the music culture,” Priscilla says. “He was criticized quite a bit when he was younger coming on the scene, people didn’t understand him—‘Who is this creature?’” She adds, “There’s nothing fake about him. I think

HE’S REALLY BUSY Richard Siken’s first collection of poems, Crush, racked up accolades: It won a Lambda Literary Award, the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize and it was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. But that’s not all. The man is also a painter, filmmaker, photographer and an editor at Spork Press. He’ll take a break from creating on April 30 to read at UNLV’s Greenspun Hall as part of the Black Mountain Institute’s Emerging Writers Series.

April 30–May 6, 2015

It’s been almost 40 years since Elvis left the building, but the King— or at least his songs, suits and story—has returned to the site of his Las Vegas triumphs. On April 22, the Westgate Resort and Casino launched Elvis: The Exhibition, the Show, the Experience with Presley’s former wife, Priscilla, and his daughter, Lisa Marie, present to cut the ribbon and bestow the offcial Graceland blessing. “Elvis has brought a lot of people together in this town. His spirit and soul still live here,” Priscilla says. Vegas loved Elvis and the feeling was mutual. “This was also his playground. He loved playing blackjack, he loved going to lounge acts. Fats Domino was a lounge act. We saw Ike and Tina Turner here,” she recalls. “He just loved being around entertainers and the nightlife. He loved being able to go anywhere at night and get anything he wanted.” Priscilla has her own vivid Vegas memories. “I had no idea as a young girl what Las Vegas was, and that’s where he wanted to take me. I remember him hiring makeup artists, they dressed me and made me look older so I could get into the casinos,” she says. “I had no idea you had to be 21 to get in—I had just turned 17.” Lisa Marie Presley was even younger when she frst came to the Westgate—back when it was the International Hotel and Elvis was headlining. “This was like a second home for [my father] and thus for me. I spent so much time here. … It was a lot like an





Critical Beatdown Seven songs for your fght-party playlist By Zoneil Maharaj

Dizzy Wright is "lookin' like Floyd Money Mayweather."


of the big fght going for $150, you and your bros are best off ordering the fght on cable and kicking back

at the crib (be wary of anyone with a popped collar and six-pack of Natty Ice). The perfect fght party calls for an appropriately aggressive playlist. Allow

WON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ A Journey fan reminisces on the eve of the band’s Las Vegas residency

April 30–May 6, 2015


By Lonn M. Friend



the band that sprouted from the rhythmic compost of Santana passed through Angel City, opening for Styx. I was among the 5,000 in attendance at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium that hallowed eve in 1976. Nearly 40 years later, that show stands out in my mind as I anticipate Journey’s upcoming residency at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. According to the band’s manager John Baruck, it’s going to be an equally memorable experience. “They’re at the top of their game,” he boasts. “It’s gonna be a great stay.”

me to offer unsolicited advice in what’s surely the most irresponsible article I’ve ever written. We’re skipping the obvious (“Mama Said Knock You Out”) and going straight to the gutter for some of the grimiest, Timbs-to-yourgrill beatdown anthems. 2Pac ft. the Outlawz, “Hit ’Em Up” (1996). Quite possibly the meanest diss song ever recorded, “Hit ’Em Up” is an audio assassination of the Notorious B.I.G. and his affliates, opening with the infamous line: That’s why I fucked your bitch you fat motherfucker. It’s a solid fve minutes of piercing, personal insults. Pac even picks on a member of Mobb Deep for having sickle-cell anemia. Needless to say, if you want to get a room full of dudes amped up for a fght, put this at the top. M.O.P., “Ante Up” (2000). A Sesame Street mash-up video of the song may have been popular on YouTube, but “Ante Up” is not for children. In fact, don’t ever let your kids listen to this song—it’s an unabashed glorifcation of armed robbery. Do, however, put this on any workout mix, because it will pump you the fuck up. Also, tuck your chain before you get yapped. Bonecrusher ft. Killer Mike and T.I.,“Never Scared” (2003). An atom bomb of aggression, “Never Scared” is the epitome of crunk with its bonerattling production. The song is so successful in getting guys riled up that it was reportedly used as ballpark music for the Atlanta Braves in 2003. Brand Nubian, “Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down” (1992).

