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Best choices: Big Blues Bender, ‘The Jungle Book,’ Hoopfest and more for your Las Vegas weekend

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Invision/AP Rock-and-roll Hall of Famer Dr. John performs at the Plaza this weekend during the Huge Blues Bender.

Friday, Sept. 8, 2017|2 a.m.

How many types of music can suit one weekend? Let’s begin with blues in downtown Las Vegas, hair metal in Henderson and classical at the Smith Center. There are likewise household friendly theater and sports events taking control of the town in the next few days, so find the fun that’s right for you and go get it.

BIG BLUES BENDER This rollicking music fest started Thursday and keeps the tunes coming all weekend long at the Plaza downtown. Friday’s acts consist of Walter Trout and Mavis Staples, Saturday includes Doyle Bramhall II, Shemekia Copeland and Tab Benoit, and Sunday closes the Bender with Dr. John. Continuing through Sept. 10, details at < a href=" http://bigbluesbender.com/" target=" _blank

” > bigbluesbender.com. HAIRBALL: A BOMBASTIC CELEBRATION OF ARENA ROCK The Henderson Pavilion is celebration its 15th anniversary and its beginning an impressive season of entertainment with the pyrotechnics, huge hair and larger rock noises of “Hairball.” The two-hour show provides classic hits by legendary bands including Kiss, Queen, Van Halen, Journey, Aerosmith and more. Sept. 8, details at 702-267-4849 or < a href=" http://cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/henderson-pavilion/ticket-information/buy-tickets" target="

_ blank” > hendersonpavilion.com. DISNEY’S THE JUNGLE BOOK KIDS Get the children and head down to the Smith Center’s Troesh Studio Theater to catch Broadway in the Hood’s interactive, sing-along-friendly adaption of the beloved Disney film. Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan and all the classic characters are here, and they’re bringing great deals of music and enjoyable. Sept. 8-10, information at 702-749-2000 or < a href=" http://www.thesmithcenter.com/event/disneys-the-jungle-book-kids/" target=" _blank

” > thesmithcenter.com. Related content LAS VEGAS 3 ON 3 HOOPFEST Toshiba Plaza in front of T-Mobile Arena when again invites this amateur basketball competition to the Strip, and locals are welcome to assemble their family and friends to have a look at all the action totally free, surrounded by the food and enjoyable of the Park. Previous UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Wink Adams was on last year’s champion group, and he’s back to play once again this year. Sept. 9-10, info at < a href=" http://lasvegas3on3.com/" target=

_ blank” > lasvegas3on3.com. LAS VEGAS PHILHARMONIC OPENING NIGHT One of the greatest local cultural events of the year is set for Saturday night at Reynolds Hall inside the Smith Center when Donato Cabrera carries out Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan,” John Adams’ “Typical Tones in Basic Time,” and Johannes Brahms’ “Piano Concerto No. 1” to open the Philharmonic’s 19th season. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., however take a look at the pre-concert conversation at 6:30 and don’t miss out on the opening night mixer onstage at 9:30. Sept. 9, info at 702-749-2000 or thesmithcenter.com.

The Big Blues Bender grows without sacrificing its comfort appeal

Someone who won’t be singing the blues at this year’s Huge Blues Bender is creator/promoter A.J. Gross. The fourth edition of the specific niche music festival– set to take over the Plaza hotel September 7-10– has actually been sold out for three weeks, which marks the occasion’s second straight sellout.

But strangely enough, Gross says he made less tickets readily available this year– capability is topped at 2,200– which is the opposite of what the majority of festival organizers would have done following an effective previous year. “We did more in 2015, but people felt it was a little overcrowded, so we held it back a little and withheld single-day tickets.”

That level of fan consideration distinguishes the Bender from other music festivals. This isn’t Coachella, and absolutely nothing about it need to feel difficult. “It’s like our tagline: Everything is an elevator ride away,” Gross includes. “That’s where we originated from: all simple, all accessible.”

Bender-goers will have access to 5 stages, on which nearly 70 acts will play throughout the weekend, some more than once. Headliners include New Orleans legend Dr. John, R&B/ gospel icon Mavis Staples and blues favorites Tab Benoit and Walter Trout. Among the diverse program offerings: tribute sets to The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead, a panel commemorating women blues musicians, a movie screening and blues-themed yoga classes.

It’s a great deal of growth for a new-ish specific niche celebration, but Gross has actually had plenty of motivation and experience: more than 25 years promoting Vegas shows and 20 years going to the Telluride Blues & & Brews Festival. Most significantly, the concept for the Bender came as he viewed Gov’t Mule perform at an extensive resort in Jamaica. He knew he could do something similar in Las Vegas, with the exact same concentrate on convenience, however with less expense and higher convenience to music fans. “I wished to develop the kind of experience I desired somebody to produce for me,” Gross says. “I can’t do 16 hours of music. I wish to have the ability to hit my hotel space [and rest] then return down [for the shows]”

That explains the Bender’s popularity with tourists– who are coming from every state and 12 various countries and for whom the immersive occasion is a full-blown escape– and how it struggles to draw Nevadans, who comprise less than 10 percent of the attendance. That stated, Las Vegans will be represented onstage, including The Moanin Blacksnakes, Vegas Strip Kings, The Trevor Johnson Project and, playing the Grateful Dead tribute, Catfish John– which would be an excellent candidate for the brand-new music weekender Gross will go for the Plaza April 12-15: the Las Vegas Bender Jamboree, which will concentrate on bluegrass and jam bands.

Entirely, it’s an ambitious slate for somebody who was winding his music profession down simply 5 years earlier. Now, Gross has rekindled his enthusiasm for live music events, evidenced in the year he invests making certain the next Bender is better than the one before it. “I thought I was kinda done,” Gross states. “I thought Vegas didn’t make sense for me anymore. However I figured out the best ways to make a great brand name. And I’m trying to find the brand to grow. I want to bring more of these. I genuinely believe it’s an uplifting experience for everyone developed.”

Huge Blues Bender September 7-10, $499. The Plaza, bigbluesbender.com.