Must dos this weekend in Vegas: Sept. 25 – 27, 2015

Las Vegas is a total mecca for music fans this weekend. The Life is Beautiful music, art and food festival downtown features tons of alternative and pop acts. If something a little smoother is more your speed, there’s the Las Vegas Jazz Festival at the Henderson Pavilion. There’s also an ’80s music show at Mandalay Beach, Pitbull at Planet Hollywood, and live music at the Asian Moon Festival at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Maybe you’re looking for comedy or cars instead of music and we’ve got both. Car enthusiasts can make their bids at a Barrett-Jackson auction. And Wanda Sykes, Frank Caliendo and Lisa Lampanelli are all in town and ready to make you laugh. No matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered this weekend in Vegas.

Car collectors will be in heaven at the Barrett-Jackson car auction, photo courtesy of Las Vegas Magazine

Car collectors will be in heaven at the Barrett-Jackson car auction, photo courtesy of Las Vegas Magazine

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction

Where: Mandalay Bay

When: Sept. 24 – 26

Car collectors – or those who just like to look at cars – will converge on Mandalay Bay for the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction this weekend. Admire a stylish 2007 Mustang GT Tasca Custom or drool over a 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Conversion. We don’t know what that means, but it’s probably really cool. Besides the auction you can also check out a car care clinic, displays and a memorabilia auction.

Imagine Dragons will be one of the headlining acts at Life is Beatiful, photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun

Imagine Dragons will be one of the headlining acts at Life is Beatiful, photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun

Life is Beautiful

Where: Downtown Las Vegas

When: Sept. 25 – 27

Life is Beautiful isn’t your parents’ music festival. You won’t be camping in a huge, muddy field. You can stay in a hotel and walk through the festival grounds, which span 11 city blocks downtown.

Music is the main focus of Life is Beautiful, but there’s also gourmet food, some amazing art and inspiring talks from a variety of guest speakers.

But back to the music. Get ready to rock with more than 70 musical acts on four stages. The major acts on Friday include Stevie Wonder, Hozier, AWOLNATION, Twenty One Pilots and Major Lazer.  On Saturday it’s Las Vegas’ own Imagine Dragons plus Duran Duran, Snoop Dogg, New Politics and Big Data. The festival closes out Sunday with Kendrick Lamar, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Brandon Flowers and Walk the Moon.

For the first time, Life is Beautiful has also partnered with Insomniac (of Electric Daisy Carnival fame) to bring a lineup of more than 20 electronic music acts to the festival.

Several culinary villages, led by an advisory board of more than a dozen world-class chefs, will be woven into the music experience. That means that instead of greasy burgers and pizza you’ll be eating gourmet food from some of Vegas’s best restaurants. Chefs on Stage demonstrations allow foodies to watch chefs’ techniques up-close.

The festival also features art programming that includes street art, large-scale murals, fine art displays and performance art.

Catch Brian McKnight at the Las Vegas Jazz Festival, photo courtesy of mcknight360.com

Catch Brian McKnight at the Las Vegas Jazz Festival, photo courtesy of mcknight360.com

Las Vegas Jazz Festival

Where: Henderson Pavillion, 200 S. Green Valley Pkwy.

When: Sept. 25 – 27

Across town at the Henderson Pavillion there will be three nights filled with music for jazz and R&B fans. The Las Vegas Jazz Festival hosts some of the top music artists in those genres. On Friday, Sept. 25, headliners include Erykah Badu and Musiq Soulchild. On Sept. 26 you can catch Toni Braxton and Brian McKnight among others. Things wrap up Sept. 27 with Anthony Hamilton, The Isley Brothers, Mint Condition, Stephanie Mills and more.

The "Queen of Mean," Lisa Lampanelli performs at the Venetian, photo courtesy of Vegas.com

The “Queen of Mean,” Lisa Lampanelli performs at the Venetian, photo courtesy of Vegas.com

Lots of Laughs

Where: Various hotels

When: Sept. 25 – 26

Laugh your way through the weekend with some of today’s top comedians who are all in town this weekend. Wanda Sykes, an actress and comedian who was named by “Entertainment Weekly” as one of the 25 Funniest People in America, performs at Treasure Island Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

Catch Frank Caliendo over at the Orleans Sept. 25 – 26. Caliendo is known for his hilarious and spot-on impersonations of John Madden, Charles Barkley and Bill Clinton from Fox’s NFL Sunday and “MADtv.”

The “Queen of Mean,” Lisa Lampanelli headlines at the Venetian Sept. 26. She’s known for her sarcastic and biting remarks and often targets people in the audience during her stand-up routines. If you’re the sensitive type, don’t sit anywhere near the front.

Pitbull is bringing the party to Planet Hollywood this weekend, photo courtesy of Vegas.com

Pitbull is bringing the party to Planet Hollywood this weekend, photo courtesy of Vegas.com

Pitbull

Where: Planet Hollywood

When: Sept. 25 – 26

If you’re looking for a party, you’re in luck. Mr. Worldwide, aka Pitbull, will be in Vegas this fall for a seven-night concert special including this weekend. Set to perform at Planet Hollywood on select dates in September and October, this party starter will be raising the roof for one epic musical celebration dubbed the “Time Of Our Lives” concert.

Singer Edison Chen will entertain at the Asian Moon festival, photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Singer Edison Chen will entertain at the Asian Moon festival, photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Asian Moon Festival

Where: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

When: Sept. 26, 9 p.m.

The Asian Moon Festival is a customary harvest celebration on or near the full moon that promotes harmony and unity. What better way to celebrate than enjoying an evening of Asian culture with live musical performances from Edison Chen and guest Angus Chan at the Boulevard Pool? Chen is an actor, musician, fashion designer and entrepreneur known for his energetic and lively stage presence.

Remember these guys? Flock of Seagulls sings at the Lost '80s Live concert, photo courtesy of Dallas Observer

Remember these guys? Flock of Seagulls sings at the Lost ’80s Live concert, photo courtesy of discogs.com

Lost ’80s Live

Where: Mandalay Beach

When: Sept. 26, 9 p.m.

Get out your Aqua Net and your headbands and get ready to Wang Chung tonight with some of your favorite artists from the ’80s. The Lost ’80s Live concert is a greatest hits extravaganza at Mandalay Beach featuring ABC, Wang Chung, Naked Eyes, A Flock of Seagulls, Boys Don’t Cry, Animotion, Dramarama, Gene Loves Jezebel and The Flirts with a special performance by Anything Box, Cheri and Maxi – the original members of Mary Jane Girls, and Clive Farrington from When in Rome’s “I Promise.”

Comments

It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for Vegas.com, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.