Backed by a nine-piece band, the stunning Dirty Virgin dancers and a loyal legion of fans, smooth crooner Matt Goss is reviving the magic and glamour of vintage Vegas four nights a week at Caesars Palace.
After experiencing Goss’ show for ourselves, we sat down with the performer to get the inside scoop on his revamped act, his new life as a Las Vegas local and why he believes it is so important to keep the vibe of ’60s Vegas pulsing throughout the Entertainment Capital of the World.
“I truly believe when I say this that [The Gossy Room] is the most magical place at Casesars Palace,” said Goss as he topped off his hot mint and honey tea in a private booth at Spago.
Formerly Cleopatra’s Barge, The Gossy Room is an intimate 165-seat venue that has hosted numerous icons including Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. since its opening in the ’70s.
A hotspot in its heyday but momentarily cast aside with the introduction of Vegas’ megaclubs, Goss is not only bringing back the intimate entertainment experience that once ruled the days of yesteryear but, in true Gossy fashion, he is doing so with style… lots of it.
Stepping into The Gossy Room is like entering a wrinkle in time. Oozing with glamour, the room’s sultry hues of crimson and Jessica Rabbit-red complement the golden décor and dim flickers of tabletop candles and scattered sconces set the swanky mood.
“The Gossy Room is like Ronnie Scotts in London; one of the greatest jazz clubs…My dream is for the Gossy Room to become one of the greatest swing, jazz, soul venues in the world,” offered Goss.
Engulfed in the room’s romance, the clinking champagne flutes, laughter and excited chatter of the crowd add to the posh ambiance before Goss’ velvet vocals command the attention of the dapper attendees.
“There is no dress code on the ticket but everybody naturally dresses up,” Goss explained. “They know what perfume they are wearing, what heels they are wearing, what dress they are wearing, probably get their hair done and the guys, you know, suit, tie, shirt, cuff link, shoes… I don’t need to ask them. It [is like] a prerequisite to what I do.”
And by the looks of the dressed-to-the-nines patrons, the grace of tuxedo-clad Goss is reciprocated in spades on a nightly basis.
As the clock strikes 9:30 p.m. the swinging speakeasy-esque band strikes up and after the show opens with his original “All About the Hang,” Goss welcomes the awe-struck atendees and proceeds to serenade the onlookers.
Singing two-thirds original music as well as an assortment of covers from personal musical influences, Goss’ nearly two-hour long performance boasts a little something for everyone. Muted trumpets lead into hits off of his “Life You Imagine” including the venomous “Evil,” the powerful “Strong,” which has been adopted by Susan G. Komen for the Cure as their foundation anthem, as well as Goss’ newest hit “Movies in Your Mind,” which he wrote after losing his mother to breast cancer last year.
Goss’ vocals are intoxicating as is, but it is the emotion fueling every note that pulls on the audience’s heartstrings. “Last night, I played “Movies in Your Mind” and there were three people crying,” Goss said. “I sing from such an absurdly deep place, I mean, my soul is naked on stage.”
Similar to the days when the entertainers were your friends and audience/performer interaction was common practice during the shows, Goss’ approach fuses the audience in a comparable fashion.
“You have to be completely and utterly on your game and involved in the crowd because people may say something that you’ll hear. The exact sentence people around them will hear it and I have managed to find a way to make sure it always becomes part of my show.” Goss explained. “What I want people to feel is a connection to me and my band and my songs and then I want them to feel completely and utterly uplifted.”
And the confirmation of Goss’ success in this desire primarily occurs after the show. “I think when I have Las Vegans coming up to me and saying, ‘thank you,’ that to me is a job done. You know? When a Las Vegan comes to my show and says ‘thank you for bringing Las Vegas back,’ that is what motivates me.”
Recently buying a house in town, Goss wasted no time in submerging himself in the Vegas way of life. “There’s community here, there are schools, there are philanthropic, very, very profound philanthropic activities … I couldn’t have been here if there wasn’t substance here, and every day I am floored [by this city’s] composure and poise.”
Already deeply involved with various charities around the valley including Opportunity Village, Larry Ruvo’s Keep Memory Alive foundation as well as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, it is unmistakable that Goss’ generosity and grace toward our now shared community is mirrored. “I don’t know how the hell I’ve ended up here, but this town has taken me under its wing on a level that I could not have imagined.”
While his charitable efforts are a contribution to Las Vegas on a public scale and having gifted the city with his soon-to-be iconic Sin City ode “Lovely Las Vegas,” his effort to reintroduce the forgotten prestige and glamour of the Rat Pack era is an ongoing effort. With hopes that the ways of generation’s past will evolve and be incorporated into the Vegas scene once more, the gentleman facetiously admits, “I don’t want to see women walking around in bare feet in public spaces anymore.”
As our conversation came to a close, Goss drained the contents of his teacup, refocused his glacier ice-blue eyes and offered us the simple truth: “If you want to go and be dressed up and you don’t want to be pushed around and you don’t want to be told where you can go and not go, then come to my show and let loose and be glamorous because like I say, glamour will never go out of style.”
Click here for Matt Goss’ full performance schedule at Caesars Palace.