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John Kats looks back: 10 highlights from the Colosseum’s first 10 years

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Shania shines in her Colosseum debut weekend.
Photo: Eric Kabik

Chris Rock During the short-lived Las Vegas Comedy Festival in 2008, Rock spoke of his high-end neighborhood in Florida and how his black neighbors included Alicia Keys and Patrick Ewing. “You know who one of my white neighbors is? A dentist. He didn’t invent dentistry. He’s not in the Dentists Hall of Fame. A regular, pull-your-tooth-out dentist.”

Elton John The most satisfying greatest-hits show in town. No one has made better use of the Colosseum’s vast LED screens, and Justin Timberlake-as-Elton in the video for “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” is genius.

Bette Midler The Caesars Salad Showgirls were hilarious, but my favorite moment was when Midler sat at the edge of the stage and played ukulele.

Stevie Nicks One of the shows that got the audience up and spinning. She’s played the Joint since, but Nicks’ voice never sounded better than the night I caught her at the Colosseum in 2007.

Chelsea Handler This show was geared almost uniformly to women. I haven’t looked at a bicycle seat the same way since Handler unleashed a bit about its dual functions.

Lionel Richie I’d not seen Richie in his heyday and had forgotten how many super-hits he’d written. A far better showman than he’s given credit for being.

Rod Stewart One of the most expertly performed shows, and one of the most dangerous. Stewart boots a couple dozen autographed soccer balls into the audience—the danger isn’t in the balls soaring into the crowd; it’s in the fans’ tussle to gain possession.

Celine Dion Celine is emotionally connected to Las Vegas, that much is clear. And her use of musicians onstage, placing them in the center of the action, is to be applauded, too.

Cher Two moments I particularly liked: the old video of Sonny and Cher’s “The Beat Goes On,” shot in a mall and in black-and-white, and the star’s donning of an American Indian costume for “Dark Lady.”

Shania Twain She sometimes seems lost amid the stage effects, but anyone who has the confidence to sing “Still the One” to a horse in front of 4,000 fans deserves a tip of the hat.

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