By Simon Fitzpatrick
From Frank Sinatra to AC/DC, Las Vegas has inspired musicians for generations. The promise of the big win and the epic night out exert a strong pull on songwriters, and the rock’n’roll lifestyle is welcomed here rather than frowned on.
Preparation Is Everything
If you’re planning to come to Vegas to play, you should be aware that Las Vegas has swallowed up and spat out more 24 hour party people than you could possibly imagine, so be prepared. At the very least, hone your card skills at a free site like www.gamingclub.co.uk/mobile-casino/iphone-casino/ before you arrive. It’s impossible to be ready for every eventuality in this town, but if you can avoid being a total rube, you should.
The city itself is jammed with venues suitable for everyone from the smallest garage band to the biggest stars on the planet. Here we’ll have a look at some of the finest, noting who’s booked to play as we go.
Caesars Palace has hosted megastars for decades, including Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart and Mariah Carey. The Colosseum theatre was built at a cost of $95m and holds 4,300 people. It’s a luxury venue that retains the atmosphere lost in bigger stadiums. Upcoming shows include Elton John in April; tickets are available now and work out at over a dollar a minute for a 90 minute show…
The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel is another 4000 capacity venue, and it’s a little edgier than the slightly too plush Colosseum. The artist schedule reflects this, with the Pixies (sadly minus Kim Deal) booked to play their fantastic new material in late February. Queens Of The Stone Age play the Joint earlier in the month.
House of Blues at Mandalay Bay is another venue for ambitious bands to aspire to. It opened in 1999 and boasts a gritty atmosphere despite the opulence of the casino it’s housed in. It’s decorated with folk art and bottle caps, and a box of Mississippi Delta mud is kept under the stage to channel the spirit of the Blues. Upcoming shows include Danish psychobilly outfit Nekromantix (look out for Kim Nekroman’s “coffin bass”), and sludge-metal warlords Mastodon.
There are plenty of dive bars and smaller venues in Vegas for less well-known bands to play at, once you move away from the Strip. These are more likely to be full of Vegas locals rather than tourists. Amongst the best is the Double Down Saloon on Paradise Road. Gigs here are loud, sweaty and raucous, and featured acts include a mix of local talent and bigger names like Supersuckers and The Vibrators. Their motto: “Shut Up And Drink”!
(Images courtesy of imgbase.info, vegasdaze.com, rollingstone.com, lasvegas.net, dailyfiasco.com)