Casino Entertainment

Casinos: REO Speedwagon powers up the ballads at Jackson Rancheria

There’s an old line about where performers go when the spotlight starts to dim. Country singers book a ticket to Branson, Mo., and rock-and-rollers head to the casinos.

The abundance of ’70s and ’80s soft-and-pop rock this weekend in Northern California and Northern Nevada casinos would seem to bear that out. What’s missing, though, is this humble observation: While many of these groups may have seen their time as hit-makers pass, they remain relevant to generations young and old who still find joy and happiness in their music.

Take REO Speedwagon, for example. They’re widely considered the founders of the power ballad, with hits like “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Keep on Loving You” and “Take It on the Run.” The band is set to play Jackson Rancheria’s outdoor venue Saturday (8 p.m.; $40, $60, $80;

That same night, the one-time leader of a band that toured with REO will be taking the stage at Cache Creek. That would be Dennis DeYoung, formerly of Styx, who will stir the crowd with “Come Sail Away” and “Mr. Roboto,” among other hits (8 p.m.; $39, $45, $65;

In addition, Air Supply arrives at MontBleu on Friday. This is a band that once matched the Beatles’ record for consecutive top-five singles and gave listeners “Lost in Love” and “All Out of Love” (8 p.m.; $45.50, $55.50; Ticketmaster).

Some funk slips into the mix Saturday with the “Big Block Party” at Thunder Valley, featuring Morris Day and The Time joined by Guy, Sheila E and Doug E. Fresh (6 p.m.; $39.75, $45.75, $55.75, $67.75, $84.75;


“Masters of Illusion” is in the middle of a 13-week new season on the CW and several of its showcased magicians will perform at Harrah’s Tahoe on Saturday (7:30 p.m.; $55; Ticketmaster).

Harrah’s Reno has brought back Greg Thompson’s “Broadway Showstoppers” for its third run since 1998. Unfortunately, it’s a ghost of its original self, the large cast diminished to four performers.

Nevertheless, the cast goes all out on the jukebox musicals like “Movin’ Out” and “Hairspray,” and veteran comedian Tony D’Andrea cheers things up quite a bit. Through Sept. 29 (8 p.m. Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays-Saturdays; $33.40, $42.40; Ticketmaster).

The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off crowned its 2014 champion over Labor Day weekend: Desperado’s BBQ of Hinckley, Ohio. Joey Chestnut won the eating contest (his eighth win in nine years), consuming 9.27 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Tahoe Fall Classic will find boarders paddling 22 miles, traveling from El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe to Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe.

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