A pair of kings won the hand and rocked the house at Dolby Live at Park MGM on Thursday night. Usher showed up, unbilled but clearly ready to perform, during Bruno Mars’ penultimate show of 2021.
Get used to these two at Dolby Live, too. Mars, playing the role of international entertainment correspondent, dropped a bomb when he told the roaring crowd, “Usher is playing here next year, so get your tickets.”
Mars likes to tease from the stage (and this announcement was likely not authorized by MGM Resorts International), but he was not kidding. We can confidently report Usher will be on the Dolby Live roster in 2022, with a new show set to open likely in July. The R&B superstar has two more shows at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where he closes his residency with shows New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Usher shook up the scene deep into Mars’ performance, which nearly filled Dolby Live to its 5,200 capacity. Sitting at the keyboard, Mars had just commented that he once “wanted to be on TV, just like Usher,” at which point Usher himself strode out. The place want wild. The two then teamed on Usher’s “You Got it Bad” and “You Don’t Have to Call.” That was a happy surprise, but Mars’ announcement about Usher switching theaters was a shock.
Usher’s move south on the Strip marks the first time a Colosseum resident headliner has switched to Park MGM’s theater. Serendipitously, the venue that opened as Park Theater celebrates its fifth anniversary New Year’s Eve weekend. Stevie Nicks with special guests the Pretenders opened the venue Dec. 31, 2016.
We anticipate Usher, who has toured the venues front- and back-of-house setup, will develop an ancillary experience similar to his terrific, autobiographical “Backstory Pass” beneath the Colosseum.
By John KatsilometesLas Vegas Review-Journal