. The large lounge attached to Mandalay Bay’s Mizuya sushi bar– you know the location, right when you walk in from the parking lot, separating the gambling establishment from the dining establishment walk– has long been among the Strip’s the majority of busy and boisterous music spaces, continuously loaded with tourists dancing along to an amped-up cover band.
But something various and rather special has taken up residency there, triggering a name modification. Now it’s called the Rhythm & & Riffs lounge and on Friday nights, it’s home to Nashville Unplugged.
Vocalist, songwriter, star and producer Aaron Benward released Nashville Unplugged nearly nine years earlier at Green Valley Ranch Resort and it’s made the rounds at other Station Gambling establishments homes before landing on the Strip at Mandalay Bay in 2016. It’s a live, acoustic c and w program, but all the performers are songwriters and lots of have actually penned monster hits for huge stars. The intimate experience goes deep into how those hits were developed as the songwriters tell the stories of their craft before performing the tune.
Nashville Unplugged At Mandalay Bay Singer-songwriters Phillip White, Aaron Benward, Travis Howard, and Coffey Anderson perform during Nashville Unplugged in the Rhythm & Riffs lounge at Mandalay Bay Friday, March 2, 2018. Thumbnails Gallery”I started the program after I came off the roadway and was working for Warner Brothers as a songwriter and manufacturer and I had a relationship with an entertainment director in the area and ended up throwing this concept out, “says Benward, initially from Nashville and now based in L.A.” To me, the songwriters are the heroes behind the music. This show is a way to offer fans a sneak peek behind their preferred tunes.”
As a month-to-month program in suburban Las Vegas, Nashville Unplugged constructed a strong following of locals. On the Strip, the Bud Light-sponsored weekly event is still pulling a few of those loyal fans and resonating with Vegas visitors, too. “Mandalay Bay has been an amazing partner,” Benward states. “I was a little concerned about the space because the program is such a listening and storytelling environment and the [lounge] is open to the casino, but it was amazing to see the first show we did there. The people were truly taking in exactly what we were giving them.”
Last week’s installation included Phillip White, who co-wrote Rascal Flatts’ ACM Tune of the Year “I’m Movin’ On”; Travis Howard, who has actually composed for Dierks Bentley, Kat Parsons, Miranda Lambert and more; and Coffey Anderson, a singer and songwriter with eight albums to his credit.
There’s a great deal of country music to be discovered up and down the Strip these days, but Nashville Unplugged is the uncommon event that offers an entirely various viewpoint on the art kind. Benward, who’s been writing music for TELEVISION lately and is preparing to shoot his first feature film with brand-new production company Watershed, mentions that a lot of the visitor songwriters moved to Nashville or Los Angeles or New York with the hopes of signing a record offer and carrying out, so their talents go beyond composing.
“These artists are world-class all the method and it happens all the time that somebody will come to the show and enjoy it and state, ‘Why aren’t you making those records?’ The efficiency prowess is at a high level,” he says. “However there’s likewise the interaction in between the authors onstage between tunes, which is a truly authentic thing to the audience which’s exactly what really brings them in. It’s like resting on your back deck sharing your lives through song.”
Nashville Unplugged strikes the stage Fridays at 8 p.m. at Rhythm & & Riffs at Mandalay Bay (3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-632-7777) and more details can be discovered at mandalaybay.com.