And that’s a wrap. The technology gods have folded up their tents, filled their suitcases up with all their gear and hopped a flight home. Of course I caught a cold, so I’m a tad late with my CES coverage, but what can you do? Before we get to the actual gadgets from the show, let’s start with some of the more fun aspects of CES Week.
Every exciting convention week starts (and sort of ends) with your hotel pick. Circus Circus, one of the oldest hotels on the strip, is normally the butt of many a joke – some of which I probably invented. As much as I like to pick on the place, its central location and scary-cheap prices make this Vegas institution a solid pick. The cinnamon sugar chips from the 2nd floor restaurant row are to die for!
Why spend $300 a night to stay at one of fancier hotels like the Wynn/Encore or Caeser’s when the fab Circus Circus is usually less than $60 a night, has nice views of the strip and is within a reasonable walking distance of the convention center? As Macklemore & Ryan Lewis would say, “That’s some ignorant, S.”
A $30 a night upgrade gets you a big beautiful suite with a jacuzzi.
Here’s a little secret that most folks don’t know. At major conferences like CES and PMIA there are two marketing agencies that put on three- to four-hour technology showcases giving reporters an advance preview of the latest gear. They are well put together, feature amazing buffet style food, open bars, etc. Oh, and I get to see most of the latest gear in one place, in a relatively quiet environment. Did I mention the food?
I did not make the Showstoppers showcase this year, but Pepcom outdid themselves. The Wizard of Oz-themed event featured the movie playing on big screens throughout the venue, Oz characters and ice-sculptured bars.
Carmine’s Italian Restaurant
This famous New York Italian eatery has branched out to Vegas. As a family style restaurant it’s just like having all your loved ones over for the holidays – complete with happy faces, good conversation and enough food to feed an army. All the portions are gi-normous and served family style. There are large wine racks all over the bar and nice jazz music to add flavor to the atmosphere.
My friends and I argued about what to get and eventually decided on the classic spaghetti with Carmine’s “World Famous Meatballs,” and a plate of veal with lemon and butter sauce. The serving size was indeed hearty and came complete with mutant sized meatballs and the veal was so tender you could cut it with a fork. The drinks were nice, stiff and tasty, but the cheesy garlic bread was a bit tough and disappointing.
Be sure to try the tartufo, a triple-layer chocolate lover’s dream featuring a hard dark chocolate covered shell over thick chocolate cream, a cherry almond center all on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Carmine’s is located at the Shoppes at Caeser’s Palace.
Where else can you see legends Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, Little Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Drifters and The Four Tops all in one place? Hitzville USA, the Motown Tribute show playing in the Variety Theater at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops, is the place to be. This 70-minute walk down memory lane included a talented group of eight men and women who properly channeled these classic artists.
Hitzville is currently playing in Planet Hollywood’s V Theater. Ticket prices were only $60 for the VIP reserved seating and included a free drink. For $19 extra you can purchase dinner from a few of the restaurants.
Everyone who knows me, know of my irrational love of all things Prince. I actually flew to Vegas last year to see the real thing perform. How could I pass up a chance to see Purple Reign The Prince Tribute Show starring Jason Tenner at Planet Hollywood?
Tenner and his band do an amazing job of recreating the classic look and feel of Prince and the Revolution. He has Prince’s moves down to a T and the band is almost as funky as the original. He gets extra credit for rocking Prince’s guitar-heavy “Peach” and they even bring out Morris Day and The Time for a solid set.
For $50 + a one drink minimum you can’t go wrong with this show. Purple Reign is playing in Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater.
Cirque Du Soleil Presents Michael Jackson’s One
Every time I visit Vegas, I feel obligated to check out a Cirque Du Soleil show. With seven shows running concurrently, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. This week, I had a chance to see the brand new Michael Jackson: One.
This $100 million production is produced with the full blessing of and input from the Michael Jackson estate. The Immortal World Tour is a Michael Jackson concert without MJ; One, however is full-blown, classic Cirque Du Soleil. The show features numerous beautiful, moving, gasp-worthy moments.
One of the highlights is “Billie Jean.” For three minutes it was just a video of MJ’s classic Motown 25 performance projected on a big screen; this then segued into a group of performers wearing lighted outfits that made a gorgeous tapestry against a darkened stage – all while the Motown video continued to play. The show ends with a rousing rendition of “Earth Song” with the cast coming out into the crowd, people dropping from ceilings, a swirl of lights and balloons.
Overall Vegas was Vegas and always delivers the fun and thrills. This is before we even get into the actual gadgets!Powered by Sidelines