Friday, September 13, 2019

Nurse Nikki's Neon Nightcrawl - Wednesday Sept 11, 2019

Wednesday September 11th - Red Rock Casino - Rocks Lounge The Pleasure Cruise 

by Nikki Ruffling

 Wednesday night saw the return of local yacht rock cover band, the Pleasure Cruise. A guilty pleasure of mid 70s to early 80s music brought to you by some of Las Vegas’ most prolific musicians.

 Headed up by vocalist Rick Duarte (Newfield, Epstein’s Mother, Love Shack and President of Frequency Entertainment), drummer Shaun Flannery (Race to Red, Drawing Boxes, Love Shack and Co-President of Frequency), and joined by keyboardist Jeff Celentano (Tripsitter, Bee Gees Gold, Good Vibrations), the guys had been on a hiatus but are now back into the fold. Backed up tonight by guitarist Mike Powers, Rob Stone on sax and Beau Doyle on percussion, the guys packed the Rocks Lounge for an early set. The Pleasure Cruise started in 2009 as an idea by Duarte and Flannery to bring an untapped genre to the spotlight. Known then as The Guilty Pleasures, the band had regular gigs at the strip casinos such as Mandalay Bay. Winners of the Best Cover band in 2012 by Las Vegas Review Journal, the band set sail with great tunes that take you back to easier times.

 Now as the Pleasure Cruise, the band brings the audience on a sonic trip back to the days of strong musicianship and when music was a lifestyle, dictating culture, clothing and even the type of booze you drank. The band started out with hits from Hall and Oats, Little River Band, Player, Michael Jackson, and Steely Dan. Midway through their powerhouse 90 minute set, they were joined by guest Jon Celentano (Tripsitter, The Moonshiners) as his alter ego Michael “Mack” Donald. If you close your eyes, you really think the “Sultan of Smooth” is really there and singing; Celentano is that good.
The greatest part of The Pleasure Cruise is that every member has a pitch perfect voice and their harmonies are breathtaking. The collective amount of talent on stage is amazing, and the band thrives on bringing humor to the show by having quirky stage names (Flannery is Captain Anton Neil, Duarte is Rico Riviera, Jeff is Ronnie Dallas) and leaves you laughing hysterically at their one liners and segues. The evening was filled with more great songs from ELO and Christopher Cross, and fun was had by all. It was a great way to let loose and relax, and while the band may not play all the time , they are definitely worth the effort to go see when they do !