I Heart Radio: Seacrest/Clear Channel celebrate in Las Vegas
The guys on Las Vegas Boulevard barking out ticket deals in front of the Bellagio this morning weren't offering Donny & Marie or George Wallace passes. They were hollering Lady Gaga's name, Jay-Z, Coldplay, Rascal Flatts access, in the form of scalped admission to the weekend's sold out I Heart Radio Music Festival, which will bring some of the world's biggest musical names to the MGM Grand on Friday and Saturday to celebrate terrestrial radio and to launch the new Clear Channel-created "I Heart Radio" smartphone app. The corporation has spent a ton of money marketing the app, at least based on the campaign's ubiquity on the Vegas Strip.
Billed as "The Biggest Live Music Event in Radio History" (three-word rebuttal: "Moondog Coronation Ball"), the concerts run from 7 p.m. to midnight both nights at the MGM's Grand Garden Arena. Friday's lineup will include: Jay-Z, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson and Jane's Addiction -- with special guests promised throughout the evening.
Saturday's most recent big news is that actor Justin Timberlake -- who apparently also has a pretty good singing voice -- is on the bill, though not as a performer but to introduce Lady Gaga. Timberlake's been dipping his toes back into the music game in recent months, though, so speculation is high that he may tease the crowd with some music. (Or not.) Also slated for Saturday are Kenny Chesney, Nicki Minaj, Sublime with Rome, Rascal Flatts, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, David Guetta, Usher, Sting and Jeff Beck. Expect guests on Saturday, too. (Opinionated aside: Jersey Shore's Pauly D. will be DJing, which probably doesn't make the country's many excellent professional disc jockeys happy.)
Pop & Hiss will be tweeting and blogging the weekend's I Heart Radio festivities, so check back for updates and head here to follow me. (Caveat: cell reception in the cavernous casino complexes are hit/miss, but I'll do my very best.)
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: Ryan Seacrest at the 63rd annual Prime Time Emmy Awards Show on Sept.18, 2011, at Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live, Los Angeles.Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times