Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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ENTERTAINMENT:

Las Vegas music scene goes country for 10 days

If angry bulls and rodeo clowns aren’t your thing, but you still want to be a part of the excitement surrounding the National Finals Rodeo, try a concert from one of country music’s biggest artists. With more than a dozen shows in 10 days — from classics to contemporaries — it may be hard to pick a favorite. Here are the Sun’s best bets.

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      Pistol Annies

      The all-female trio led by Miranda Lambert will make its headlining debut Saturday night; just don’t make the mistake of calling the band a side project. “I don’t do side projects,” Lambert said in a news release. Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley round out the group with solo efforts and songwriting deals of their own.

      Songs you know: “Hell on Heels” and “Boys From the South”

      When: Saturday

      Where: House of Blues at Mandalay Bay

      Ticket prices: Start at $27.50

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      Brantley Gilbert

      If you know Jason Aldean, chances are you know Brantley Gilbert. The Georgia native has written or co-written recent Aldean hits “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” Gilbert has a solo career of his own and recently took his major-label debut single to No. 1 on the country charts.

      Songs you know: “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “Kick it in the Sticks”

      When: Friday-Saturday

      Where: Veil Pavilion at Silverton

      Ticket prices: $25

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      Garth Brooks

      The top-selling solo artist in U.S. history continues his residency at Wynn Las Vegas. In a stripped-down, acoustic show, Brooks narrates his rags-to-riches upbringing with a blend of comedy and music — like “VH1 Storytellers” live mixed with enough surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

      Songs you know: “Friends in Low Places” and “The Thunder Rolls”

      When: Friday-Saturday

      Where: Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas

      Ticket prices: $247.50

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      Jake Owen

      Just a short time after earning his first No. 1 single with “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Jake Owen is climbing the country charts once again with “Alone With You.” A venue like the Ovation Room will set the perfect backdrop for his library of Friday night anthems and mid-tempo ballads.

      Songs you know: “Eight Second Ride” and “Yee Haw”

      When: Friday-Saturday

      Where: Ovation Room at Green Valley Ranch

      Ticket prices: Start at $29

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      Chris Young

      Young is on a hot streak with four consecutive No. 1 singles and a fifth, “You,” climbing fast. On Thanksgiving, he took to Twitter and reflected on his last year, “Hanging with my family and looking back on a ridiculously great year. I love you guys!” Follow him @ChrisYoungMusic for the occasional ticket giveaway.

      Songs you know: “Voices” and “Tomorrow”

      When: Dec. 6-8

      Where: House of Blues at Mandalay Bay

      Ticket prices: $15

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      Merle Haggard

      After spending his younger days in and out of prison, “The Hag” solidified himself as one of country music’s first true outlaws. With nearly 40 No. 1 hits to his name, the 74-year-old legend continues to tour and release new albums. Last year, he was inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors with recognition for lifetime achievement and his contributions to American culture.

      Songs you know: “Okie from Muskogee” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me”

      When: Dec. 8-9

      Where: Golden Nugget

      Ticket prices: Start at $119

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      Trace Adkins

      Adkins is set to reprise his role as co-host of the American Country Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Monday, before headlining at the Riviera. When he isn’t on stage, you might find him on screen. The 6-foot-6 baritone was a finalist on NBC’s “The Apprentice” and appeared alongside Matthew McConaughey in “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

      Songs you know: “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “You’re Gonna Miss This.”

      When: Dec. 9

      Where: Riviera Royale Pavilion

      Ticket prices: Start at $59.40

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