“[Founding guitarist] Neal Schon thinks The Joint residency is cool,” Baruck says. “Santana digs Vegas so that makes it work, because, in all honesty, Neal hates casinos.” Journey is no stranger to Vegas. Schon shredded through many a sold-out Strip performance with former lead singer Steve Perry. And the frst time that current vocalist Arnel Pineda wailed “Separate Ways” as a member of Journey was at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “We had just made a deal to do a Greatest Hits collection with Walmart,” Baruck says. “I booked the show in Vegas, shot a DVD—the crowd was fantastic.” In August, I attended the Journey-Steve Miller Mandalay Bay blowout with Dan Shinder from It felt good to be among my tribe of ’70s-bred vinyl geeksters, celebrating the ancient tuneage. But it’s not just the classic rock retro AARP’ers who still enjoy watching the lights go down in the city. Thanks to The Sopranos’ series fnale, unwavering love from vintage FM radio and constant touring, Journey’s following is both massive and multigenerational. Sharpie these dates on your calendar: April 29 to May 16. That’s when Vegas rockers will get their chance to hug, touch and squeeze the melodies that’ve made heads bob and hearts throb for almost four decades.

An excursion from the socially conscious, Afro-centric rhymes for which they were known, members Sadat X and Lord Jamar let us know what happens when “soft newjacks” step to them. The crew caught fak for homophobic lyrics, but what’s political correctness when you’re administering a beatdown? Eminem ft. Obie Trice and DMX, “Go To Sleep” (2003). There’s no shortage of Slim Shady songs to put on this list, but what makes this one special is that Eminem is so angry that he’s not really rapping—he’s just speaking aggressively and intonating random words that rhyme. It’s far from his best work lyrically, but the chorus of Why are you still alive?/ Why, die motherfucker gets straight to the point. T.I. ft. Juicy J and Trae tha Truth, “Fighting Words” (2013). The frst minute of the song is T.I. saying, “Who you talkin’ to? Punk hoe. You don’t like me, hit me in the face then” repeatedly. I wonder if he asked Mayweather that during their Fatburger brawl? Dizzy Wright, “Floyd Mayweather” (2015). Speaking of Mayweather, if your money’s on Money, you’ll want this on your mix. Vegas native Dizzy takes a break from his deep-thinking smokeout joints to boast: Hop out, lookin’ like Floyd Money Mayweather … runnin’ round Vegas fnna get that knockout! Got new music or upcoming shows? Holler at Zoneil.Maharaj@wendohmedia. com or @zoneil on Twitter.


8 p.m. April 29, May 1-2, 6, 8-9, 13, 15-16, The Joint at the Hard Rock, $60 and up,


BLUE SUEDE BLUES Elvis: The Experience just a hunka-hunka lukewarm love



involved has a heart that’s true—but this show is a dog, hound or otherwise. Given that I never saw the dynamic Elvis live onstage, I have to believe what we get at Westgate Las Vegas’ Elvis: The Experience—the performance component that bookends the museum-style Elvis: The Exhibition—is to the legend what house slippers are to blue suede shoes. Set for a fve-week run, this production at the Elvis Presley Theater (the ex-LVH Theater) is the frst of a planned series of Elvis tributes, with the blessing of the Presley estate and Priscilla Presley. Designed as a recreation of an Elvis concert circa the early ’70s, it plays similar to Bob Anderson’s Frank Sinatra interpretation at the Palazzo but minus that show’s creative thematic segments—or celebratory joy. Impersonator Martin Fontaine is Elvis in period-appropriate white jumpsuit and cape—backed by an orchestra and aided by female R&B background singers the Sweet Inspirations—singing hit after hit to increasingly numbing effect. Energy isn’t lacking—Fontaine bristles with it—but energy doesn’t automatically translate into charisma, and Fontaine leaves a personality black hole in his wake. Enormous Elvis love in the room only carries him through the frst few tunes (“C.C. Rider,” “Welcome to My World,” “The Wonder of You”) before Fontaine attempts to schmooze the audience with disastrous results. Mumbly, unfunny and charmless, Fontaine torpedoes his rapport with the audience and never recovers. This Elvis never seems happy to be back in the building. He doesn’t give us much reason to be happy, either.

