Music and the city of Las Vegas have been intertwined since the days when Elvis crooned at the Hilton Las Vegas (now the Westgate Las Vegas) and Sinatra serenaded the Sands. But with so many live bands and musical shows at your air guitar-playing fingertips, it can be tough to figure out which sets to see and which to skip. The following is a list of five Vegas bars and shows to check out if you love live music and are in the mood for a rockin’ good time, Vegas-style.
B Side at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
The music industry doesn’t always get it right. Sometimes a sure-fire hit will flop. Other-times a weak track will top the charts. Just ask the Beatles, Queen and Elvis Presley. Their songs “I am the Walrus,” “We Will Rock You” and “Hound Dog” were all relegated to their album’s dreaded “B-Side;” only later to become surprise hit singles.
“B Side,” the new restaurant inside Mandalay Bay’s popular music venue, House of Blues, pays homage to these songs and other beloved B-side tracks. At B Side, you can discover little-known tunes from famous artists while enjoying traditional southern fare (baby back ribs, Cajun-spiced garlic fries and lobster mac and cheese) as well as craft cocktails and locally brewed beer. The restaurant also regularly features live music as well, showcasing the hidden talents of local indie and reggae bands.
Raiding the Rock Vault
Raiding the Rock Vault is a must-see Vegas show for rock music fans. The epic concert, held nightly at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, features several of the original guitarists, drummers and vocalists from bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Pat Benatar, AC/DC and many more. Rocking out together on stage in one massive rock band dream team, these living legends play all your favorite classic rock hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Voted “Best Tribute Show” by the Las Vegas-Review Journal, this rock party is one that music lovers won’t want to skip.
Piano Bar at Paris Las Vegas
Located at the Paris Hotel and Casino, the French-styled Napoleon’s Lounge implores patrons to holler “Sing us a song, you’re the piano man” (or woman, as the case may be). In this nightly Dueling Pianos show, talented pianists compete for the audience’s applause (and tips) by playing hits from the ‘50s through today – And yes, that even includes rap. Watching a classically trained pianist sing and play an acapella piano version of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” or Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” certainly deserves a spot on your Vegas bucket list. The piano players’ scope of music knowledge is astounding – they’ve memorized the chords and lyrics to thousands of songs – and their humor and good-natured ribbing makes the show fun and all the more interactive.
Rockhouse Bar at The Venetian Las Vegas
The dive-y Rockhouse Bar may feel a little out of place in the posh and swanky Venetian Hotel and Casino, but that’s just fine with the bar’s regulars. They come to rock. Every Monday and Thursday, the Rockhouse Bar hosts “Rock Band Karaoke,” which offers wannabe rockers and rockettes the opportunity to belt out their favorite karaoke songs with the help of a live band playing on stage behind them. Non-karaoke fans may prefer coming on Fridays and Saturdays, when a DJ takes the stage to spin rock, hip-hop and dance tracks. Feeling self conscious about your dance moves? Order the “Groupie” or “Stage Dive” – 100 ounces of a vodka cocktail – and you’ll be dancing in no time.
An 80,000-square foot concert venue, rockin’ bands, multiple bars and…bowling? Not the most obvious of winning combinations, but somehow, it works. At least, if Rolling Stone Magazine is anything to go by. They pronounced Brooklyn Bowl’s New York location to be “one of the most incredible places on earth.”
Started in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in 2009 and brought to Vegas several years later, Brooklyn Bowl is less of a bowling alley and more of a concert hall and lounge where you can drink, watch live music and, should the mood strike you, bowl. Brooklyn Bowl features 32 lanes of bowling as well as VIP seating and bottle service.