Robbie Williams, global pop superstar from Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom playing a limited three month residency at The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. Most Americans are unfamiliar with this pop star so for a little insight on this pop superstar, Robbie is a household name in most countries and continents apart from the USA, especially unknown in the western part of the United States. He came out of the 90s boy band, Take That. In my opinion, he shone from the Take That lineup from day one and finally after a few years with the boy band, he went solo. And going solo was a great decision. As he is in the Guiness Book of records for 11 titles, including his records sales, at over 77 million worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. Williams was entered in The Guinness Book of World Records when, after he announced his World Tour for 2006, 1.6 million tickets were sold in one day. For his Knebworth shows in the UK, 375,000 tickets for one weekend, (3 consecutive days), were sold out in 5 minutes! He has also received a record eighteen Brit Awards, including Best British Male Artist four times, two for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the 2017 Brits Icon for his "lasting impact on British culture!"
When Robbie announced his Vegas shows I began my efforts at securing tickets. My first tries for his shows in March were unsuccessful. He then added shows for June and first weekend in July, and I managed to purchase two nights, June 19 and 21st. I warn you, being a Robbie Williams superfan may overshadow this blog a tad. But then again if I were not a Robbie superfan I may have not gone to this much trouble to get to his shows. And upon arrival to the event on June 19 that evening I realized very quickley i was not alone! I'd estimate 80% of the audience flew in from all over the globe to be present at these intimate shows. From the UK, and South America to Australia...the audience was clearly made up from a global audience. The percentage of Americans in the audience was in the minority for sure. Robbie made a point of this fact, and said to the Americans in the audience to "tell your fucking friends about me cause I want to be famous in this country too!" I remember a dozen or so years ago, he had said that he lives in LA because he likes to be able to walk his dogs and go to Starbucks without being mobbed. I'm guessing he's tired of the annonimity?
The show opened a few minutes past 8pm with a Robbie anthem. Including lines like, "he can sing like a bastard, and can rock all night long", and "He is totally global, except in the U S of A". And both lines are absolutely correct!
He sang 11 covers and 9 originals plus one song, Barry Manilows' "Copacabana" sung by his pal Mark Brown from Darlington. (Why...I dont know). In my opinion, as a Robbie superfan, I was greatly dissappointed by his overall song choice. I really wanted him to do as many of HIS OWN songs as time allows. He has a large library of tunes to choose from that are all his own, and all excellent. I also could've done without 'Copacabana' and for that matter, his pal owning the stage for the five+ minutes for that song. I did not fly to Vegas, buy tickets, and a hotel stay to see his friend sing a Barry Manilow song. I went to the trouble and expense, because I wanted to see as much of Robbie as possible, as did the audience that came in from all over the planet.
Robbies' entrance consisted of him being lowered on a platform from the ceiling singing, "Live in Las Vegas" a song obviously written specifically for these shows. Then he went into his hit, and normal opener, "Let me Entertain You". And entertain us he did for the next two hours. The stage, complete with typical Vegas showgirls and glitz. The tunes were intermingled with banter with the audience and stories. His dad, Pete joined him on stage for two songs, and has toured with him for the last dozen or so years. Much to my surprise because the publicized animosity between the two for many of his growing years. Glad to know they made amends and are now working together.
Word of warning about the Wynn Hotel venue...The last five rows of the floor, rows V-Z are an obstructed view and Ticketmaster did not disclose this. It has a low ceiling and affected the acoustics due to this. The bass was booming under the low ceiling. Also, as part of the show was shown on the screen behind the stage, you will be SOL to see the screen. My partner is a 6'1" musician, so both the bad acoustics and the low ceiling in those back rows were a definite issue. The second night we saw the Robbie show was a completely different experience...we sat 7th row. We were one row in front of Ayda, Robbies wife. Much better show! All in all, I've seen Robbie at Knebworth, UK with 125,000 other attendees, and in Milan, Italy in a venue that held somewhere around 5000. This venue probably held around 1200 and felt wonderfully intimate. It was a fantastic experience, even with all the cover tunes, and obstructed views. This was probably partially due to the fact that we had such a great time in Vegas together. We coupled it with many fun activities but very little gambling. There are so many activities in Vegas. We even made it out to the beautiful Red Rocks. But then again, we are pretty fortunate, as we seem to have big laughs and a great time whatever we do.
To sum this Robbie show up...the small venue was the best part. The international audience was fun, and last but not least...Robbie still has it! He killed it!!! My partner had never heard of Robbie Williams before this trip. He also thought that the Robbie show was brillant. America...you are missing out on a fantastic entertainer! He is the Sinatra of modern times for sure!
Setlist for the Robbie Williams in Vegas shows:
The National Anthem of Robbie
Party Like a Russian
Live in Las Vegas
Let Me Entertain You
She's the One / Feel / Candy
Land of 1000 Dances
(Chris Kenner cover)
Minnie the Moocher
(Cab Calloway & His Orchestra cover)
Ain't That a Kick in the Head
(Dean Martin cover)
It Wasn't Me
(Jerry Jeff Walker cover)
(Carson and Gaile cover)
(Neil Diamond cover)
(Marion Montgomery cover)
(The Everly Brothers & Harry Belafonte cover)
(Barry Manilow cover) (sung by Mark Brown)
Swings Both Ways
Love My Life
Whole Lotta Love (Intro) / Kids