As a song interpreter, Fontaine can’t be faulted. Timeless Elvis classics such as “Burning Love,” “Teddy Bear,” “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” among others, are rendered in sturdy Elvis style. Not to mention the elaborate—and overdone—karate kicks with which Elvis punctuated song climaxes. Occasionally, Fontaine rises a bit above the mundane tone he’s set, but it takes tunes such as “My Way” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” both nearly impossible to perform without rousing theatrics. Once Fontaine had exited before the inevitable encore at a recent show, the relatively subdued applause made me wish he’d remained backstage to avoid the awkwardness of returning to a crowd that wasn’t clamoring for him. He didn’t. Between its hit-checklist mentality and Fontaine’s cipher-like interpretation, Elvis: The Experience feels hollow and perfunctory. Or … are we living in an Elvis House of Mirrors, where everything about The King is so distorted now—such a Presley caricature—that we can’t tell or even appreciate what he actually was? Not only did Elvis impersonation long ago become an industry, but also an easy joke and even code for “kooks.” No other dead pop-culture icons—not Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr. or Dean Martin—inspire such slavish silliness. Whatever the reason—and by whichever standard it’s judged—Elvis: The Experience had me leaving the hotel with a touch of heartbreak. Got an entertainment tip? Email



BEGINNERS’ LUCK What happens when a man-child must become a manny? By Michael Phillips Tribune Media Services


there appears to be some sort of selfregulation in place preventing any serious highs or lows, any stylistic risks or surprises. Even if the scripts juggle comedy and drama in quick succession, it’s as if they’re under the infuence of mood stabilizers. The quirk’s the thing, but too often it’s well-acted, neatly scripted quirk in search of some fesh and blood. Some of those indies made for decent company anyway, usually because of who’s onscreen. Though not a family flm in the Ice Age 3 sense, the new comedy Adult Beginners has a familial vibe. The writers, Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive, are married; insanely prolifc executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass, responsible for a large percentage of indies released each year, are brothers; two of the leading performers, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale, have been dating for years. The story of Adult Beginners is that of Jake, a self-centered Manhattan entrepreneur played by Nick Kroll. (Kroll, who resembles the less schlubby nephew of Jon Lovitz, instigated the project.) Jake’s latest startup company

Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne play siblings in need of each other’s help.

fames out in the opening minutes, leading to a move back to New Rochelle into the house where he grew up. Broke and bored, he becomes his 3-year-old nephew’s deeply unqualifed but increasingly game caregiver. The relationships are plausibly frazzled. With a second child on the way, the Byrne and Cannavale characters, Justine and Danny, have begun to seek romantic attention outside their marriage. Jake, meantime, falls into bed with another caregiver (Paula Garces), while gradually building a bridge back

to Justine. Both are coping with unresolved grief over the death of a parent. The plot is structured, a little too neatly, to nudge Jake into being less of a narcissistic jerk, which always seems like a low bar to set with any comedydrama. (You need to be as witty as writer Noah Baumbach, per Greenberg, to pull that off.) The relative success or failure of Adult Beginners, directed with a steady, nonjudgmental hand by Ross Katz, depends on how funny you fnd Kroll. I fnd him funny-ish. He’s most effective, I think, in the scenes that

April 30–May 6, 2015




Little Boy (PG-13) ★★✩✩✩

When the father (Michael Rapaport) of a bullied lad named Pepper (Jakob Salvati) heads to war, life stumbles along for the boy. Pepper finds a friend in Mr. Hashimoto (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), the town’s most conspicuous (or only?) Japanese-American resident. This friendship is regarded poorly by Pepper’s unhappy older brother (David Henrie). Pepper’s mother (Emily Watson) shares a more tolerant viewpoint with the local Catholic priest, the latter instilling in Pepper the notion that hope, even the size of a mustard seed, is enough to move mountains.

The Water Diviner (R) ★★✩✩✩

Russell Crowe’s feature directorial debut stems from an honest impulse to dramatize ordinary people who honor their dead. Yet the results are narratively dishonest. In the wake of Battle of Gallipoli in 1915, an Australian farmer traveled to the Turkish battlefield searching for the remains of his sons. Crowe plays the title character, whose three sons head off to fight and apparently die at Gallipoli. Fulfilling a promise made to his wife, farmer Joshua travels to Constantinople. With the aid of a mournful Turkish major, Joshua finds his way to Gallipoli.

