Returning from COVID, the national rodeo final heads to Las Vegas on December 2 for more than a week of lassoing, riding, bucking and bronc-ing – and a big slate of country-fried entertainment. From the Strip to downtown to the whole city, there’s a lot going on. Here are some selected acts and events – some star level, others more quirky – to know.
BOOTS ON THE BOULEVARD
A trio of headliners make up the annual “Boots on the Boulevard” concert series at Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. First off, on December 3rd it’s Brantley Gilbert. The singer-songwriter brings his “Worst Country Tour Ever” to town – relax, it’s a nod to his recent joke single, “Worst Country Song Ever “. Tickets start at $ 29.50. In an alternate universe, Cody Johnson would compete in the national rodeo finals, without performing in parallel from December 8-9. The singer was a bull rider before injuries ended his career, which is covered in the feature length documentary “Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story”. Tickets start at $ 35. Dierks Bentley is heading to town on December 10 and 11 with his recent single “Beers on Me”. Tickets start at $ 39.
“Since I’ve been in town, and it’s been 16 years, nothing like this has opened up – or really anywhere else in the world,” exclaimed Bobby Reynolds, senior vice president of AEG Presents Las Vegas. , speaking of the new Resorts World. Theater during the summer before the venue opens. “The level of sophistication, the level of class – it’s just a higher experience than anything else.” See if the opulent 4,700-seat venue lives up to the hype when country superstar Carrie Underwood christens the venue with her 12-date residency debut, which runs through April, at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Resorts World Las Vegas, 3000 Las Vegas boul. South. Tickets start at $ 58 on axs.com.
He’s got the hat, he’s got the voice, he’s got the twang, and he’s got – and this is where things get tricky – the songs. Songs like “Show Them to Me,” a brave little act that implores women to expose their breasts, which they sometimes do, based on evidence from concert videos that we cannot link to in a family post. . (Guys too, by the way.) He’s a singer-songwriter, that’s what we’re saying, and not specifically a PC. See what we mean on his 9pm shows on December 3, 4, 10 and 11 at the MGM Grand; tickets start at $ 102 on ticketmaster.com.
Prepare for the rodeo the day before the action starts. The free downtown Hoedown returns to the Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday. Jordan Davis kicks things off at 6 p.m. on the Main Street stage. Country singers – Richie McDonald of Lonestar, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas – arrived on First Street Stage at 7:40 p.m. Diamond Rio headlines the show at 9:30 p.m. on Third Street Stage.
STRAIT OF GEORGES
With “I Can Still Make Cheyenne,” George Strait wrote one of the greatest, most heart-wrenching songs of all time about the toll life on the rodeo circuit can have on a cowboy and his loved ones. . So it’s only fitting that the country’s king is making his annual return to the NFR festivities, where the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena is just about the most comfortable venue you can see the stadium filler these these days. The Strait will be “Here to have a good time” at 8 p.m. on December 3 and 4. Tickets start at $ 50; axs.com.
These two slaughterers bring the yee-haw and bring it strong: “I’m a soaring stop sign, cotton in the ditch / a johnboat hanging on a 2 inch hitch,” they sing along to “Small Town for Life,” their humble hymn about being “d ‘a place you’ve never heard of. ”You don’t have to know what a johnboat is to appreciate the song’s crazy melody, also evident in an issue like the new“ Sippin Sunsets. ”C It’s also nice to hear voices that don’t sound accurately in a Nashville cyborg lab.The concert is free at 8:30 p.m. on December 3 in the Mirage Race and Sports Book; nfrexperience.com.
They may come dressed in cowboy hats, but the rodeo crowd listens to more than cowboy music – even Tim McGraw is known to name Lil Wayne in the song. As a result, “Western action sports brand” Hooey hired “Hot in Herre” rapper Nelly to headline one of their “Hooey Party” events during the NFR. It makes sense: Nelly’s first album was “Country Grammar” after all. See you on December 10 at 9 p.m. at the Brooklyn Bowl at Linq. Tickets start at $ 3 at brooklynbowl.com/las-vegas.
“Smoky Mountain Rain”, “Almost Like a Song”, “Is It Over”, etc. – Ronnie Milsap is one of the greatest ballads in a genre that has shed tears from an ocean into an ocean of beers. Beginning in the late 1970s, they established themselves as one of the nation’s most prominent crossover groups, also hitting the contemporary pop and adult charts with songs that could make an eggplant cry. Bring the Kleenex when Milsap headlines the Golden Nugget Showroom at 10 p.m. on December 6. Tickets start at $ 69 on ticketmaster.com.
RAY WYLIE HUBBARD
“Well, I hope you’re up for this,” the roadhouse’s shaggy eminence says at the start of his “Austin City Limits” performance of something called “Snake Farm” – but unless you’re already a fan, you are probably not ready. To a country-blues groove deep enough to drop a dozen Blake Sheltons, he growls the story of his girlfriend Ramona, who “looks a bit like Tempest Storm / She can dance like Little Egypt / She works on the farm in snakes “. Have I said already a fan? You will be at the end of the song. Hubbard bolsters his bona fides as an outlaw country with “Screw You We’re From Texas,” a state he calls “the place I want to be / And I doubt I’ll get a gig anywhere else anyway. way”. December 5 will prove him wrong when he appears in the showroom of the Golden Nugget, which is far from Texas, at 10 p.m. with tickets ranging from $ 39 to $ 109 on ticketmaster.com.
REBA AND BROOKS & DUNN
On their 1994 album, “Waitin ‘on Sundown”, Brooks & Dunn sang “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”. They can test this theory on December 15 when “Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas,” their 30-song showcase with Reba McEntire, concludes its six-year run at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The shows take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and December 3 and 4, December 7 and 8, December 10 and 11, and December 14 and 15. Tickets start at $ 54.
“Let’s go!” is the title of the country-pop queen’s residence at Planet Hollywood Resort. There will be the familiar hits even to the most avid country listeners (“Man! I feel like a woman!”, “You are still the only one”, “That doesn’t impress me much”), a little alluring schmaltz (a couple per show who can afford the appropriate ticket package would be brought on stage for a romantic serenade), a touch of glam (there would be eight costume changes) and a good time (the early promo promises a “spectacular, high energy production ”). Let’s go, indeed. Thursday and December 4, 5, 9, 11 and 12 at Planet Hollywood; tickets are $ 46 to $ 251 on ticketmaster.com.
“Sorry my guitarist sucks,” Johnson whispered in the middle of “Give It Away” at this year’s Farm Aid concert – funny because he was alone on stage, singing and strumming a beautifully sad, heartfelt song on breaking. Coming from an almost biblical extravaganza of hair and beard, his voice is so clear, rich and convincing that the effect is practically elementary – just a guy and his guitar, goes for your heart. What better cooldown from a hot interlude of rodeo action than this one? 10 p.m. December 10 in the Golden Nugget Showroom, with tickets starting at $ 159 on ticketmaster.com.