Vegas Weekender: Headliners dazzle while rodeo continues to rock Vegas

NFR is still in full force on its final weekend in Vegas, while the holiday spirit starts to ramp up a notch. Catch a concert, hang out with some cowboys or check out one of the various Santas in town. Either way, it’s going to be a fun time to be in Las Vegas.

Shows and Concerts

Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil just might turn you into a true believer.

Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil bring the best of both worlds together in “Criss Angel Believe” at the Luxor, combining the magician’s in-your-face style of magic with Cirque’s production value and flair for theatricality. Tickets start at $74.85, with shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday, and 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Country star and regular chart-topper Trace Adkins plays the Riviera on Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. The artist holds four Grammy nominations as well as three American County Music and two Country Music Television awards. He’s also released three greatest hits albums and had 30 chart singles. Tickets start at $44.

Rock icons The Moody Blues play the Pearl at the Palms on Dec. 15. “The Voyage Continues Highway 45” tour is part of the 45th anniversary celebration of their album “Days of the Future Passed.” The show kicks off at 8 p.m., with tickets starting at $76.75.

Randy Travis brings his selection of country classics to the Golden Nugget on Dec. 13 – 14 at 10 p.m. Travis’ top hits include “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “Whisper My Name” and “You and You Alone.” Tickets start at $79.85.

Jamey Johnson always wanted to “ride around and sing country music,” and now he’s doing just that. The award-winning Johnson plays the Riviera on Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $29.99.

Grammy Award-winning country singer Travis Tritt brings his brand of music to The Orleans on Dec. 14 – 15 at 8 p.m. Tritt is best known for chart-toppers like “Help Me Hold On,” “Foolish Pride” and “Best of Intentions.” Tickets start at $44.

Singer LeAnn Rimes performs classics such as “How Do I Live,” “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” and more at LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on Dec. 13 – Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $59.85.

Daughtry and 3 Doors Down perform at Green Valley Ranch on Dec. 14 at 8 p.m., with tickets starting at $45.


With NFR in full swing, Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM Grand presents Cowboy Bill Martin and the team of Jim O’Brien and Alex Valdez through Dec. 16, each night at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $46.60.

Comedian Ron White, aka: Tater Salad, plays The Mirage on Dec. 14 – 15 at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $85.94 to see the cigar-chomping, scotch-drinking “Blue Collar Comedy” mainstay.

Fellow “Blue Collar Comedy” comic Bill Engvall performs on Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. at Treasure Island. Engvall has found success in stand-up comedy, multiple comedy albums and his own TV show. Tickets start at $70.40.

Ventriloquist and stand-up comedian Jeff Dunham’s 2012 Disorderly Conduct tour stops at Caesars Palace on Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. His troupe of puppets includes Walter the Grumpy Retiree, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, redneck Bubba J and the purple creature Peanut. Tickets start at $69.50.

Country rocker Derryl Perry takes the stage in Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Dec. 13 at 10 p.m., making his last appearance at the venue for this set of shows. There is no cover charge.

NFR Events

The MGM Grand’s lobby hosts an autograph session on Dec. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. with nine-time and reigning All-Around World Champion Trevor Brazile, and Dec. 14 from noon to 2 p.m. with WNFR Tie-Down Ropers.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts an NFR Tailgate in their Harmon parking lot on Dec. 13 – 15 from 3 p.m. to midnight. They’ll feature entertainment for all ages, autograph signing sessions, food, drink and a showcase of Ford automobiles.

The South Point Showroom hosts live entertainment each night of NFR at 9:30 p.m. and midnight. McKenna Medley with Wolf Creek appear through Dec. 14 and the Spazmatics perform on Dec. 15.

Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island offers an array of NFR-themed specials through Dec. 15, with live country music, two-for-one Crown Royal shots and $10 Crown Royal specialty cocktails.

Holiday Events

The Silverton puts a new twist on the Santa experience with an underwater Santa posing in the resort’s 117,000-gallon aquarium. Santa and his elves will interact with guests, more than 4,000 tropical fish, sharks and stingrays. You can catch Santa on Dec. 15 – 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Over at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef, children ages 12 and under will receive a complimentary candy cane and a photograph with Santa with paid admission. Santa will be joined by a surprise holiday helper: Santa Jaws, who will swim by for photo opportunities with the kids.