Have you been to the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas? If so, you may have had what seems to be a common reaction to the reimagined resort....beige, bland, and very boring. Why take the excitement of Hard Rock Hotel's music-themed adult playground and reduce it to what appears to be a medical/surgical complex? Someone apparently thought that sounded like a great idea, but Virgin's frequently empty parking lot would suggest otherwise.
After one forgettable visit (and an extremely underwhelming description of their new player's club program), Miss Bushes categorized Virgin Hotels Las Vegas as a one-and-done. Then yours truly heard the buzz on '27 - A Musical Adventure'. Friends kept recommending this salute to musicians who'd passed away at the young age of 27.
Sorry, Mister Sister, but you get to sit this one out...
Yes, musicians dying at 27 is actually a thing. Narcotics, booze, and suicide are the most common factors. Some fans of music trivia often discuss who the next addition to the "club" will be. Alcoholic drug addict Demi Lovato was apparently a front-runner until she cleared her 28th birthday. And being a member of this group requires actual talent, so the self-proclaimed "non-binary" fame whore was always safe (sorry, Demi, but your them/it/they BS is as big a joke as your tear-filled wailing ).
The concept of '27' is rather simple - talented impersonators recreate groundbreaking performances of six fallen stars. The sets are assembled chronologically, beginning with 1930s blues guitarist Robert Johnson (John Arthur Bingham) and finishing with Amy WInehouse (Lea Cappelli). In between, audiences are treated to faithful salutes to Janis Joplin (Adi Argelazi), Jimi Hendrix, (Nazim Chambi), Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain (Gabe Maska), all in character (cigarettes and booze in hand, staggering and swearing) with live vocals and instrumentation. Each segment ends with video screens displaying the artist's cause of death and date of the occurrence. As I stated earlier...somewhat morbid.
Jim Morrison - 27 Virgin Hotel
Chances are that your level of enjoyment in the overall show will depend on your appreciation of the featured artists. I personally knew nothing of Robert Johnson or his music, yet he made for a slam-bang opening. I'm not a Nirvana or WInehouse fan, either. And truth be told, the gentleman portraying Jim Morrison (Toby Rand) channeled Michael Hutchence (INXS) as much as The Door's frontman. Nevertheless, each performer had audience members on their feet with dancing and standing ovations.
Special mention should be given to 27's live band. The five-piece ensemble perfectly switches gears from era to era, diving into soulful blues with the same tenacity as 90's Seattle grunge. Lighting effects are dazzling without being intrusive, but the sound was definitely amped beyond comfortable levels (bring earplugs). The show is held inside intimate 24 OXFORD, the current version of Hard Rock's former VINYL CLUB.
Before the final bows are taken, all of the artists assemble for a finale that defies description. It's an ultimate "Best Band in Heaven" jam session that left the audience cheering and wanting more. And that's all that rock fans really want from a show - great energy, awesome music, and spot-on vocals to carry you off into the night. '27 - A Musical Adventure' has that and a little more. This is a solid one to add to your list.
'27 - A Musical Adventure' performs Wednesday through Sunday at 8:30 pm. Tickets start at $65 for standing room only ($27 for locals with ID) plus taxes/fees and can be ordered here.
Performance photos by Clay Bushes