Viva Las Vegas – the magic of music and casinos

What does the image of Vegas conjure up in your mind? A packed casino with slots and gaming tables as far as the eye can see? Maybe. The fountains at the Bellagio wowing passers by with their magical dance? Perhaps. Or Elvis, in all his pomp, glory and excess with an adoring crowd of tourists, professional gamblers and lounge lizard wannabees in the palm of his hand?

The music of Vegas has always been an essential part of the overall gambling experience that is, ostensibly, Sin City’s raison d’être. Elvis made the city his own, but before him there was the Rat Pack. Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior – just the mention of the names sends you to a bygone age.

Of course, it is now 40 years since Elvis left the building, and the last rat packed up and moved on to a better place in 2007. Yet the music of Vegas remains as strong as ever, and it is still one of the most high-profile gigs on the planet.

Music and gambling

Even in the new age of online gambling, music has an important role to play in the casino experience. In most areas, one of the most significant benefits of an online option is better choice and a bespoke experience. This is as much the case in the casino sector as any other. The vast list at https://www.thecasinodb.com shows there is no shortage of choice when it comes to the casino itself, and with the similarly wide variety of streaming options, you can be accompanied by just about any music you can think of.

Of course, it is not just about personal taste, and if you leave it to the casino, it will decide what is the most appropriate music for you to listen to while you feed the slots or spin the wheel. This is even the case with the online versions, only there, you have the option to kill the sound and make your own choice!

There is plenty of research evidence that explores the psychological effects of music, and casinos are keen to exploit these. As simple examples, they might play fast, excitable tunes when a slot machine pays out a big win, which encourages you on the subconscious level to reinvest your winnings. Or at the other end of the spectrum, the main floor is likely to feature inoffensive elevator music. It might not be particularly inspiring, but the main objective here is to provide something that is soothing and will not irritate anybody.

Live at Vegas

Recordings on the casino floor are well and good, but the magic of music at Vegas is really all about the live shows, and these are still as strong as ever. Celene Dion might not have been the most obvious musician to step into Elvis’s blue suede shoes, but she has done more to reinvent the concept of the Vegas residency than anyone, and some big names are following suit.

For example, Rod Stewart has recently announced a new residency for next year – Sin City’s music scene could not be in better hands!

Las Vegas’ Concert Line-Up for Spring 2017 is a Hot One!

 Las Vegas has structured itself as one of the hottest places to see a concert. Like everything with Vegas they always go big! When you visit Vegas these days, you know not only need to gamble but also catch a show as well. Las Vegas also has numerous resident performers, some permanent, with some of the biggest names in the business right on the Strip. Some of this years headliners include Reba McEntire with Brooks and Dunn, Britney Spears, Santana, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John and many more.

Reba McEntire with Brooks and Dunn are in town on Feb 22-25th and also Mar 1-4th at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Britney Spears on Mar 22-31st at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Santana is performing May 17-27th at the House of Blues. Celine Dion is also at the The Colosseum on Apr 4-22nd. Jennifer Lopez will also be in town at The Axis on Feb 10-25th and also May 24-31st. Last but definitely not least Elton John just started one of his two sets of dates Feb 7-20th and Apr 25-May 5th at The Colosseum.

The Colosseum at Caesars Palace was first opened in 2003 and has been named “Best of Las Vegas” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. This has always been one of my favorite places to see a show! Everyone from Cher to Rod Stewart to Bette Milder and Mariah Carey has been here. Elton John has had two shows over the years, “The Red Piano Tour” and “The Million Dollar Piano”, since he started headlining in Vegas back in 2004. The prize goes to Celine Dion who started in 2003 with her show “A New Day”, which ran till 2007. Her current show “Celine” which started in 2011 is one not to be missed for sure, whether you are a fan of her or not. Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn’s “Together In Vegas” is one of Vegas’ newest acting starting back in 2015 and whether you are a country fan of not, this show is a ton of fun!

So whether you are aiming to hit the black jack table or recovering from a wild night out playing at online casino UK, the need to catch a show has become a must do! These venues are outstanding and the sound presentations are unlike any other venue that I have been to. Whether you are into Rock, Alternative, Metal, R&B, Country this Spring there is no shortage of outstanding bands and singers on tour.