Unfriended (R) ★★★✩✩

Not since The Blair Witch Project in 1999 has a horror film taken such a creative approach to scares as Unfriended. It’s a tale of friends who become the target of an unseen cyberentity starving for revenge. Whoever—or whatever—is stalking the teens is looking to avenge the death of a young woman so embarrassed by a YouTube video that she committed suicide. It’s a familiar story made fresh by the fascinating way the movie was shot. Layers of information that would normally slow the scare-factor pacing can be added through the onscreen images.

demand an openly emotional side; his default sarcasm, however low-key, grows wearying after a while. As for Byrne, she’s excellent and honest and mindful of pace throughout. This actress can save a movie. In small projects or large, in the Annie remake, even, Byrne is a rarity: a versatile performer with an intuitive ability to bounce off any and every scene partner, in all kinds of material—great, lousy, or in this case, fairly/pretty/reasonably effective. Adult Beginners (R) ★★✩✩✩

By Tribune Media Services

Beyond The Reach (R) ★★✩✩✩

Ben (Jeremy Irvine), a tracker, is summoned to take rich businessman Madec (Michael Douglas) into the wastelands, beyond “The Reach” (a geographic feature) in search of a trophy bighorn sheep. Irvine makes a convincing Ben, a wary kid a little slow on the uptake, but a man with skills and the physique to stay alive as Gordon Gekkowith-guns tracks him. Douglas makes a good villain out of a cardboard construction. But French director trips over himself trying to invent fresh wrinkles in this Man vs. Man vs. The Elements tale.

Child 44 (R) ★★✩✩✩

Monkey Kingdom (G) ★★★✩✩

Clouds of Sils Maria (R) ★★★✩✩

Broken Horses (R) ★★✩✩✩

Desert Dancer (PG-13) ★★✩✩✩

The Longest Ride (PG-13) ★★✩✩✩

Part serial-killer thriller, part old-school anti-Soviet propaganda, Child 44 centers on an obedient MGB (secret police) agent played by Tom Hardy. Set in 1953, the film, inspired by the Tom Rob Smith novel, presents an image of the Soviet Union in which ordinary citizens live in fear. How to explain the body of a young boy found in Moscow? Senior MGB officer Kuzmin (Vincent Cassel), enlists investigator Leo (Hardy) to deliver the official report. In his next assignment, he is asked to investigate and potentially denounce his own wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace).

This film concerns the fractious relationship between a film star, Maria (Juliette Binoche) and her personal assistant, Val (Kristen Stewart). Maria is being pressured to commit to a London revival of the play that made her famous, this time playing the prey of a snakelike younger woman. A hot mess of a Hollywood star (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) is to be her co-star. By design, the dialogue from the play comments on the shifting power relationship in the film, sometimes elegantly, sometimes a little awkwardly.

This “true story” of a dancer longing to express himself in a fascist theocracy finds its surest footing in vivid scenes of interpretive dance. It’s only when Afshin (Reece Ritchie) attends university in Tehran, Iran, that he runs into like-minded artists and friends. Elaheh (Freida Pinto) crashes into Afshin’s life, making him want to attempt a public performance. The backdrop here is Iran’s abortive “Green Revolution,” the youthquake that threatened the theocratic regime. It’s the performers and their arresting “message” dances that make Desert Dancer worth its sand.

Tina Fey narrates this nature documentary, which focuses on the Castle Rock ruins. Here, 1,000 or so monkeys reinforce a brutal social hierarchy day after day. Maya, “low-born” according to the narration, spends her days scrounging for food and putting up with harsh treatment from the higher-ranking members of her family. Even though the film shows very little of the rough stuff, it’s still fairly traumatizing. By the end you may feel like seeing a documentary about a more fair-minded treatment of a society’s citizens.

Broken Horses is a loose English-language remake of the Mumbai-set 1989 crime saga Parinda. Anton Yelchin and Chris Marquette play long-separated brothers, Jake and Buddy. In the prologue, their sheriff father (Thomas Jane) is shot and killed, and we see Buddy taken under the wing of the local crime boss named Julius Hench (Vincent D’Onofrio). In Parinda, one of the brothers speaks of “rotting away in America.” The remake suggests a movie made by the Parinda character while he was stuck out West without much to do.

In this Nicholas Sparks romance, Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) plays a rodeo star, Luke, who gets bucked off a bull. At the rodeo, is Sophia (Britt Robertson). Their first date ends when they help a car-accident victim Ira Levinson (Alan Alda). As he’s pulled from the wreck, Ira mutters something about “the box,’ which in a Sparks movie means: a stash of correspondence the heroine will soon be reading aloud, when the elder character isn’t doing the reading in voice-over. We have two love stories singing to each other across the decades.


