On Sunday, March 13, Reno joins a pretty prestigious roster of concert locations, including the Acropolis, Kremlin, Pyramids of Giza, Taj Mahal and Forbidden City. It is able to do so because of the conversion of the Grand Sierra’s theater to studio seating for upward of 2,700 people, making it a venue that can now accommodate Yanni.
Yanni is one of the biggest artists to play the theater, which has in the past presented the likes of Frank Sinatra. But Sinatra required only a 38-piece orchestra and never dreamed of a production on Yanni’s scale. His lighting requirements alone preclude many venues from hosting him.
The Greek musician/composer comes to town on the heels of “Sensuous Chill,” released two months ago. Its third track has created some buzz, being a remix of his “Looking Glass” from the “Keys to Imagination” album. A running length of 70 minutes makes the album truly long-play in the traditional sense, meant to be played nonstop and preferably over and over, as Yanni has said. Sound-wise it is reminiscent of his work in the 1990s.
This concert is also expected to include music from his 2011 “Truth of Touch” album, which marked a return to mostly instrumental music.
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“Sensuous Chill” is the latest in a run that has yielded Yanni 40 platinum and gold albums with more than 25 million sold. His music videos have done only slightly less well. His “Live at the Acropolis” video spent 229 weeks on Billboard’s Top Music Video chart.
No other artist has achieved quite the sound mix that has largely defined Yanni’s music, a combination often of whatever works – classical, soft rock, jazz, world – and most often with a mix he made prominent, of full orchestra with synthesizers. He was heavily inspired by the music scores of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith. (8 p.m.; $52-$97; grandsierraresort.com)
One of the greatest crooners of all time arrives for two nights at Cache Creek on Friday and Saturday, March 11-12. Engelbert Humperdinck shared a lot with Tom Jones in the 1970s, including dominating showrooms. But while Jones sang before screaming females, Humperdinck’s fans were somewhat more inclined to swoon. Expect a more sedate reaction these days, but enthusiastic nevertheless for his ballads. (8 p.m.; $54-$79; cachecreek.com)
On Sunday, March 13, Cache Creek continues its big band dance afternoons, this week with the perfectly named Martini Straight Up. (1 p.m.; $20 or free with club card)