If you’ve never been to a Counting Crows concert, you might innocently ask something like “What can I expect when the Counting Crows play at Borgata’s Festival Park Labor Day weekend?
Ha, you really have never been to a Counting Crows show. What to expect? Who knows?
Oh, sure, there will be Counting Crows music sung by Adam Duritz, but that’s about all you can say for sure.
A set list? They don’t use one.
Exact performances of their songs to match their recorded versions so you can sing along? Nope, they change them—and usually the lyrics—every show.
You’ll hear the band’s signature hits like “Mr. Jones,” “Round Here” and “Accidentally in Love”. Well, yeah on that one, but after that, there’s about 80 other Counting Crow songs they choose from.
The bottom line is that the Counting Crows have always been known for their live performances and their improvising on stage. It makes every Counting Crows show unique.
Take the set list. Duritz will work it out right before they take the stage September 5 at Festival Park by sending some text messages.
“It goes to the band, the crew and the opening band, if we’re good friends,” he tells USA Today in a recent interview.
At Festival Park, the opening band is Citizen Cope.
Looking at the line-up of veteran stand-up comedians that perform here on the big Event Center stage at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, it’s pretty easy to see what the typical stand-up is shooting for.
And that’s a multi-faceted, multi-media career. Seems veteran stand-ups always have books to sell, TV shows to promote and manage to play great rooms like the Event Center.
Of course, it’s not just handed to them. First they have to make a connection with America.
And few comics have ever made the connection as well as Jeff Foxworthy, who plays Borgata’s Event Center August 23.
Just hearing the name, you’re mind goes to “You might be a redneck if…” Or maybe it was “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” Or you’re thinking of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Or maybe it’s the “American Bible Challenge.”
Whichever one comes to mind, chances are you’ve spent a few very funny, down-home minutes with Foxworthy on your TV somewhere. Foxworthy even presents himself as a three-pronged attack—comedian, outdoorsman and just a plain old down-home “guy.”
He’s the largest-selling comedy-recording artist, a multiple Grammy Award nominee, and bestselling author of more than twenty-six books. He’s even launched a line of merchandise based around his “You might be a redneck” routines.
But for all his success as a TV host and unofficial spokesman for the south, Foxworthy has always made his stand-up—including the year’s with Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Ron White on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour—his main career focus.
You may know Darius Rucker as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, the mellow rock band of the 90s that put out a string of hits and one of the most successful American rock albums of the decade in “Cracked Rearview Mirror.”
Sixteen times platinum, the album featured four signature hit singles “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry,” “Only Wanna Be with You” and “Time.”
And that would be plenty for any musician’s career. Really, we could stop now and just say that Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish will be playing Borgata’s Festival Park August 15, so c’mon out and party like its 1994.
Except that’s not the Darius Rucker who’ll be playing Festival Park. Well, it is—same guy—but Darius Rucker is now a bona fide country music star.
And by bona fide, we mean he has four consecutive hit country albums with a string of six No. 1 hits on the country charts — the first No. 1’s for an African American artist since Charlie Pride in 1983. He’s a member of the Grand Ol’ Opry and he has pulled off one of the greatest musical transitions in history.
In retrospect, the transition isn’t so shocking since Ruckus is from South Carolina and formed Hootie & the Blowfish while a student at the University of South Carolina.
Proud to call himself a southerner, his 2014 album “Southern Style” sums up a lot about how Rucker looks at life and music.
When it comes to music, it’s always a good idea to listen to a guy like Smokey Robinson. When it comes to Motown, well, listening to what Smokey says isn’t just a good idea—it’s the law.
Really, look up Motown law and it says “Just listen to Smokey.”
Last August, Smokey Robinson brought the Australian Motown group Human Nature to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for a series of successful shows. So this August, again with Smokey’s blessing, we’re presenting another series of shows from Human Nature August 14, 15, 16, 21 and 22 at Borgata’s Music Box.
Hardcore Motown fans have known about Human Nature for better than 20 years. Formed by four friends from Sydney—brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney, Phil Burton and Toby Allen—who had a love for gospel, soul and harmony, they’ve topped the charts in Australia with classics such as “I’ll Be There” and “Baby, I Need Your Loving.”
Firmly ensconced it Las Vegas these days, the group announced in June it would play an East Coast tour, mostly centered on its five dates at Borgata’s Music Box.
“Although our Motown Show is in residence in Las Vegas, we have an amazing fan base across America and always enjoy our tours here.” says Andrew Tierney. “It was in Atlantic City where our Motown show was first embraced by American audiences, and we are thrilled to tour the U.S. every chance we get.
August is the time of year when a lot of homeowners take a look at their backyards and think, “You know, if we put in a nice patio or deck out here, we could have some great outdoor parties.”
That’s kind of what we here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa were thinking when we put in our new outdoor concert venue Festival Park in time for summer 2015. Ok, it was probably more complicated than that and involved architects and technicians and plumbers and stuff, but that was basically the idea.
What we do know, is that the party hasn’t stopped since we opened the place in Borgata’s beautiful bay-side backyard. In fact, we’re still coming up with party ideas for Festival Park including Festival Fridays.
Basically, every Friday from now through Labor Day weekend we are having a big old free outdoor party presented by our friends at 100.7 WZXL radio, the best rock radio station in the Atlantic City area.
There are two words that best describe the line-up for Festival Fridays. Free—‘cause these are free parties—and tribute, because we’re talking about a line-up of great rock tribute bands.
We can say that now that we launched Festival Fridays on July 31 with Philbilly, a fantastic contemporary country music band. So basically we started with a hootenanny.
