By Diane Larche’
For me it has always been the alluring billboards announcing the upcoming major live entertainment at the luxurious Beau Rivage Resort and Casino along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The bright lights, vibrant colors, and glitz with photos of the first-class performers beckon you to the popular resort as you travel on I-65 from Atlanta.
Just four and a half hours south of the Metro Atlanta area by car in Biloxi, Mississippi, for you, the real attraction could be the bustling casinos, the pristine and colorful landscaping, the soothing and relaxing spa treatment, nearby beaches, blue water pool, first class restaurants, buffets, shopping, or a round of golf. But for me, I was drawn in by the signs promising an exciting concert in the glitz and glamour of a top resort. I grew up in Philadelphia and drove a few hours to casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey and remember the concerts being my favorite part.
Yes, Beau Rivage, a sprawling beachfront MGM property for a weekend of fun and excitement is just a drivable distance away, or an hour and a half flight to nearby Gulfport-Biloxi Airport to reach and experience what you read about happens in Vegas only here with a Southern flair!
I selected to go for a weekend getaway with my spouse Joe when one of our all-time favorite groups Earth Wind & Fire was performing for two sold out nights in the 1550 seat Beau Rivage Theater.
This resort has a lot of special touches like a private area for VIPs to check in and a designated elevator. The plush hotel rooms are part of a $90 million capital project including a $55 million room remodel that should be completed by September. It will have all new carpeting and lighting and wall coverings in the hallways.
State of the art updates include the option for guests to open their door with their smart phone. There are all-around Panoramic King Size rooms with views of the Gulf, King-Size Ocean Views for Single and Double rooms; Deluxe rooms with Marble baths, Junior Suites, and full-size suites 800 SF Jasmine Suite and the 1200 SF Cypress Suite with private floor access, his and her bathrooms, and an expanded living room area. Beau Rivage is the largest with 1740 rooms of the 12 casinos dotting the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The warm weather and glimpses of dolphins in the ocean are special attractions to the resort.
Upon arrival and check-in, we quickly changed for the evening and headed to dinner at the resort’s upscale steak house BR Prime. I had a filet cooked perfectly with the heavy char that I love and smoked gouda mac n cheese. Joe had the Faroe Island Salmon with the summer Island Quinoa, Roasted White Asparagus and. Orange Miso Sauce. The service was impeccable as the waiters were super attentive throughout dinner. We headed for the show after dinner.
Earth Wind and Fire (EWF) did not disappoint! Going through major songs from their expansive, catalog from “September,” “That’s The Way of the World,” “Shining Star”, ” Keep Your Head to The Sky,” “Sing A Song,” “Reasons” the band that originated in Chicago with their infamous horn section still touts early members- vocalist and bassist Verdine White who joined his brother Maurice White a year after he started in 1969, vocalist Phillip Bailey who was invited a few years later to share lead vocal duties with Maurice and percussionist Ralph Johnson.. Flashes of photos and videos of the late band founder Maurice White appeared on a screen behind the band as they performed. What a nostalgic moment for EWF fans who have followed the band for much of their 50 plus years. The group has won six Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. EWF has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. EWF will perform in a concert with Santana in Atlanta at the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood.
At Beau Rivage, the bowl-shaped layout allows for a good view from anywhere in the place, The band on stage was electric and so was the crowd who often stood at their seats and sang along with familiar songs and clapped and danced in the aisles.
Upcoming shows in the theater are not limited to vocals and include magicians and comedians. Lyle Lovett and his Big Band comes Friday, August 19; Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Friday, and Saturday August 26 and 27; Magician Michael Carbonaro Saturday, September 17; The Beach Boy Friday, October 7, Jay Leno, Saturday, October 8, Cole Swindell, November 4.
The next morning, we were scheduled to have a couples massage, but Joe chose to sleep in. So off I go to a much-needed hour-long massage. Blake who has worked at Beau Rivage for 17 years gave me one of the best massages I have ever had period. With soft soothing music in the background, I experienced the hot stones for the very first time, and I will have to get those stones now with every massage I get, wherever I go.
We had breakfast and lunch at the buffet dining area that has over 700 seats and 100 items from BBQ to Chinese to gumbo to fried fish and crab legs. During the Pandemic the buffet shut down but now it is up and running at full capacity. It was Joe’s favorite place to eat.
Spent a few hours shopping at some of the boutiques there and stopped by Top Golf and the beautiful swimming pool. The next morning, we hit the road early to head back to Atlanta. We stopped by the resort coffee shop to get freshly brewed hot coffee and muffins. We will make a trip back to experience the new rooms once renovations are completed in September and we look forward to spending time at the beach. This was a fun and relaxing weekend we will remember fondly and cherish our time there always.