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You’ve heard all the naysayers who claim boxing is dead. How would you describe the current state of the sport?

Jim Lampley

The sportscaster who will call Mayweather-Pacquiao on how much the fght means to boxing, whose legacy is more on the line and dealing with ticket requests

April 30–May 6, 2015


By Matt Jacob


How surprised are you that Mayweather and Pacquiao finally agreed to fight? Was there ever a point in the last five years where you gave up hope that this would ever happen?

Yes. I turned to the “it-will-never-happen” position partially out of continued frustration and disappointment that it wasn’t taking place. On my HBO studio show, The Fight Game, I called it the “low-anxiety conclusion.” The advantage of choosing the conclusion that it wouldn’t happen was that it would get me out of the grocery store or the barbershop or the shopping mall faster rather than try to continually come up with intelligent, logical, meaningful answers as to why it wasn’t taking place.

There’s been a lot of talk about how important this fight is for the sport of boxing. Do you agree with that sentiment?

No. Because we don’t know what the fght will or won’t do for the sport. It’s an extraordinarily large event. Is the fght going to change the public perception or the media perception about boxing? No, it’s just one fght. What if it does not provide thrilling entertainment that people dream about when they pay $90 for the pay-per-view? What if it’s mostly a tactical fght? What if it’s a chess match? Then you have people sitting around on Monday saying, “Why did I pay $90 for that?” It isn’t necessarily a bonanza for boxing. …

Not the same as it was 125 years ago. We’ve been on the critical list as long as people have reported on the sport. It’s a feast-orfamine sport, and the focus is always going to be on one fght at a time and not on an ongoing regular schedule—because there is no ongoing regular schedule. [Imagine the NBA] in which the Heat and the Spurs win their conference championships and make it to the level where they should play for the championship and the Heat, if they wanted to, could just turn around and say, “We don’t want to play the Spurs. We want to play the Hawks.” The public is always going be somewhat suspicious of a sport which is so entrepreneurial and so governed by strange magic that they don’t really understand it … but it’s also always going to be ready to coalesce and rise up in enormous excitement when the two best people in the sport face each other. It happened with Ali-Frazier. It happened with LeonardHearns. It happened with Leonard-Hagler. It happened with MayweatherDe La Hoya. And now it’s happened with this. There’s obviously a lot on the line for both fighters— most notably Floyd’s perfect record—but who needs this more for his legacy?

Floyd needs it more because his career time line is not marked by the constant approach to risk that shows up in Pacquiao’s time line. You look at what Pacquiao has done, there’s an extraordinary level of

risk in all of the choices he’s made, particularly since moving beyond 135 pounds and deciding to fight a series of significantly larger men. It cemented forever the notion that this was a guy who understood the public hunger for risk and was really dissatisfied. Mayweather’s career is a managed career. Mayweather understands that Americans are obsessed with this notion of perfection. He has built it into something that the general public appreciates far more than the boxing establishment appreciates it. And it’s one of the reasons that he has more at stake fighting Pacquiao. Pacquiao has lost fights before. He’s not going to be changing the historical perception or the public perception of who he is if he loses the fight. But Mayweather’s identity changes if he loses. Mayweather wins if …

He is able to maintain defensive control and limit the amount of action and intensity in the fght. Pacquiao wins if…

He is able to force Mayweather into a kind of frefght that he has avoided for his entire career, and hurts him with power, which no one else has been able to do. What are the odds we’ll see a rematch?

If Mayweather wins a onesided unanimous decision and wins 9-10 rounds, and he might, then it’s hard for me to understand why anybody would be demanding a rematch. If Pacquiao knocks Mayweather out, then I don’t think there’s much question we’ll see a rematch, because they might make even more money the second time around. This has been the toughest ticket to secure perhaps in sports history. How many people have asked you to hook them up?

I’ve gotten a few requests here and there, mostly from people who are generally out of the loop or have been out of the loop long enough not to understand and realize exactly what it was they were talking about. But anybody with any knowledge of the current scene knew there was no point in asking.



Until the fght takes place, you never know the exact signifcance. The best illustration of that is in the nearly 30 years of calling fghts, if you ask me right now, what is the most signifcant fght historically that I’ve ever called, it was a relatively unanticipated, unheralded, utterly perfunctory Mike Tyson title defense in Tokyo against a guy who didn’t have a chance. To this day, Tyson-Buster Douglas is the most important fght I’ve called, and nobody would have expected that going in.




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