Elvis lives on in 6th annual tribute artists competition at CasaBlanca

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Mesquite’s own Claude “Doc Elvis” Nielsen will be one of the Elvi performing this weekend at the 6th Annual Elvis Rocks Mesquite event. File Photo.

Several Elvis Tribute Artists, or Elvi as they are called, from all over the country are about to descend on Mesquite, as the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd., gets set to host the sixth annual “Elvis Rocks Mesquite” tribute artists show and competition Thursday-Saturday featuring three days of events centered around paying tribute to “The King.”

Hosted by professional tribute artist Corrie Sachs the competition will see each Elvi rocking it out on stage as they vie for $10,000 in prize money.

The fun-filled weekend will begin Thursday at 7 p.m. in the CasaBlanca’s Skydome Lounge where guests can mingle with the Elvi while enjoying a few drinks and live entertainment.

Thurday night’s social gathering is a great opportunity to meet the tribute artists and really start to feel their energy,  Christian Adderson, corporate sales manager for Mesquite Gaming, said. The meet and greet is free to the public 21 and over.

“Elvis Rocks Mesquite” will feature competitions highlighting Elvis throughout the decades starting on Friday with two competitions showcasing tribute artists honoring Elvis from the ’50s and ’60s.

The event will culminate on Saturday with artists performing classic Elvis tunes from the ’70s and will close with a final showdown made of finalists from each decade’s competition.

Some of the Elvi stick to one decade, Adderson said, while others will cross over and compete in more than one.

“This is a great opportunity for these artists to pay homage to an entertainer like Elvis,” Adderson said, “and for the guests, it transports them back to when they first heard or experienced him.”

Claude “Doc Elvis” Nielsen, 80, of Mesquite, Nevada has competed in every “Elvis Rocks Mesquite” competition since its inception, he said. He has been voted “Most Inspirational Elvis Tribute Artist” and was recognized in 2014 as the world’s oldest Elvis Tribute Artist, Nielsen said.

Nielsen prefers to pay tribute to the Elvis of the ’70s, he said, because that is when the jumpsuits came into play.

“It’s pretty flashy,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen began singing in 1991, he said, and got serious about Elvis tributes in 2001. Nielsen feels a close connection to Elvis whose birthday is a mere 34 days before his own; and, he said, he loves performing on stage to a packed house.

“I feel really good being in the competition,” Nielsen said. “My biggest goal is to make the people who came to the show walk out feeling like they had a great time.”

New to the event this year will be a live band for the final show, Mesquite Gaming Entertainment and Event Coordinator Krissy Ayon said. The band is comprised of professional musicians from Las Vegas and will be led by musical director Vita Corimbi who is currently starring in Las Vegas in “Menopause the Musical.”
Saturday night will end with a free aftershow, “Copy Cats” karaoke party, during which the tribute artists will have a chance to show off other musical acts in their repertoire. The DJ and host for the aftershow will be Jimmy Zito. The after party is limited to guests 21 and over.

Tickets can be purchased individually for each show or in a discounted four-show package online, by telephone to 1-800-585-3737 or in person at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino. Tickets for the package deal must be purchased in advance and do not include VIP booth seating.

  • What: “Elvis Rocks Mesquite” Elvis Tribute Artists show and competition
  • When: June 18-20
  • Where: CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd., Mesquite, Nevada
  • Cost: $35-$115
  • Purchase tickets: Online, by telephone to 1-800-585-3737 or in person at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino
  • Additional information: Some events are 21 and over, see schedule

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