Friday, June 29, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Jeff Timmons' 'Wired' at Ovation
When: Fridays and Saturdays, 11 p.m.
Venue: Ovation Lounge at Green Valley Ranch, 2300 Paseo Verde Parkway, Henderson
Jeff Timmons is the founder and lead singer of 98 Degrees, but he probably didn’t expect to live in a desert city that is regularly hotter than 98 degrees in the summer.
Since guest hosting Chippendales at the Rio in spring 2011 in a hit engagement that was extended, the 39-year-old Ohio native has settled in Summerlin with new wife Amanda Rose and children from a previous marriage, and he couldn’t be happier.
Timmons has become a Las Vegas nightlife and event regular. Along with the Chippendales gig, he has co-hosted the 2011 Miss USA Pageant arrivals ceremony at Planet Hollywood, tapped the keg at Hofbrauhaus and appeared on numerous red carpets. And he’s been interviewed by Sun Editor at Large John Katsilometes and Tricia McCrone on “Kats With the Dish.”
Tonight at 11, Timmons kicks off “Wired,” a nightclub experience with dance, Top 40, hip-hop and -- of course -- 98 Degrees music, at Ovation Lounge at Green Valley Ranch, that is set to run every Friday and Saturday at 11 p.m. 98 Degrees fans have another reason to celebrate: “Wired” is free (for those ages 21 and older).
Timmons took a break from rehearsals to chat before his premiere tonight.
Don Chareunsy: What’s the inspiration behind “Wired” at Ovation in Green Valley Ranch?
Jeff Timmons: I love Las Vegas. What started out as a four-week stint in Chippendales turned into my family moving to Summerlin. People are really great here, and I wanted to do music this summer, put a band together and perform music that I love. Las Vegas doesn’t have a club with a hip-hop, R&B and jam band atmosphere, so I’d like to offer that a few nights a week.
D.C.: Anything in the show that might surprise your fans, like hip-hop?
J.T.: I don’t think so! 98 Degrees was signed to Motown, so we were an urban group heavily influenced by hip hop. And we love everything from New Kids on the Block to Heavy D and the Boyz to Chris Brown. It’s going to be a high-energy night of fun.
D.C.: You moved here with your family about a year ago, correct? What do you think of Las Vegas so far?
J.T.: I love it! We lived at the Rio for a month during Chippendales, and the slot machines and smoke can be a bit much. But we live in Summerlin now 20 minutes away from the Strip. It’s like Colorado; it’s beautiful and clean.
D.C.: What has been a highlight?
J.T.: I’m divorced and remarried, and, on a personal level, my daughter from a previous marriage is here now, and that means a lot to me as a father. And, professionally, being here has given me a ton of opportunities hosting shows, performing and creating. My whole life has changed, and this resurgence in my career, a second chance for my career, is amazing.
D.C.: It doesn’t sound like you’re leaving Las Vegas soon. Anything on your bucket list here?
J.T.: I’d like to create a show on the Strip. I’ve talked with a few production teams. I’d like to produce, be a part of a headline show on the Strip … and I think it’s going to happen!
D.C.: What has been the most surprising thing about living and working in Las Vegas?
J.T.: When people visit Las Vegas, they blow it all out in a couple days, and then they’re fried after spending all their money and drinking and partying too much. There is a sense of normalcy here; it slows down when you get away from the Strip. When you’re on the Strip, it’s 0 to 60! When I’m home, it’s all about my family and kids, I can coach a football team and write music.
D.C.: In a recent interview with my colleague John Katsilometes, you talked about a new album and a holiday show on the Strip. Any updates?
J.T.: That is one of those exciting opportunities here … a holiday show, and we’re still putting it together. I have a single I hope to release in August or September. I have a hundred songs for a new album, and I’d like to shoot a video locally here in Las Vegas. The Nevada Film Commission has approved it. I have an affinity for Las Vegas, as it has meant great personal and professional changes.
D.C.: Will there be a 98 Degrees reunion? You’ve gone on record saying that you want it to happen.
J.T.: It is going to happen -- on Aug. 18 at the MixTape music festival in Hershey, Pa., with New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, the Wanted, the Fray, Kelly Clarkson and more. They’re expecting about 70,000 people, so it’s huge.
D.C.: What’s the one 98 Degrees hit that you will never tire of performing?
J.T.: “Invisible Man.” It was our first song on the radio, and it put us on the map. It’s a great song with a classic vibe.
D.C.: You’re in excellent shape; obviously that was part of the reason you were chosen to be a guest host of Chippendales. How was your experience?
J.T.: I loved it; I absolutely loved it. I had the most fun in my entire career doing that gig. They are the greatest guys and really fun to hang out with. And I got myself in shape for that; I didn’t look like that before the show! I will always consider hosting and producing a nightlife Las Vegas gig. And I love that Chippendales caters to women -- to drink and have fun. The girls’ reactions are priceless.
D.C.: Tell me something that very few people know about you.
J.T.: I never sleep! I sleep maybe two hours a day because I’m an insomniac and a workaholic. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that I write and produce music. Writing music is a big passion of mine.
D.C.: Any final words on “Wired”? Do you still get nervous before a performance?
J.T.: Absolutely! I am going out of my mind before this performance. This show is a crazy workload for me. It’s two hours of music, singing, coordinating a band, choosing the right members. Ken Logan, my music director, is a godsend. It’s about getting the right people; I have an incredible female vocalist in this show. I get incredibly nervous before everything.
D.C.: Final question: Being an Ohio native, was LeBron James’ first NBA championship with the Miami Heat bittersweet for you?
J.T.: Of course! That is the perfect word -- bittersweet. In my perfect world, he would’ve won it with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron is a rare species, and you want to see someone with that skill set succeed. I’m still happy for the guy.
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and senior editor, arts and entertainment, of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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