You heard it here first. WinStar World Casino and Resort keeps stealing the thunder of Dallas-Fort Worth concert venues, while not being in Dallas-Fort Worth. It is, in fact, in Thackerville, Oklahoma, albeit only about an hour drive on Interstate 35 from such highly populated suburbs as Plano, Lewisville, Frisco, et al.
You may have seen the downtown billboards that advertise a show by Paul Simon -- yes, Paul Simon -- on May 7. Following close behind is John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame and one of the few remaining Woodstock veterans still playing shows. He's booked for May 13.
Appearing much sooner than that is James Taylor, who will take the stage at WinStar on April 15. That's tax day. He will no doubt sing "You've Got a Friend," and you're hoping it's your accountant.
In all seriousness, folks, WinStar appears to be doing serious damage to the Winspear Opera House and the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, which simply aren't booking the volume of such high-profile acts, especially those from the Boomer generation. Doug Curtis, the president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, said as much in my story, citing the exclusionary clauses and higher bids that WinStar offers that make it increasingly tough to compete.
As my story pointed out, WinStar has booked in the recent past Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jackson Browne, country superstars Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Reba McEntire and red-hot comic Amy Schumer. (Here's our One Song piece on Browne's "Late for the Sky.")
The Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie has booked Bryan Adams on April 9.
Here's James Taylor offering a new take on his classic song "Fire and Rain" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: