We all know that age-old phrase: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. While typically the mystery of that statement envelops the events of what goes down in Sin City, at least this time, it’s not the case as VIBE embarked on a journey to enjoy, “An Evening With Silk Sonic” on Sunday (May 29)—the final night of the first run of their residency at The Park MGM hotel’s Dolby Live theater.
As guards handed out Yondr pouches, upon arrival, to ensure attendees followed the strict no-phone policy—per Silk Sonic’s request—I noticed the warm, earth tones that balanced out the venue’s bright ambiance. Yet, it was the array of eye-catching looks that reflected from the disco ball in the middle of the room that put those who opted for a more casual attire look to shame.
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As seen in award show performances since their inception, Silk Sonic is known for their dramatically comical theatrics and nostalgic-laden musical influences. Kicking off the two-hour set with an explosive performance of “777,” the show was a well-sequenced, true mastery in visual storytelling.
With a vibrant backdrop reminiscent of the Soul Train era, it was the lighting that elevated the show and cemented the notion Silk Sonic has been studying incomparable performers of the past. Bruno Mars’ guitar solo guitar during “After Last Night” under a single blue spotlight revived the spirit of Prince, but his picturesque silhouettes had Michael Jackson written all over them. The duo’s transition from “Put On A Smile” into The Dramatics’ “In The Rain,” followed by an acoustic outro of Bruno’s “When I Was Your Man” complete with a thunderstorm backdrop above a park bench was peak beggin’ R&B.
Anderson .Paak’s signature wig swayed with him as he animatedly danced around the stage. I immediately spotted a tattoo of Stevie Wonder’s Hotter Than July cover in the middle of his chest, peeping through his cream-colored silk blouse. Not to mention, his adlibs and mid-set commentary kept the crowd engaged and entertained as he pointed out all the fine women in the front row and clowned us for not being able to record anything. The two even jokingly made a tune of the phrase, “we took your phones away/we took your phones away.”
Both crooners also clearly studied the likes of James Brown, The Temptations, The Chi-Lites, and alike as seen when solo spotlights flashed on beat with the music. They started off the show being very precise with the movement and gradually came into their own with more fluidity. Bruno even segued into Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” during their performance of ConFunkShun’s “Love’s Train” as a nod to the past. Yet, two personal highlights were Bruno paying homage to his Billboard chart topping album 24K Magic, with a slowed-down rendition of “That’s What I Like” and the trumpet solo of “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” into “Fly As Me” from their Grammy-winning horn player, Maurice ‘MoBetta’ Brown.
Not to mention, they sung an extended version of “Smokin Out The Window” that needs to be on the deluxe version of the album, if that’s the direction they choose to go in. Under a sea of rainbow lighting effects and funky spaceship visuals, they blasted off into the finale before Bruno returned to the stage in Anderson’s wig for the encore of the song that began their journey, “Leave The Door Open”—complete with ubiquitous confetti.
If I were to say anything was missing, it was a dance battle between Bruno and Anderson. However, it was the type of show you’d want to relive as soon as it ends, so here’s hoping these two take this act on the road, because it’s one everyone needs to see. For now, check Silk Sonic back in Vegas this August.