“Matt Goss at The Mirage… Truly, One-Of-A-Kind!”
Friends, if you happen to find yourself Stateside – Las Vegas, to be precise – there is one new wonder of the world, which must be seen.
But it’s not so much a what, as a, whom.. and he, is Mr. Matt Goss.
Having just returned from an impromptu flying visit to, arguably, the home of show-stopping entertainment and after experiencing the most incredible Matt Goss Marathon of sell-out nights, at the legendary “Mirage Hotel”, I declare that, neither your eyes, nor ears will deceive you… because he is the real deal! In fact, not only do I, wholeheartedly, vouch for his title, “New King of Vegas”, I put it to you, that he will remain undisputed.
That he is a veritable beacon of distinct creative giftings, is well-known… however, headlining an uber-successful, “up-close-and-personal” residency, takes gravitas of another echelon… and ensconced within the intimate environs of The Mirage’s “1 OAK Nightclub”, is the undeniable proof, in the rare gem of a production…where two hours of live, power-packed escapism, filled with crackling anecdotes and faultless stagecraft, epitomise contemporary Vegas and creativity, of the highest order.
Matt is a maestro… a consummate storyteller and his stories must be told.. at times, in cheeky recollections of past loves…at others, framed by a deeper introspection…his thrilling repertoire of past and present ballads and mash-ups, twist and turn with digressions, the punchlines, of which, have the entire room hanging onto his every word, whether spoken or sung.
As leader of a new brand of “old-skool, new-cool” performer, he is loyally supported by the perfect comedic timing of his partner-in-rhyme, “Big Joe” and a capsule selection of artistes of, nigh-on inconceivably, sky-high musicianship, showcasing sublime front-man, sonic delivery, with a tone, as deliciously smooth as the “Tuxedo” cocktail on offer, (one of a comprehensive list of eponymous variations, of a libate nature!) and as intoxicating to the Soul.
Arrangements are joyous and rousing… reflective of a profound knowledge and appreciation of a genre-rich musical intelligence.. One of the most prevalent examples would be “The Day We Met”, which, would suggest reminiscences of encountering a new love, when, the opposite would be more accurate. What begins with a “Smokey Robinson and The Miracles”, sensibility and 4/4 ease, (which, I believe could also be wonderfully-suited to a Lovers-Rock backdrop), cruises into a Marvin Gaye mood, soon becoming a Ska-fest, with a superb “Specials” reference to their classic, “Too Much Too Young” and then morphs into Carnival Dancehall rhythms, sending the room into a frenzy… only to re-emerge, with a James Brown-èsque breakdown, to the epiphany of, “Sometimes you have to leave the one you love, to find the one you love”… Having looked around the room, at the very moment in which such wisdom keys sink into psyches, it is of no surprise, that the standing ovations come thick and fast… How could they not, when expressive guitar riffs are finely-knit with anchoring bass-lines, peppered, with skilfully-percussive rim-shots and irresistible vocals, from two of the most dynamic backing songstresses you will hear anywhere, let alone the Vegas Strip!!
The phenomenal ensemble makes for premium production value, the force of which can be felt in every square inch of the speakeasy-style space. To that end, Matt stalks the dais-stage, like the proverbial lion…. Majestic, oozing charisma and energy, he is a sartorially-meticulous, human international grid, illuminating the room with unabashed and unrelenting fervour, until observers become participants, in super-fast time… Only his dance moves could be said to have greater velocity… and this man can move… Complemented by a series of dancing sirens, who personify grace and sass, not only, does Matt revolve like a spinning-top-of Soul, his freedom to move amongst the guests and interact, is utterly seamless…
… and democratic… because, if interaction is what you want, then this is what you can and, surely, will, get! To be front row, is a privilege… and when I say front, I mean, front… like, smell the divinely-scented-aftershave-of-the-man, front.. like, be-offered-a-hand-and-serenaded-by-the-man, front… and if not that, then steel-blue eye-contact, with flames of warmth will hold you captive, because his, is the intention of recognising everyone and encouraging “oneness”. Whether it be in clapping as one, to singing (and improvising lyrics) as one, his deep-rooted desire to inspire and facilitate unity, through musicality, is admirable.
Completely logical, thus, that so many admirers from around the globe, descend upon this place… from an, ever-devoted, British contingent, to super-fans from Australia and Italy, all join the savvy Las Vegas locals… and all expect to be transported to “Gossy World”, where you cannot out-glitz or out-glamour the occasion… Quite frankly, people go all-out, to turn-up, and the entertainment exuded on their musical excursion, is beyond first-class!
It is for this inherent ability to translate and transmit from the stratosphere of ever-changing moods, in consistently exemplary fashion, that return visits are so commonplace, why tickets are so sought-after and why Matt Goss’s star will only continue to, exponentially, rise… It’s also a reason why, as in “Hotel California” so many, check out of The Mirage, but can never leave… It’s the entire reason why so many others, myself included, have fallen, not only for Las Vegas, but the sheer, prolific genius of this, most talented, South London boy-turned-man.. for, not only has he made good, but he is a uniquely authentic example of the Humanity, Civility, Passion and Professionalism which go into making an Artist, truly great…
©A_F_R_O_W2018-2019. All Rights Reserved.
Click-through for December 2018 ticket availability to see “Matt Goss At The Mirage”!
Sincerest Afrow-appreciation to “Big Joe”, Olly, Ashley and the amazing 1 OAK Family, for their supreme kindness and hospitality at every show!