As Joni Mitchell correctly said, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Nothing quite captured how serious things were in 2020 like the sight of Las Vegas reduced almost to a ghost town. Although the strictest measures and closures were only in place for two to three months, the State of Emergency in Nevada was only officially lifted in May 2022, 26 months after it was put in place.  

Las Vegas is celebrating a genuine return to normality with a sparkling summer of entertainment. Even by Las Vegas standards, the quality of the acts is quite amazing.  

There’s nowhere like Vegas 

Sin City is a place where normal rules do not apply. People ask questions like Can you smoke in Vegas casinos? and the answer is of course you can. They ask What time can you get brunch? and the answer is whenever you want it, it’s always brunch time somewhere in Sin City.  

All those rules that were an inevitable part of life over the past couple of years – where to stand, what to touch, when to breathe – seemed particularly egregious in Las Vegas. It’s great to be back to normal operating conditions.  

A flying start  

Katy Perry couldn’t have got things off to a better start, her Play residency receiving rave reviews and being extended twice – in fact, she will be returning, giant confetti, anthropomorphic toilet rolls and all, for yet more dates in October. Meanwhile, at the MGM Grand’s Park Theater, Lady Gaga demonstrated her incredible versatility with Jazz and Piano. Fans were enthralled, and the shows grossed more than all previous residencies, outperforming the likes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani. 

Of course, Vegas is not just for contemporary acts. Those with a taste for nostalgia were blown away by Barry Manilow’s incredible The Hits Come Home residency in the intimate surroundings of the Westgate Resort and Casino. He’s taking a short break, but will be back for more dates later in the year. 

Keeping up the momentum 

While Messrs. Manilow and Perry take their mid-summer breaks, Las Vegas audiences will have plenty of other big name stars to keep them entertained. Morrisey’s Viva Moz Vegas residency gets underway at Caesar’s Palace in July, and he’ll be competing with Shania Twain, who has made the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood her own in recent years. 

Rod Stewart, John Legend and The Doobie Brothers will also be in town. But undoubtedly the biggest name of them all will be Diana Ross, who will take over the Encore Theater at Wynn’s for what promise to be six magical nights in September.   

But no Adele in sight 

One name that is conspicuous by its absence is that of Adele. Fans were incensed when she cancelled her Vegas Shows at the eleventh hour earlier this year. Despite initial assurances that they would be rescheduled, she has stayed silent on the topic while preparing for gigs back home in London. It seems increasingly unlikely that the Vegas residency will happen at all.  

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