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    Strokes Bring 'Angles' to Life at Vegas Gig

    Julian Casablancas kept his cool -- he always has, as if his DNA comes spiked with Freon -- but the packed house before him teetered on the verge of hysteria Saturday night at the sparkling new Chelsea Ballroom in Las Vegas' Cosmopolitan resort.

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    Brandon Flowers Plays First Solo Show

    He often sang with a hand over his heart, in a "Pledge of Allegiance" pose, looking as earnest and hopeful as a man asking for his sweetheart's hand in marriage. Brandon Flowers is not one to camouflage his emotions-when the Killers frontman hits the stage, he holds little back, smiling wide, pistoning himself up and down, gesticulating as he sings. Less than a month away from the release of his solo debut Flamingo, due out September 14, Flowers played a sold-out show on Sunday night at the Las Vegas Hilton's Shimmer Lounge, a cozy little showroom with a capacity of only a few hundred, adjacent to a small alcove whose walls are lined with framed black and white photos of Elvis Presley. Flowers turned in an impassioned 10-song, 45-minute set, where the prevailing mood was of optimism and anticipation.

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    Underworld: Explosive in Vegas

    When Brit electronica subverts Underworld kicked off their current North American tour at The Joint in Las Vegas on Thursday night it was a full-body experience, like taking temporary residence inside a subwoofer as outsized and over-the-top as the city in which it all went down. Thick clouds of dry ice, sudden flashes of light, concussive, knock-you-on-your-heels rhythms created the deliriously disorienting effect of a disco war zone. The man at the center of it all, Underworld's de facto frontman and singer Karl Hyde, certainly carried himself like the most fab of field sergeants, donning a sparkly sport coat that could have been fashioned from an imploded disco ball and dancing himself dizzy.

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    Blink-182 Kick Off U.S. Tour!

    Blink-182's tour kick-off Thursday night at Las Vegas' the Joint venue was the kind of show that doubled as one prolonged rim shot, a tongue-in-(butt)-cheek time warp back to junior high, starring a band that has long served as the itching powder in pop rock's jock strap. After sets from openers Valencia and Motion City Soundtrack, who played songs off their excellent 2007 release, Even if It Kills Me (Weezer, Fall Out Boy and others will join the tour later), Blink singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge walked onstage and spit the first words to a sold-out crowd: "Motherfucker, fuck, shit, cocksucker." That's it, just a random string of profanities that served as a potty-mouthed precursor for what was to come over the next 90 minutes or so. "Good point," singer/bassist Mark Hoppus chimed in, playing the eye-rolling straight guy to the fount of snark that is his bandmate.

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    Limp Bizkit Play First U.S. Show in 5 Years

    The rap-rock Charlie Brown wanted some answers. "Why is everybody always picking on me?" Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst asked in song. "Does anybody really know a thing about me?" It was a rhetorical question, of course, voiced at Limp Bizkit's first U.S. gig in five years at the Pearl in Las Vegas on Saturday night, with Durst spitting out his words as if they were coated in something foul tasting.

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    Jay-Z Conquers at Las Vegas Tour Opener

    Jay-Z's words conveyed a menace that his smile quickly deflated, his acidic rhymes sweetened by the knowing grin of a man who's not only in on the joke, but who helped craft its punch line. "I want people to feel threatened," he announced during a show-opening "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas on Friday night, where he kicked off his latest tour in the relatively cozy, 2,500-seat venue. "Get violent," he thundered shortly thereafter as the song continued.

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    Killers Dazzle in Hometown Tour Opener

    Brandon Flowers shielded his eyes with the back of his hand, like he was attempting to scan the horizon and some unforeseen luminescence was hindering his pursuits. "There's something in the distance," the Killers frontman sang on a jubilant "Joyride," staring off into space. "A glorious existence. A simple celebration. A place you never been to before." Speaking of which, he was standing in a place no one had ever been to before. Kicking off their latest tour in their hometown of Las Vegas on Friday night, the Killers opened the new Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, a posh 4,000-capacity venue with a phalanx of private suites that replaces a smaller, boxier venue of the same name. Though the setting was all glossy and spit-shined, Flowers didn't seem to want it to stay that way.

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    Jane's Addiction, Porno for Pyros Rock "Perrypalooza"

    Nothing quite says "happy birthday" like a semi-tipsy dude dropping rhymes about banging your girlfriend. Such was the case at Perry Farrell's 50th birthday party Saturday night in Las Vegas, where hornball rapper Mickey Avalon kicked off the festivities with a phalanx of go-go girls in glittery lingerie and naughty sex raps that sounded as if they were plucked from some teenage boy's over-active imagination after too much late-night Cinemax.

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