The Daily Valet. - 2/7/24, Wednesday
Wednesday, February 7th Edition
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
In all the times I've been to Vegas, I've never seen someone in residency perform. Perhaps because I rarely leave the roulette table.
Today’s Big Story
The New Era of Vegas Residencies
More and more performers are turning Sin City into the modern entertainment capital of the world
These aren’t your parents’ Vegas shows. Sin City residencies have not only enjoyed a revival, but the practice itself has fundamentally changed over the last decade. The concept, which Cher once famously called an “elephant graveyard where talent goes to die,” is now a career milestone that has marked diva status for the likes of Celine Dion, Adele, J.Lo, Britney Spears and well, even Cher herself.
But what was once eponymous with major pop acts is entering a new era, reports Thrillist. A series of contemporary and legacy rock and R&B groups have debuted Vegas shows to major success, and now in 2024, the Strip will see its first-ever rap residency from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. The New York City–bred collective, known for classics like “Protect Ya Neck”, “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Triumph,” will play The Saga Continues… at the Theater at Virgin Hotels during the weekends of Super Bowl LVIII in February and the NCAA’s March Madness.
Live Nation Las Vegas president Kurt Melien told The Hollywood Reporter that Latin artists could be the next major trend in residencies. He added that one of the biggest reasons residencies are so appealing (on top of the lack of traveling for the performer), is that no other city has invested as much into building modern theaters uniquely designed for live musical performances like Vegas has.
Well, that and the huge paychecks. According to Pollstar, the average ticket price for live entertainment in Vegas from 2021-22 was $151.69—the highest in America. Which is how casinos can afford to back up the Brinks trucks with such huge contracts to attract everyone from Beyoncé and Mariah Carey to Usher and Dead & Company.
And let’s not forget that crowds at Vegas residencies often feature superfans willing to travel across the world for their favorite artist. On a world tour, a performer is bound to attract locals who might only know one or two of the artist’s songs. While the same is true of a Las Vegas show, the likelihood of drawing in die-hard fans is higher because that’s often the only place an artist will perform for the duration of their contract. Fans from all around the world are happy to flock to the Strip to make a weekend out of seeing their favorite performers live.
A Day of Dysfunction in Congress
House GOP erupts in fury over “embarrassing” and “shameful” defeats on Tuesday
Republicans in Congress suffered a humiliating series of setbacks on Tuesday on critical elements of their agenda, reports the New York Times. The chaos turned the Capitol into a “den of dysfunction” that has left several major issues, including U.S. military aid to Ukraine and Israel, in limbo amid political feuding.
According to Axios, it’s part of a “broader pattern of House Republican leadership struggling to pass measures through the narrowly divided chamber due in large part to their sharply divided conference.” It also has lawmakers criticizing leadership's general strategy and questioning why bills are being brought to the floor without the votes to pass.
As Republicans in the Senate torpedoed a border deal they had demanded, the bid by their counterparts in the House to impeach Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, collapsed amid Republican defections. As Congress stewed, Biden blamed Trump. “Republicans have to decide who do they serve: Donald Trump or the American people?” Biden posed in a speech at the White House. “Are they here to solve problems, or just weaponize problems for political purposes?”
"None of these candidates" was the winner of the Nevada Republican primary, dealing Haley an embarrassing blow.
Bluesky Ditches the Waiting List
A year after debuting in private beta, the decentralized Twitter competitor is ready to open up
Still looking for somewhere to take your short, text-based social media posts now that Elon Musk has sculpted the platform formerly known as Twitter in his own image? If the only thing holding you back from the buzzy platform Bluesky was the lack of an invite code, you are in luck. On Tuesday, social media platform Bluesky finally ditched the invite-only system and opened registration to everyone.
Before opening to the public, TechCrunch says Bluesky had about 3 million sign-ups. Now that anyone can join, the young platform faces a challenge: How can it meaningfully stand up to Threads’ 130 million monthly active users, or even Mastodon’s 1.8 million?
For those who missed Bluesky’s first hype cycle last spring, the service is functionally similar to X and Threads. The posts—lovingly referred to by some early users as “skeets”—default to a chronological timeline, though users can also follow numerous other algorithmic feeds created by fellow users. Right now, the only version is the service created by Bluesky, the company. But that will soon change, as the company plans to start experimenting with federation, which will allow other developers and groups to create their own instances of Bluesky. “The protocol is like an API that's permanently open,” the CEO tells Engadget. “And that means that developer creativity can kind of go wild.”
Curious how it stacks up to the other social media platforms? Forbes investigates.
Southwest Airlines Introduced News Seats
They’re smaller, of course, and everyone has something to say about them
The Southwest Airlines marketing team has probably had a busy last couple of days. The airline just unveiled its new cabin design, and flaunted its new seats that are made to “enhance cabin comfort.” Yet, the internet doesn’t think so—and people on TikTok are calling B.S.
“I’m not sure anybody is excited for their smaller and thinner seats,” reads the caption of a video that just went viral. In it, the poster shows how seats used to be on Southwest flights, and then proceeds to compare them to the new ones, claiming the cushioning looks even thinner than before. “What I’m seeing is rock hard seats,” says another user. “The best Delta ad I've seen,” adds another one.
Apparently, the new seats were designed in collaboration with Recaro, an aircraft seating company based in Germany known for peculiar designs. Southwest chose a custom version of Recaro’s BL3710 model, which the airline says, underwent “multiple rounds of comfort testing with hundreds of participants.” And while some customers expressed concerns that the new design would lead to the airline trying to squeeze in more rows, Southwest said it has “no plans” to add more seats or change the cabin configuration.
A plus size influencer is calling on airlines to make seats bigger because they can't accommodate her size.
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