Vegas is one hell of a growing market as well. I have visited for nearly two decades now and I remember it back in the 90’s and then when you visit today, the whole city has evolved. I have a feeling that it will continue to evolve as well. So whether you prefer to play the slots on the hotel floor or on your computer, Vegas is going to be the place to visit and get all the coolest concerts and plenty of new changes over the years!

Blu-ray Review “Viva Las Vegas: 50th Anniversary”

Starring: Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Cesare Danova, William Demarest, Nicky Blair, Teri Garr
Director: George Sidney
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Man, I love Las Vegas. I cannot even think about the Sin City without screaming Elvis’ tune in my head. Elvis was not only a musical superstar, he was also a huge blockbuster draw in film and this was his biggest film. “Viva Las Vegas” is being re-released by Warner Bros in a brand new premium Digibook, which includes include rare behind-the-scene photos. Elvis shared the screen with the stunning Ann-Margret, who is a great companion for the King. This film is such a blast and really makes me want to book that flight to Las Vegas. If you are an Elvis fan (And don’t own Warner Bros previous release of this film) then this is a day one purchase.

Official Premise: In his highest grossing movie, Elvis shares the screen with Ann-Margret, easily creating the most electrifying teaming Elvis had on screen. He plays Lucky Jackson, a Grand Prix race driver working at a casino to raise cash for a new engine; she’s a hotel swimming instructor – and the romantic action revs up from their first meeting. George Sidney, who also directed Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, combines the hormonal heat wave with fascinating sights of ’60s Las Vegas. David Winters (West Side Story) choreographed the 10 musical song-and-dance scenes which also featured his dancers.

“Viva Las Vegas” was released WAY back in 2007 to a very impressive release back then. But yet for this release we still are getting a newly remastered transfer and a near perfect Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The soundtrack is so amazing include songs like the title track, “The Lady Loves Me”, Appreciation” and The King’s version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The music is so important in this film and it is just absolutely amazing. For a film that is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. It has never looked or sounded better. The detail in the 1080p transfer is outstanding and the songs are just perfectly balanced for this Blu-ray release.

Besides the amazing looking Digibook with some great rare photos, the rest of the special features aren’t really that stunning and worthy of the King. There is a commentary track from Steve Pond, rock journalist and author of “Elvis in Hollywood”. This guy knows Elvis better than Elvis did and it was very interesting to get some great insight about the film. Next up is “Featurette Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas”, which goes behind-the-scenes. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

“Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” “Viva Las Vegas” 50th Anniversary Arrive as Premium Digibooks

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition First Time on Blu-ray™
and Premium Digibook
Remastered Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Set for Special Screening August 16 at Orpheum Theatre in Memphis during Elvis Week

Viva Las Vegas 50TH Anniversary
New as a Premium Digibook

Burbank, Calif., April 22, 2014 – To celebrate Elvis Week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release of two of “The King’s” fan favorites on August 12 as Premium Blu-ray™ Digibooks.

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition, which was re-edited and remixed for its acclaimed release in 2000, will now debut on Blu-ray™ as a Premium Digibook, newly remastered, and with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary Viva Las Vegas will also be offered as a Premium Blu-ray Digibook. These Premium Digibooks include rare behind-the-scene photos and are available for $27.98 each (SRP).

This year’s Elvis Week will be held from August 9-August 17 in Memphis at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. As part of the festivities, the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis will host the world premiere screening of Warner Bros.’ newly-remastered Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. Fans in town for Elvis Week will be treated not only to the newly-remastered film, but will also get to experience an outtake performance or sequence never before seen on the big screen, along with some special on-stage surprises still to be announced. Tickets will be available for purchase on May 1, 2014 via Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Orpheum box office. For more information on this or other Elvis Week events, visit Graceland.com.

About the Elvis Titles
Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Two Disc Special Edition Premium Digibook
With thousands of feet of materials including sequences added to capture with greater intimacy Elvis’ performances and his creative process behind-the-scenes, the previously released Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Special Edition is now being made available as a Blu-ray™ two disc Special Edition Premium Digibook. Denis Sanders (Shock Treatment) directed this “rockumentary.” Academy Award® nominated[1] Lucien Ballard (The Wild Bunch) was the cinematographer, following the show’s development from rehearsal to stage.

