On Tuesday, August 15th, 2023, I set off from Dublin Airport at 1:55 pm on board American Airlines Flight 723 heading to Philadelphia, en route to Las Vegas on AA 512. I had a Bucket-List achievement on the way, and that was ‘To Play a Casino in Las Vegas’. Yes, Celebrating Queen was playing at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas on August 19th.
The flight to Philadelphia was as normal very pleasant. At this stage, I think I have clocked up about 22 flights with American Airlines in the last 2 years flying over and back for the Everybody Sings Project, the charity which the band helps fundraise for.
We were on board a very nice Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which was only a few years old and had really nice amenities. Flying into Las Vegas late at night was spectacular. In a holding pattern over the city I got to see the strip and the new sphere where U2 were about to start playing at.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could have performed in Las Vegas, but yes, it was happening. On arrival I had an evening to relax and get over the jet lag as next day we had a full band rehearsal set up at MDV Studios not far from the Vegas Strip. The rehearsal went very well and all was looking very good for our show. On the same day, we visited the venue at the Silverton Casino and it is always a good idea as you get to see things in advance which could play a part in the final show.
Just before we left the venue as we drove out of the car park, we spotted ourselves on the large Highway facing video billboards, huge promotions for Celebrating Queen. Yet another thing I never thought I would see … my face on a Las Vegas Billboard. It all seemed so weird and a bit “How did all this happen?”. Three days before this I was walking the quiet streets of Waterford or on the beach in Tramore, now I’m in Las Vegas, about to play this celebrated and famous location.
Best to get all this out before the show! Although I never ever feel nervous or have stage fright, it did seem a little weird to see such large-scale advertising using my face as one of the images on the billboard…. but it was fun at the same time.
Every time over the next few days when we were close to this location (as we did pass it a few times en route to different parts of the city) we caught glimpses of the billboard advert.
On the day of the show, we had load-in at 1 pm, and we proceeded to set up our gear. Our sound-check was at 2:30 pm which was very professionally carried out. Then at 4 pm we had some food provided for us by the venue … all part of the agreed rider.
Our showtime was 8 pm, so we had some time after eating to return to the hotel, freshen up, and get changed somewhat for the show. Around 7:15 we drove back to the venue, arriving at 7:35 pm.
With 1 minute and 10 seconds to go, I triggered our walk-on music, which was “Procession” by Queen from the album Queen II. We then jump straight into Now I’m Here from that song. The show flowed perfectly and it was one of the best shows we had done. The band has some seasoned professionals all of whom have performed in Las Vegas as well as internationally for many years – we are lucky to have them. The audience of almost 600 was excellent and the staff and stage managers were phenomenal – we had the best sound we ever had and the mix in my In-Ears was just perfect.
After the show, the audience wanted photos and wanted to chat so that was a nice end to the evening. The feedback was excellent and I had at last Performed in Las Vegas considering the band is based in Las Vegas, I’m sure this won’t be the last time I get to do this.
I have posted a few more photos below…
What a week! What a memory!
The band just before going on stage at the Silverton Casino, Las Vegas
One of the static adverts in the lobby
of the Silverton Casino. They did a great job advertising the show!
Myself and leadsinger J.J.Midnight after finding one of the digital advertising boards within the Silverton Casino