VIVA LAS VEGAS ROCKABILLY WEEKEND 2018!
Tom Ingram has done it again! Only bigger and better than ever this year! I could hardly contain my excitement hearing the Stray Cat’s would reunite for the first time in 10 years at this year’s Viva! I texted my buddy Slim Jim Phantom when I heard the news and prepared for one exciting day! The Las Rageous Festival was taking place at the same time and I just handed over my interviews with Judas Priest, Saxon and all my musician friends to my staff to be at Viva this year. Nothing was going to keep me from the Stray Cats!
This is always my favorite event each year in Las Vegas and is in my opinion the most unique! The Orleans hosts the event with music, cars, tattoos, style and fashion, incredible vendors, burlesque and excitement everywhere! People from all over the world come in droves to experience this amazing event. There were celebrity appearances everywhere throughout the event which ran April 19th through the 22nd. I always make sure not to miss the car show on Saturday as there are so many cool cars and amazing people for great phot
o ops. Along with the Stray Cats on the main stage, the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis made it rock history 101 preceding the Cat’s much anticipated appearance. The Killer is still rockin’ on his piano at 82 and the fans could hardly wait until he arrived onstage in his sequin red jacket.
When the Stray Cats hit the stage, there was no way to count the crowd which seemed to be in the 20,000 mark. Even frontman Brian Setzer commented: “This is the biggest crowd I have ever seen in a parking lot!” Brian, Slim and Lee rocked the crowd with so many of the hits – most of which I hadn’t heard in ages! It was so great to experience rock history with one of my all time favorite bands who I never had a chance to see in concert before after all these years! Thanks Tom Ingram!
I enjoyed shopping inside the Orleans as well as the car show and picked up a few things for my pal Slim Jim for doing such a great job in my documentary “Raised On Rock- The Burnette Family Legacy” which will be released soon. After
all, this is the event that I first met Rocky Burnette and decided to do my documentary two years ago. I wish Rocky had been well enough to attend this year. It was also bittersweet because I would always meet up with my friend Richard Corey at this event and if Robin Leach was there, we would meet up as well. Richard passed away last year and Robin Leach had a stroke and I am missing both my friends dearly.
As always the sun was a little much for me… (okay so I overdid it during Jerry Lee’s set dancing with a stranger in the crowd who really knew how to cut a rug!) so I had to grab a lemonade and recuperate in the food tent. After the excitement of the Stray Cats and running around shooting video and photos in the sun, I wasn’t able to go to the ballroom and dance like I had planned because I was completely wiped out. So many great rockabilly artists and cool cats and filled the Orleans that week and I had a blast getting photos and meeting some incredible people. But most of all I just LOVE the music. I am just going to make sure that I get to the ball room events next year!… In fact I might be on the lookout for my star dancer who made me a dancing fool at the car show this year! Video coming soon!
Thank you again to Tom Ingram and Alisha Alexander for credentialing us again this year to experience another spectacular Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Festival!
See you next year! Sally Steele
Stray Cat Photos: Suzie Kaplan