It’s not just another Tuesday for singer Adam Lambert. Today (Feb. 4) he releases a new song, “Roses” featuring Nile Rodgers, announces a new album, Velvet, out March 20, and his first solo headlining gig in Las Vegas, April 22 and 24-25 at the Venetian Theatre.
His first turn in Las Vegas, back in September 2018 was a 10-night sell-out at Park Theater — where Lady Gaga performs — with Queen + Adam Lambert’s “The Crown Jewels” residency.
Live Nation’s Billy Conn, the promoter behind the Venetian Theatre, says that Lambert was an easy choice for a “mini residency” as he appeals to different audiences from a range of demographics.
This reach can be attributed to Lambert’s appearance on American Idol season 8, his vibrant solo career including a Grammy Award nomination for “Whatya Want From Me,” his second record Trespassing, which reportedly became the first album to reach the No. 1 spot in the U.S. and Canada by an openly gay artist, and touring as the lead singer of Queen since 2012.
“He’s created new fans on both sides,” Conn says. “Look at all the tickets that Queen [has sold] and all the touring. You had a lot of Queen fans [who didn’t know who] Adam was, and vice versa. It should be very unique to see the two different age groups cross over to come see the show.”
Tickets go on sale Feb. 8 for Velvet, his three-night limited engagement at Venetian Theatre. Lambert will tour the 13-song Velvet across Europe starting in Manchester, U.K. on Aug. 30 for the Manchester Pride festival, before playing London’s Wembley Arena and making his way across Europe concluding in Helsinki on September 12.
The Venetian Theatre has seen an incredible arc over the last decade. Formerly the home of the stage production of Phantom of the Opera, now it is a top selling venue for heritage acts such as Chicago, Doobie Brothers and ZZ Top and country stars such as Tim and Faith, Willie Nelson and Rascal Flatts.
“Chicago has been coming for the last four years. And we continuously keep their residency going with eight to nine shows every calendar year. Styx has come through the room. ZZ Top, Steely Dan. And we had some great success in the shorter more limited runs, with Jackson Browne, Michael McDonald,” Conn says.
At 1,800 seats, its capacity is a sweet spot for touring musicians, offering a more intimate experience for audiences that are accustomed to seeing these acts in larger venues.
“We just finished up with Foreigner for five shows, and they’re coming back next year. They’re going out in 18,000-seat venues throughout the United States. When you have something this intimate, in the first row, you’re literally six feet away from the front of the stage. There is not a bad seat in the house. People just feel very comfortable inside that room,” Conn says. “It’s not a touring show. The fans know the show’s going to be completely different. All of the bands embrace the whole idea about creating something different for Vegas.”
For performers, a residency means less wear and tear—the get to sleep in the same bed every night, have family and friends come greet them after the show and on their days off they get to explore the city. “They’re just rested,” he says. “They’re reinvigorated.”
For example, Willie Nelson rented out an Airbnb because he didn’t want to be in a casino.
“Almost everyone said it was the best Willie sounded in years, because of how energetic he was when he came on stage each and every night,” Conn says.
There are 80 shows-plus planned for the Venetian Theatre in 2020 with most, if not all, expected to be sell outs, Conn says.