Main Stage Opener 6:30PM – 7:30PM Vegas Stars
CAUTION: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot will be shot.
These guys bring all the sparkle and glitz that Vegas has to offer with an action packed show from start to finish. One thing’s for sure, The Vegas Stars will have you captivated whether your dancing the night away or just laughing your tail off, we promise you’ll be entertained on all levels. Now here’s how this epic group began…
As the house band at Bruno’s Lounge in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Rico, Tony and Elvis were making enough money to afford the finer things— ya know, beanbag chairs, toaster strudel, and sometimes Café McDonalds. But, when Rico was caught cheating in a game of strip poker with the owner’s daughter, the regular paycheck came to an abrupt end and Rico and the boys were black balled from the local casino circuit.
When the guys got home that evening, (Rico’s parents house) the windows were dark, the locks had been changed and a note on the garage door (where they all lived) simply read, “Moved to Vegas, love Mom and Dad”. Without considering the possibility of it being a trick, the freeloaders set off for Vegas to track down Rico’s folks.
Traveling faster than 53 mph caused the front end of Tony’s van to vibrate so violently they feared it would come apart. To pass time they took turns licking their fingers and sticking them into the cigarette lighter—a game that left Tony with a permanent stutter to this day. Their journey came to a crashing conclusion when the right front wheel hub finally disintegrated. The tire disembarked from the van, bounced over the curb and smashed through the window of the Lucky Star Bar. They’d made it to Vegas!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the part of Vegas its Mayor preferred to have splashed on the cover of glossy travel brochures. Broke, hungry and with zero cash to cover the damages, the trio were forced to work off their debt that night. Charlie, the owner of Lucky Star was not so much impressed as he was in need of a way to drown out the noise from the Bingo parlor next door. He told them if they wanted a steady gig they would have to play more variety and not just Bon Jovi covers. They were once again a house band.
Business was good and mic night always attracted a crowd, usually about 4-5 patrons, 2 of whom would sit with their backs to the stage. On one such evening, it appeared someone had left a guitar sitting in one of the chairs. Upon further inspection, Rico realized its owner was actually sitting behind it waiting to be called up to play. His name was Pauly, and although probably the shortest man to ever strum a guitar, his playing instilled instant magic into the band and Now they Believed…
Night after night crowds began to grow and the band became tighter. They knew they wanted to take their flashy show on the road, someplace where they could stand out from the Vegas norm. Tony said, “How bout Texas dude? I heard if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”. Pauly answered, “That’s New York you idiot”. That’s when Rico replied, “Yea, just like Eli Manning (NY Giants QB). Look how great he does in Texas.” Off they went. Tony inherited the name “Lucky Star” as their band name until Rico complained and said to Tony, “You probably think you’re the single biggest star of this band then huh?” Tony simply smiled while picking up a crumbled tourist brochure that read, Watch the Vegas Stars light up the Sky and win your riches. Fuhgetaboutit. The rest is history…
Fans may notice some newer faces in the band, but these guys have a long-standing musical relationship. Drummer Tony Kent is John’s brother and he feels that”playing with him every night is truly a blessing”. Lead guitarist Colton Gilbreath is someone John remembers seeing play when he was a kid. “Even back then, he was this 14 year old monster on guitar. We’re really glad to have him on board”. Bassist Randall Fuller is someone that John has known for over a decade when they met at former bandmate Ben Kweller’s house. Put simply, this is a band of brothers ready to capitalize on the sweat equity they’ve cultivated in the music industry over the years.
So exactly how does John David Kent measure future success? With characteristic humility, Kent answers, “before I was in the music business, I was a music fan. I will continue to be one no matter where this leads”. Perhaps College Station Radio DJ, Adam Drake, can help JDK see where his art is leading his listeners. “This music will take you on a ride; it’s got everything from the fun and upbeat songs, to the stuff that just tears at your heart. The older I’ve gotten, the less time I have to hop in the truck and drive down to the beach. I love it when albums like this make me want to do just that”. Whether opening for Merle Haggard or playing festivals in France this summer, it would appear that this band’s road trip is just getting started. “Until We Turn Around” is the debut single off Before The Sun Comes Up.