For 30 years, Hot August Nights (HAN) fans have looked forward to the event’s entertainment as much as the thousands of four-wheeled works of art it draws each year. As HAN heads into its 31st anniversary between Aug. 8-13, internationally recognized names like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Johnny Rivers, Rick Springfield and Pablo Cruise will grace the event’s stages for free performances.
Kicking off the list of headliners on the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) outdoor stage on Tuesday, Aug. 8 is LIGHTS – The Premier Tribute to Journey. Since 2005, LIGHTS has headlined shows and opened for such bands as the Foo Fighters, Sammy Hagar and Styx, to name just a few. The band performs hits from the classic Journey catalog, inspiring crowd-wide sing-alongs at venues around the world.
On Wednesday, Aug. 9 at the GSR, actor and performer Jay White, America’s Diamond, the World’s Ultimate Tribute will mesmerize fans of Neil Diamond with his uncanny performance emulating the musical icon. During his 25-year career, White has been a celebrity presenter at global events, performed for dignitaries and at professional sporting events, been cast as Diamond in movies and headlined a Las Vegas showroom, performing Diamond’s hits for an eight-year run.
On Thursday, Aug. 10, Johnny Rivers—two-time Grammy Award winner and holder of 17 gold records and 29 chart hits—takes the GSR stage. Since recording his first single in 1957, Rivers is renowned for songs like “Secret Agent Man,” “Baby, I Need Your Lovin’,” “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Tracks of my Tears.” Over the years, Rivers’ songs have been featured in a multitude of movies and he’s performed on television shows like The Red Skelton Show, American Bandstand, The Hollywood Palace with Judy Garland, The Milton Berle Special with Lucille Ball and The Ed Sullivan Show, among others.
Australian actor and singer Rick Springfield performs at the GSR on Friday, Aug. 11. The musically inclined soap opera star released six albums in the ‘70s before striking gold with number one single “Jessie’s Girl” in the early ‘80s, followed quickly by another hit, “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”
A female musical pioneer and her band will get the stage rockin’ when Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performs for HAN for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 12. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Throughout her career, Jett has acted in movies, television and on Broadway, produced the albums of other bands, plus sits at the helm of her own independent record label, Blackheart Records.
In downtown Sparks, local musical talents will be featured on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 8 and 9, rolling into Thursday’s performance of Timeless Wonder: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder. Steven Baldwin majored in vocal arts at the University of California, Berkeley where he further refined his vocal abilities before losing his sight due to a rare eye disorder in his mid-20s. His portrayal of musical legend Stevie Wonder will have fans wondering if they aren’t watching the real thing.
The Boogie Knights presented by the Nugget Casino Resort will appear on Friday, Aug. 11. Since forming in Oct. 1992 in Los Angeles, the polyester- and afro-clad Boogie Knights have performed their disco tunes on various network television programs, sporting events, plus at live shows across the U.S. and overseas.
Rounding out the entertainment for 2017 is Pablo Cruise coming to the downtown Sparks stage on Saturday, Aug. 12. The four-piece band was formed in 1975 and became known for songs such as “Love Will Find a Way” and “Whatcha Gonna Do When She Says Goodbye.” After a 20-year hiatus, the band has returned to touring, and will close out the weeklong nostalgia event at the Sparks venue.