Chris Rock (Borgata) and Billy Strings (Hard Rock Atlantic City) top winter casino entertainment schedule
Historically speaking—and for what should be obvious reasons--winter is the slowest time of year for casino headliner entertainment. And 2023 is no exception. In aggregate, main stages in the region’s gambling dens will be dark exponentially more than not between now and the vernal equinox. But, that’s not to suggest those venues will be totally barren. Here is a look at some of the more notable seasonal bookings, followed by the full schedule as it stands today; more shows will likely be added in the days ahead.
Chris Rock (Feb. 3, Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa):
The superstar comic has spent the better part of the past year more famous for the “slap heard ‘round the world” (courtesy of Will Smith) than for being one of standup comedy’s leading lights. His Ego Death World Tour road trip should remind everyone of his King of Comedy status.
Sarah Silverman (Feb. 4, Ocean Casino Resort):
The popular, if sometimes controversial, comic is kicking off what promises to be a high-profile 2023 with a 20-date road trip. In addition, she’s one of the roster of guest hosts who’ll headline the now-Trevor Noah-less The Daily Show, and she has a featured role in the upcoming Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro.
Incidentally, Silverman is one of four Saturday Night Live alumni on the schedule this winter (the others are David Spade, Rob Schneider and Leslie Jones; see below).
Deep Purple (Feb. 10, Parx):
The band that had as much to do with the creation of the hard-rock genre as any act is still at it, some 55 years after its inception. Even better, three of the five members of the group’s revered “Smoke On the Water”-era lineup—singer Ian Gillian, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice—are still bashing it out. This date kicks off the Purples’ 2023 world tour.
Def Leppard/Motley Crue (Feb. 10 and 11, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City):
What makes this gig noteworthy is that the two arena-rock outfits spent the summer co-headlining a tour of baseball and football stadiums, making the Rock’s 7,000-capacity Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena a downright intimate space for the double bill.
Billy Strings (Feb. 16-18, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City):
The 30-year-old Michigan native has become, arguably, the biggest bluegrass musician of all time. And if you doubt that, when was the last time you saw a bluegrass act headline Atlantic City’s biggest concert venue—much less for three consecutive nights? Rather than stay within the confines of the traditional bluegrass realm, Strings (real name: William Lee Apostol), who has been described as a generational talent, emerged from the “jam band” scene. As such, his ever-changing set lists tend to include long instrumental passages and covers of material by various artists.
Patti LaBelle (March 11, Caesars Atlantic City):
The beloved Philly-born R&B-pop icon shows no sign of slowing down despite heading towards her 79th birthday and the recent incident in which a bomb scare caused her to cut short a performance in Milwaukee. Expect a survey of her hit-laden catalog and, of course, heaping helpings of her incandescent stage presence.
The Clairvoyants (March 18; Rivers Casino Philadelphia):
For those seeking something a little different, the Austrian duo of Thommy Ten and Amelie Van Tass—you may know them as the runners-up in Season 11 of America’s Got Talent—serve up a blend of magic and mind-reading that has been lauded by critics and public alike.
Event Center: Jan. 14: Dancing With the Stars Live; Feb. 3: Chris Rock; March 3: Smokey Robinson.
Music Box: Jan 28: Whitney Cummings; Feb. 25: Eddie B.
Feb. 25: Atlantic City Ballet presents Carmina Burana; March 11: Patti LaBelle; March 26: Atlantic City Ballet presents A Midsummers Night Dream.
Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena:
Feb. 10 and 11: Def Leppard/Motley Crue; Feb. 16-18: Billy Strings; Feb. 19: Valentine’s Soul Jam (The Whispers/The Stylistics/Heatwave/Bloodstone; March 4: The Soul II Soul Tour (Kim+Ledesi; Musiq Soulchild; March 16: The Killers.
Jan. 8, 15, 22 and 29: Dance To the Music: A ‘60s celebration; Feb. 4: David Spade; Feb. 24: Flogging Molly; March 11: Leslie Jones.
Jan. 21: Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular; Feb. 4: Engelbert Humperdinck.
Jan. 20: Best Of the Eagles; Feb. 10: The Jersey Tenors; Feb. 18: Bobby Collins.
Feb. 4: Sarah Silverman; Feb. 11: Theresa Caputo; Feb. 17: Bush/Candlebox; Feb. 18: Kool & The Gang; Feb. 25: Elvis Costello & The Imposters.
Jan. 6: ABBAFA; Jan. 13: Mike Epps; Jan. 14: Ashanti; Jan. 21: Big & Rich; Jan. 28: Kathleen Madigan; Feb. 4: JR De Guzman; Feb. 10: Deep Purple; Feb. 18: Keb’ Mo’; Feb. 24: Jim Jeffries; Feb. 25: Gin Blossoms; March 11: Il Divo; March 18: Jerry Cantrell.
Jan. 6 and 7: John Monforto (Elvis Presley tribute); Feb. 18: MJ Live (Michael Jackson tribute).
Jan. 14: En Vogue; Feb. 11: Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti; Feb. 18: Rob Schneider; March 18: The Clairvoyants.
March 18: Blues Is Alright Tour (King George (Calvin Richardson; Pokey Bear; Lenny Williams; Nellie Tiger Travis; Theodis Ealey); .
Jan. 8: Dancing With the Stars Live; Jan. 14: Sidewalk Angels featuring Rob Thomas; Jan. 15: Umphrey’s McGee; Jan. 27: The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Experience; Jan. 28: Voyage (Journey tribute); Feb. 3: David Spade; Feb. 4: Anthrax/Black Label Society; Feb. 17: Marie Osmond; Feb. 19: Marisela & Alvaro Torres; Feb. 23: Elvis Costello & The Imposters; Feb. 24: Air Supply; Feb. 25: Flogging Molly; March 18: Leanne Morgan.