But the rest of the schedule is devoted to tribute bands for some of the greatest classic rock bands ever.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has always been committed to its role as the leader in Atlantic City’s live concert and entertainment offerings. And we’ve made providing resort visitors with the best in summer entertainment a priority.
So we were pretty proud of ourselves to have presented Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at Borgata’s Event Center on Friday, July 24.
This was a show that sold out in minutes back in February, and the two great entertainers did not disappoint.
Performing with a full orchestra, they opened the show with the classic, and fairly appropriate, “Anything Goes,” followed by their smash hit “Cheek to Cheek.”
It’s a rare thing to see an 88-year-old singer in Bennett hold his own with a 29-year-old singer in Gaga, but the reviews are in and Bennett’s voice was as smooth and pure as if he were 29 as well.
As Billboard Magazine said in its review:
“Even though Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga’s “Cheek to Cheek” duets album has been with us for nearly a year, nothing quite prepares you for the startling contrast and sheer delight of seeing the 88-year-old vocal legend and the 29-year-old pop icon onstage together, singing material written before Gaga’s father was even born.”
“So when a dapper Bennett and shimmery Gaga took the stage at Borgata’s Event Center on Friday night in Atlantic City, the novelty of the unlikely-yet-organic pairing didn’t wear off until after they’d finished a one-two-three punch opener of “Anything Goes,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “They All Laughed.”
For modern music fans, the idea of two star singers sharing a stage and swapping banter and mixing together classic song stylings might seem a little foreign, but it was much more common when Bennett started his career.
With Lady Gaga, Bennett has undoubtedly brought the idea back.
You have to love it when serendipity kicks in and the timing is right here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
Grammy award winning singer Miguel Pimentel comes to Borgata’s Music Box this August 8 playing with L.A. rock band Dorothy. And that means Borgata will host one of his first concerts after his new album “Wildheart’ drops. The single “Coffee” is already out.
And it’s much anticipated album, coming off the success of 2012’s “Kaleidoscope Dreams”, which made the Los Angeles native a star and earned him a Grammy for the single “Adorn”. The album set off a slew of live performances on TV, including a pretty controversial one at the Billboard Music Awards in 2013 (Google it).
Throw in his hit duet with Mariah Carey of “Beautiful” and it finally made Miguel a star, but as he recently told Rollingstone.com, he wasn’t exactly and overnight success.
“It was just like pushing a boulder up and up and up a hill and then you finally get to the top,” he says.
Well, he’s at the top now and describes “Wildheart” as “an ode to love of self … the ongoing infatuation with whatever you’re f—ing into.”
The album mixes rock, soul and post-Prince freakiness into stark, atmospheric territory.
At this point, you have to give comedian George Lopez his due as a pioneer.
Lopez—who brings his stand-up act to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in the Event Center July 11—was the first Mexican American to headline a TV show (two actually) and the first Latino host of a late-night talk show.
Lopez is best known for his six-season run on the TV show George Lopez, which is still a hit in syndication. He also spent two years as the host of Lopez Tonight on TBS. He’s produced and acted in the movie Spare Parts and appeared in several others and is the author of “I’m Not Gonna Lie and Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50.”
If it sounds like we’re rattling off his resume, well, … it’s a pretty impressive resume. As Lopez often says, not bad for a poor kid from Los Angeles.
Of course, for Lopez it all started with stand-up more than 30 years ago—he returned to it a few years ago—which eventually brought him success.
“It means a lot in that I always felt invisible, and I was louder in my own head than I was verbally, … I was torturing myself, wanting to say things and not knowing how to be.” Lopez says. “The stand-up was a way out but it never came easy. So to have something that’s named after me make it, and that has history tied to Desi and Freddie and now Freddie Jr., it’s unbelievable to me because I never really thought anything good would happen to me.”
Still, success hasn’t softened Lopez—at least not on stage—and he still can bring it to a stand-up audience.
In American pop culture, few things are as much fun to watch as when a singer explodes on the music scene and becomes the hot star of the moment.
A case in point is Meghan Trainor. Ever since Trainor’s “All About the Bass” rocketed to No. 1 on the charts last year, everything Trainor does, says and sings about gets tweeted, blogged and discussed.
So when doctors advised the “Dear Future Husband” singer that she had to rest her voice due to a vocal cord hemorrhage and she began cancelling shows on her new tour—including her July 3 scheduled appearance at Borgata Festival Park—a lot of concern was expressed in cyberspace.
And the ton of “get well soon” messages that flooded Twitter and Instagram may have helped as the 21-year-old singer has gone on Instagram to say she’s recovering.
“But there is good news! I’m feeling much better,” Trainor wrote after announcing a couple more cancellations.
“Thank you Dr. Kessler for seeing me immediately and being so helpful and thank you guys for all the edits/get well posts you made. You made me feel a lot better about this crappy situation. I love you all so much.”
After cancelling her July 4th weekend shows, Trainor said “Right now the doctors want me on complete vocal rest until they are healed. I have never missed a tour date before so this is killing me.”
We’re pretty excited about Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s new outdoor concert venue at Festival Park and we’ve already announced a star-packed line-up of concerts and events for its inaugural summer.
But most of all, we want you to be there.
So we’re also offering the Borgata Festival Park Social Challenge to celebrate the opening of Festival Park and give you a chance to win amazing prizes over the next six weeks.
By completing some simple, fun tasks, you can compete in the Challenge by sharing with friends, answering fun trivia and other activities. Prize packages include Festival Park concert tickets, overnight stays at Borgata, meet and greets with top artists and more.
All you have to do is earn 1,000 points during an entry period to be included in the random drawing. As an added bonus, accumulate the most points between now and July 26 to win the Bonus Leaderboard Prize, which includes two tickets to three Festival Park shows of your choice and an overnight stay.
Some of the ticket packages up for grab include: