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Goodbye, GregRio

March 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM | by | ()

The VegasChatter family is sad to pass along news of the loss of a vocal and respected member of not just our community, but several Vegas-centric sites. Known online as GREGRIO, Greg Reiten passed away recently after battling with cancer. Word of his death spread through Vegas message boards on Thursday.

Though he did not reside here, Greg loved this town and was known as an authority on Vegas shows. He knew our theaters even better, we'd hazard to guess, than most of the performers who graced those stages and was always willing to share his thoughts on the shows themselves as well as advice on which seats were the best, down to specific sections and rows. As his name implied, VegasChatter also knew him to be a big fan and a regular guest of the Rio. He often shared his insider view of the off-Strip property here on our site.

We offer our heart-felt condolences to his loved ones. That sounds so meager and inadequate but know it's written with the utmost sincerity. And, to you our readers, we offer some of GREGRIO's wisdom on Vegas shows as well as the Rio down below. See all the comments he left on VegasChatter, here. Once you're done reading, we can't think of any more fitting tribute than to make plans to take in a Vegas show. Even better, make those reservations using GREGRIO's advice.

His Description of Himself:

GREGRIO: 62-63's, handsome Las Vegas Show seating advice guru, numb to the on going, endless rumor mill of upcoming Shows and vacant showrooms replacements...

Regarding The Australian Bee Gees at Excalibur:

I've seen the group a couple times now and yeah...I was entertained but frustrated at the same time...reason, the sound/the mix. They needed a person on the sound board that knew Bee Gees material, new the harmonies and knew how to keep that sound strong and balanced during the Show. Due to local union contracts they couldn't use 'their' person and the person on the board that night (I was standing behind her for a while...), seemed to be a bit lost with regard to what to do) I talked to them about it after one of those first Shows and 'Robin'...peeking through his blue sunglasses just shook his head and said..."I know, we're working on that".

That was during the first month or so the Show opened at Excalibur. I checked the Show out again last June but to my disappointment, not much had changed.

The Bee Gees never had a huge stage visual. They'd stand there, sing, the audience would go crazy and that was that. Their contribution to that time/that music was huge!

The Australian Bee Gees stand there and sing...the two nights I've gone, the half full showroom had some hard core Bee Gees fans...they danced/most just sat.

The sound was still out of balance (you'd think they'd record their Shows, listen back, and make improvements)

The energy was on automatic pilot and they just seemed to be goin' through the motions but...they seem to be Stayin' Alive and well at Excalibur so...

Regarding Gordie Brown at Golden Nugget:

It took me quite a while to go to one of Gordie Brown's Shows...I'd been totally spoiled by Danny Gans, by far the best impressionist entertainer Las Vegas has seen but...one year I got a Gordie tic and was pleasantly surprised. Entertaining, yes... Quality of voices, so-so... It's the spin he puts on the voices, turning them into more of a comedy gag than a spot on impression. That's his deal, and it works great for him. Seen him 3 times now over the years.

Last year when I caught his Show again at the Nugget however, he really disappointed me by his lack of homework he 'hadn't' done in re to 2 of his routines.

He had no understanding of the Green Day song he chose, and made fun of Billy's song he'd written about the death of his father. The other was the picture he painted of Niel Young being a totally drug crazed hippie which was very off base too and both just rubbed me the wrong way.

I can only assume both songs were picked because of the popularity of the artists, but little research was done about the songs themselves. Unfortunately, the audience was just as ill informed as Gordie and saw no flaw in the routines. I just expected more out of Brown because he is a talented, professional, entertainer.

Gordie Brown's Show is worth a ticket. The showroom is small, and an up front/centerish seat just adds to the fun.

The Best Way To Love LOVE (and Cirque):

I've seen LOVE a lot. I go myself when I'm in the mood, I take friends...I've been at both 'special' Shows when Pual, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia have been there...(they always sit Sec.208,Row H, lol) If you're a fan of the Beatles music, it's a must see. What the Martins' have done with the music re-mixes is just amazing however...the acrobat and aerial acts that CIRQUE is know for is........different with LOVE. Oh, they're there, but created to support the songs more than a stand alone routines. If that's what you're looking for, try starting out with MYSTERE.

The UPPER REAR SEC. 209 or 200 is where I always suggest folks sit if it's your first time, yet there's been opening all over the showroom my past few visits.

Sometimes...I like to sit up in the upper 300 sections. Those small little areas at the very top corners of the theatre. The view is great, you even have your own speaker system up there however...last time I had a tic up there, it was closed. They were re seating everyone to lower sections because the showroom hadn't sold out...(it WAS the 9:30 Show) but I've never experienced that before, they're always full.

I'm 62, grew up with the Beatles and their music, and ya know what I love about LOVE...it's watch the parents and grandparents in the audience who have brought the grandkids. These little rug rats are singin' right along with the songs...they KNOW 'EM, they're spreading the LOVE, and that's a VERY GOOD THING.

Regarding Seats at the Smith Center:

This is such a cool venue! I've been in it twice now...once for the Pink Floyd Experience and again for The Color Purple...BOTH WERE GREAT EXPERIENCES. (Million Dollar Quartet and Memphis conimg up!) MY SEATING TIP... If you're the GOLD CIRCLE type, try for a Left or Right side section aisle seat.REASON...no heads in your way. You look right across the asile to the stage, no heads in your way. For Pink Floyd Experience I was 1st Row A in DRESS CIRCLE which I'd say is your best bang for your buck. It's the first level up, aprox. 3/4 back from stage front, but an excellent view and sound!

Regarding Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo:

I've followed BLUE MAN GROUP through all their residency showrooms...I've always liked their Shows and this new one is no different...I had lots of fun. The Pre-Show light parade really gets your attention as it enters the casino from the double doors in between the main cage and the players club desk...then winds through the casino up to Registration and back again, ending up in front of the showroom doors for a little 'battle of the drums' before show time. (aprox. 45min. before showtime)

Lots of surprises, many of your ol' favorite gags, and some fresh new experiences to think about.

I always choose a seat just behind the 'poncho section'. It's a great view however next time (and there will be...) I'm sitting further back/centerish to more enjoy the over all visual that this new version offers. Up close or further back, you'll once again experience all the fun that a BLUE MAN GROUP Show presents for us. They really show their balls in this one!

Regarding Penn & Teller at the Rio:

How nice one of my favorite Shows is right there at my home base Hotel/Casino...The RIO. I've enjoyed Penn & Teller's Show for years and yes...their gags do change however...they're not always 'new' routines. Some are simply recycled...set aside to holidaze-hiatus for 3,4,7 years, then re introduced.

To many guests they may seem to be new routines they didn't see the last time they visited the Show, but to others...it's re uniting an old gag they saw (and probably forgot) from years past.

Penn & Teller aren't for everyone, but for those who enjoy their style, it's a great evening of entertainment!

I suggest the VIP seats in the center front section so you can keep an eye on everything they put before you and...even when a routine is revealed to you...watch close...misdirection can happen when you least expect it and...THEY'LL STILL 'LIE' TO YOU SOOOOO GOOD!

Regarding Which Tower to Stay In at the Rio:

I've been staying there since just before the Masquerade Tower opened (and I've stayed in it)...maybe twice. I prefer Ipanima. I wouldn't have recognized these pics as RIO rooms... (well, I would have, but Ipanima isn't that bad) Ipamina 19th floor VIP rooms are quite nice, even my ol' favorite at the end of the hallway on 13 is cozy and I always use a Pool/Strip view. YES...the joint needs a lot, but as CET's off Strip stepchild, don't expect them to be throwing much money into it... Gawd knows the way Loveman is spending money/and loosing more than CET makes, they should try selling the RIO.....AGAIN!

My rooms are always clean and comfy. My only complaint is the way they installed the flat screens in the VIP rooms...it was a quick/sloppy install. YES, you pay for coffee now. $8. for 3 cups but hey...just don't use it. Remember, Harrah's took out the coffee makers from most rooms save for the upper level player rooms so...it's better than nothing if you reeealy need it. Better to use RIO JAVA in the Village (Starbucks is always my LAST choice)

My rates are still great, no phony resort fees like at Bally's(now charging to use your 'safe') or Caesars charge for Queen Beds.
RIO has seen better days, but being off Strip is what I prefer and I have no complaints for the short amount of time I'm there per stay.

GREGRIO's final comment on VegasChatter was left on January 13. According to talk online, Greg passed away on February 20. You can find more posts by Greg on the following Vegas sites:


Archived Comments:


A fitting tribute to a kind and generous man.  We will indeed miss his wisdom and his heart.  


I remember reading many of his posts on the LVA boards (which I rarely visit now) and knew him to be the authority on shows, thinking that he could start his own blog or something.

In the land of message boards where things get hostile so frequently over little things, he was always professional, respectful and dignified.

Thank you for providing this tribute.

Will be missed

Unfortunately I didn't get the change to meet him personally and only knew him from his comments and interactions here.  But I honestly always felt that if we had met he's the type of guy you felt you've known for years.

I always looked forward to his comments and detailed insight (don't sit in seats 9 and 10 of row 11, 7 and 8 are that much better to hear the backup vocalist!) usually being able to identify them as his before I saw his name.  Due to his professional, respectful and dignified style I'm sure as binciong mentioned.

Greg, you will be missed.  


He will be missed. He almost always had a different point of view which I appreciated. Rest in peace, sir.


I am somewhat new to VegasChatter and I remember reading Mr. GREGRIO's comments and posts which of course, were very informative. Thank you Mr. GREGRIO...you are missed, sir!


Always Enjoyed

I always enjoyed his great, opinionated writing. He knew his topic, and you could tell he enjoyed his Vegas experiences.

Just a guy telling it like it was, and giving you the best advice he saw from his experiences.

Will make it over to Rio very soon to have a libation in his honor, and salute him.


RIP Buddy. You will be greatly missed.