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Doobie Brothers stack the hits at Zappos Theater

Updated May 20, 2022 - 12:52 am

I own a 1967 Mercury Cougar. It’s a beautiful vehicle, built in another time and rebuilt for today. It’s loud. It rumbles. You need to raise your voice to be heard. There’s a faint rattle in the passenger-side door. The ride can be bumpy, with vintage springs and old-school shocks.

You don’t drive the car as you would something out of the showroom. You need to warm it up before flooring it. But when you do, man is it a ride.

The Doobie Brothers are like that ‘67 Cougar. The band is celebrating its 50th anniversary at Zappos Theater, returning to their eight-show run Friday and Saturday. The Doobies rev up with some of their lesser-known cuts, a few selections from the new album. Guitarist Pat Simmons thanks the crowd, many trudging to the restrooms, for allowing them to indulge themselves with the new stuff.

But the band jacks up the tachomoter in its late spree of classics. “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “What a Fool Believes,” “Long Train Runnin’,” “China Grove,” “Black Water,” “Takin’ It To The Streets” and “Listen to the Music.” Most bands could drop those songs into a 90-minute show and fill in the rest. The Doobies finish full throttle, with that series.

The band’s four longstanding members are in for this tour, which means Michael McDonald is part of the reunion effort. McDonald is identified recently as a very successful solo artist, but in the Doobies he is tucked into the roster as the keyboardist and sometimes singer. Tom Johnston is the snow’s front man, Simmons and John McFee at his side.

The only thing McDonald said on opening night was, “There are too many knobs and pedals up here!” joking about his instrument. But he sang, in that distinctively soaring voice, particularly in “Minute By Minute.”

Early in the show, as the band took the stage, I said to my seatmate, “There will be no dancing mushrooms or Mr. Maskie tonight.” It was a reference to Katy Perry’s production at Resorts World Theatre. Her’s is a fantastic vehicle, for sure, like a spin around a super-speedway in a Lamborghini.

But some nights, you need that straight-ahead V8 power, and the Doobie Brothers still fire on all those cylinders.

Angel to the CW

Criss Angel has announced on social media his upcoming series on The CW, “Criss Angel’s Magic with The Stars,” which premieres at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 and is set to run on Saturday. Angel follows “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” as Vegas headlining magicians with shows on The CW.

Angel has also eliminated the gothic Xristos character from “Amystika,” his new “Mindfreak” prequel at Planet Hollywood. He appearas at the top of the show, then turns the narrrative over to the expert comic magician Mike Hammer.

Wise move. Xristos bugged. “Amystika” is better suited with the dazzling Franco Dragone elements and storytelling about who, and what, inspired Angel’s pursuit of magic.

Holmes and beyond

Clint Holmes, with his longtime best friend and music director Bill Fayne on the keys, turned in another terrific performance at Myron’s on Wednesday night. His special guests included Jerry Lopez, whose Santa Fe band backed Holmes at Harrah’s from 2000-2006. The vocal band Fifth Avenue also turned up. The show was a swift sellout, and Holmes announced two upcoming shows for Myron’s, “Withers and Wonder,” a tribute to Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder; and “Between the Moon and New York City,” an homage to Peter Allen. Dates to be finalized, but both expected by the end of the year.

Bye to Mosaic

We are hearing that Mosaic on the Strip is going to be razed as part of an incoming shopping mall concept. We expect shows at Mosaic to be vacating the building by September, when venue operator Dean Coleman lease with his landlords is up for renewal. The fallout is the adult revue “Aussie Heat” is moving to Notoriety Live in June, “Kyle Martin’s Piano Man” is out by the end of the month for a move to V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

The Michael Jackson tribute “MJ Evolution” is looking for a new venue, and might turn into a touring show.

Mosaic is likely to serve as an audition platform for a couple of shows. Column fave Elyzabeth Diaga’s “Queens of Rock” is actually returning from a lengthy pause this week. The new “Lady Like” burlesque show opens in June. Both can perform for interested suitors after Mosaic closes.

The sweep of shows and shutting of doors ends an era on the Strip. The Mosaic, which is across from Park MGM, has been the Metz, Utopia, Empire Ballroom and Tommy Wind Theater. It remains the only stand-alone entertainment venue on the Strip. The showroom’s fire-code capacity of 1,446 allowed for social-distant shows of 50 to return during COVID in October 2020, with “Queens of Rock” and “Aussie Heat” pandemic success stories.

Coleman is now also on the hunt to find a room suitable for small-capacity entertainment, preferably one not destined for the wrecking ball.

Cool Hang Alert

Ravello Lounge at M Resort hops Friday night with 7-8-9 Ds, with a single band performing as The Super Freaks, Dorkestra and Vanilla Vice, covering three decades. So, tip them thrice over. Saturday its the duo HighRise. Shows start at 8 p.m., and no cover in this (or any other) decade.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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