by Alexis Ann
Mohegan Sun’s great lineup of entertainment for Columbus Day weekend kicked off with a “Live Idols” event on Friday, October 10th at 7:00pm. Former American Idol finalist Blake Lewis touched down in a private helicopter right outside Riverview Valet Parking where an elegant limo and white-gloved chauffeur awaited his arrival about an hour before he performed a free show in The Shops concourse followed by a signing event in front of SolToro Tequila Grill. Moments before his performance, Blake greeted special members of his fan club just outside the Arena.
Greeting the Resident Good News upon being introduced by Melissa Tarlton, public relations, Mohegan Sun, Blake graciously offered me a photo op.
Taking an interest in my camera, he asked, “What model number is that Nikon?”
“A D80,” I answered.
Eager to try out my camera, Blake said, “Let me take a photo of you girls.” Taking the role of Resident photographer, he began clicking away photographs of my photographer, Melanie Watrous and me.
When I asked Blake what he likes best about his job, he answered, “I love meeting all the people around the world.” He told the Resident that he is astounded at the number of fans he has as a result of American Idol.
“I can’t believe that I get paid for doing what I love to do!” Certainly, Blake’s exuberance shines through as he greets fans and talks about his on-fire career.
Melanie and I listened to his upbeat performance while enjoying a wonderful dinner on the patio of Todd English’s premier Tuscany Restaurant.
Mohegan Sun’s “Live Idols” event features live, free performances in The Shops concourse at Mohegan Sun, followed by a merchandise signing. Blake signed copies of his debut album “Audio Day Dream,” and “Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul,” both of which were available for purchase at Spin Street leading up to and on the day of the event. I purchased his “Audio Day Dream.” It rocks!
Blake Lewis’ talent, musical dexterity and vision existed long before making it to the final round of American Idol in 2007. With a great voice, Blake is an impressive beatboxer and has tremendous skill on the guitar, keyboard and drums. His influences range from Funk, Soul and synthesized Pop to old school Hip Hop, and he incorporates it all into his music. For his album Audio Day Dream, he hooked up with Grammy nominated singer and famed record producer Ryan Tedder, on eight tracks. Other collaborations include Maroon 5 producer Mike Elizondo and J.R. Rotem who produced Rihanna’s chart-topping hit “SOS.” Highlights on the refreshingly-unique LP include “Break Anotha,” “She’s Makin’ Me Lose It,” “End of the World” and “Know My Name,” which features Lupe Fiasco.
That evening also brought more country to the Wolf Den stage; this time it was the finalists from last season’s Nashville Star. Ageless comedian Pat Cooper visited The Cabaret Theatre both Friday and Saturday. Janet Jackson was a no show but who would notice with so many other special guests taking the stage.
It was rave reviews for TV’s hottest stars when Band From TV visited the stage on Saturday. The band has more than a few familiar faces and plays some of today’s most popular covers. This group included Adrian Pasdar, Greg Grunberg and James Kyson Lee, from the hit show Heroes; Jesse Spencer from House; James Denton from Desperate Housewives; Bob Guiney from The Bachelor and Rebecca Budig from All My Children.
A popular media event was the Windfall Cocktail Reception with special guest Lindsay Price. A mix of Krug Grand Cuvee Brut Champagne, Richard Hennessy Cognac, Grand Marnier Cuvee Du Cent Cinquantenaire 150, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur and Pomegranate Juice garnished with raspberries & blackberries and get this…all topped with a Platinum Diamond and Pink Sapphire Celebration Band from… you guessed it… Tiffany & Co.
“How much?” you ask. Windfall will be offered through the month of October at Leffingwells Martini Bar and Todd English’s Tuscany for only $6200.
“So worth it!” exclaims Lindsay Price, as she modeled the sparkle for us. We media types enjoyed the Windfall minus the sparkle and the taste was awesome! We wondered whether Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum was going to splurge for his wife, Kelly?
The Red Carpet at 11:00pm showed off Robert Buckley, Jessica Szohr, Tracey Morgan, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin and the members of Band From TV.
Country music songstress Heidi Newfield, formerly of Trick Pony, finished out the weekend with a show in the Wolf Den on Sunday. After her show, fans caught up with her at a “Signings & Sightings” event in The Shops concourse.