Special Features:
Disc 1 (BD) 2001 Special Edition and Special Features:
Patch It Up: The Restoration of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is
12 Outtakes – song/nonmusical sequences
1970 Original Theatrical Version
Disc 2 (DVD) 1970 Original Theatrical Version and Special Features:
12 Outtakes – song/nonmusical sequences

Viva Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Premium Digibook
In his highest grossing movie, Elvis shares the screen with Ann-Margret, easily creating the most electrifying teaming Elvis had on screen. He plays Lucky Jackson, a Grand Prix race driver working at a casino to raise cash for a new engine; she’s a hotel swimming instructor – and the romantic action revs up from their first meeting. George Sidney, who also directed Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, combines the hormonal heat wave with fascinating sights of ’60s Las Vegas. David Winters (West Side Story) choreographed the 10 musical song-and-dance scenes which also featured his dancers. Songs include the high-roller title track, the stars’ duet on “The Lady Loves Me,” her sultry “Appreciation” and The King’s version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo.

Special Features:
· Commentary by Steve Pond, rock journalist and author of “Elvis in Hollywood”
· Featurette Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas
· Theatrical trailer

Elvis Aaron Presley
(1935 – 1977)
Elvis Presley was one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, starring in 31 feature films and two theatrically-released concert documentaries over the course of his career. His music was as much a part of his box-office success as his good looks and charisma. In fact, some of his top-selling songs were from the movie soundtracks. Eleven of his soundtrack albums made it into the top ten on the Billboard Album charts and of those, four became number one hits. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over a billion records worldwide, more records than any other artist in record industry history, and even 30 years after his death, Elvis still conquers new legions of fans as even compilations of his RCA recordings, such as “Elvis 30 #1 Hits” and “Elvis 2nd to None,” have both topped the Billboard charts of best-selling albums.

More biographical information is available at the official Elvis Presley Web site, www.elvis.com.

Blu-ray/CD Review “Jimmy Buffett: Welcome to Fin City – Live in Las Vegas 2011”

Starring: Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Tracks: 15
Running Time:
Label: Mailboat Records

Blu-ray Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
CD Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have been a life-long Jimmy Buffett fan, although only seeing him live for the first time earlier this year. Living in Florida, there is also no shortage of Jimmy Buffett mentality but I will take more wherever I can. Jimmy Buffett is also a rare act that can constantly produce live albums and DVDs and still manage to excite fans and deliver a fantastic time worth re-purchasing. Jimmy Buffett concerts are unlike any concert I have ever been to. The energy is so unique and what better than to watch it from the best seat in the house! So crack open that Margarita mix, get that blender ready and party it out with Jimmy and friends.

This release marks the first time that Jimmy is available in high definition Blu-ray. If that isn’t enough this comes as a two disc set with a CD of the show as well. The concert featured here includes the best of from his 2011 Las Vegas shows. I am not sure why the entire concert wasn’t included though since all of his concert is really a best of. Also included on the Blu-ray only is a never before released music video of “Elvis Presley Blues”. I just love the fact that this come with both Blu-ray and CD, since one can stay in my car and one in my Blu-ray player! 24 hours of Jimmy Buffett.

It is funny because when I think of Vegas, I immediately think of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo Hotel. Las Vegas seems to be an awesome venue to catch one of his concerts. This concert contains combined performances from 2 incredible Saturday night shows at the MGM. The audio/video on the Blu-ray is just superb and makes you feel like you are there in the audience. Of course there is nothing like a live show, this will hold you over until Jimmy’s next go-round in your town. Inquirers who are curious about what a Buffett concert is like will enjoy this personal and intimate view. But obviously, hardcore fans of Jimmy, this purchase is a no-brainer.

Track Listing:
1. Viva Las Vegas
2. Brown Eyed Girl
3. License to Chill
4. Off To See The Lizard
5. Life Is Just A Tire Swing
6. Bama Breeze
7. Gypsies In The Palace
8. It’s Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet
9. Knee Deep
10. Back Where I Come From
11. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
12. One Particular Harbour
13. Fins
14. Defying Gravity
15. Elvis Presley Blues (Blu-ray only)