Top 10 Live Music Venues in Las Vegas
The Best Places in Town to Catch Some Live Music
Las Vegas attracts some of the biggest acts in the industry as well as smaller bands as they tour across the US. Here are our favorite places to catch these bands. Rock on!
#1. Brooklyn Bowl
The Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq was an instant game changer to the Las Vegas music scene when it opened in 2014 . With an urban lofty vibe, everything about this venue is über-cool. The bowling alley features leather Chesterfield sofas. Lip smacking comfort food is served up by Blue Ribbon Restaurants and the bars offer a great selection of craft beers on tap. Momentum has slowed a little, but if you are looking for Rock ‘n’ Roll on the Strip then this is as good as it gets. Among upcoming shows some highlights include The Jesus and Mary Chain on August 16th, indie rock band Modest Mouse on August 20th and My Morning Jacket playing back to back nights on October 9th & 10th.
3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, (702) 862-2695 brooklynbowl.com
#2. The Joint
The (new) Joint is bigger (4,000 capacity) and better than ever and is a great place to watch some of the best rock and roll bands in the world. It’s a kick-ass place to see bands that usually fill much larger stadiums. Motley Crue, Kiss, Guns N’ Roses and UK rockers Def Leppard have all featured residencies at this venue. Upcoming shows include alternative rock heavyweight Incubus on September 5th & 6th and country music’s Little Big Town on December 4th.
4455 Paradise Rd, (702) 693-5583 hardrockhotel.com
#3. House of Blues
As a venue, the House of Blues nails it on every level. It’s the perfect size, has great sound, a tall stage (so even the vertically challenged have a chance at seeing the performance) and there is easy access to bars on all three sides of the venue. After a bit of a lull, the lineup of upcoming shows is impressive too with several short Santana residencies planned for 2015 along with shows by Heart, Motorhead, and Brit shoegazers Ride. Check this link for the current concert calendar.
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, (702) 632-7600
#4. Boulevard Pool
The Cosmopolitan does a great job of attracting some of the biggest indie bands to this open air poolside venue. The location is awesome with great views of the Strip and, if the weather is nice, this can be a fun place to see your favorite band. The open air setting can lead to some sound issues and the gap between the crowd and the stage is not ideal in our opinion. That said, it’s hard to argue with a lineup of shows that includes Of Monsters and Men on August 13th, Drake on September 6th (SOLD OUT) and Counting Crows on October 3rd.
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, (877) 763-2267 cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
#5. The Chelsea
Different from the ballroom that The Cosmopolitan utilized as a concert venue when it first opened, the (new) Chelsea is a modern 3,000 capacity venue designed to maximize the live music experience. You will either love or hate the vibrating floor. I read it’s a design feature that has something to do with small springs and concrete, although it still feels strangely unsettling to me. Upcoming shows include Willie Nelson on July 26th, D’Angelo on August 21st, and Lennie Kravitz on September 8th.
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, (877) 763-2267 cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
#6. The Beauty Bar
The outdoor patio at the back of The Beauty Bar is a great place to catch some live music. Bands range from up and coming local acts to smaller indie/rock groups. Check out their events schedule. Shows tend to run late, often into the wee hours of the morning.
517 Fremont St, (702) 598-1965 thebeautybar.com
#7. Pearl Concert Theater
The Pearl is another great place to see big name acts that typically sell out much larger venues. There are 2,500 seats surrounding a general admission pit area, and there isn’t really a bad seat in the house. A state of the art lighting and sound system add to the experience. Upcoming shows include Melissa Etheridge on August 7th and Jackson Browne on August 21st.
4321 W Flamingo Rd, (702) 944-3200 palms.com
#8. MGM Grand Garden Arena
A large (16,000+ capacity) arena that attracts some of the biggest names and events in town. Rush, Aerosmith, Madonna, Andrea Bocelli, and Mötley Crüe are all lined up for 2015. Prices are often steep and the views from the back require telescopic vision, but the atmosphere is usually electric so if your favorite band is playing here, it may be worth splurging on a good seat.
3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, (877) 880-0880 mgmgrand.com
#9. Vinyl Las Vegas
The Joint’s little brother, Vinyl is the newest (and smallest) venue at The Hard Rock Hotel. It’s a relatively intimate venue (capacity 650’ish) and the brick walls and wood floors provide a warm industrial feel. If your favorite band is playing here, it’s another can’t miss venue.
4455 Paradise Rd, (702) 693-5000 hardrockhotel.com
#10. Hard Rock Live – Vegas Strip
Located at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip, this venue oozes untapped potential. The terrific location and small outdoor patio area provide nice views of the Vegas Strip. The venue is a perfect size and the sound system is terrific. On the negative side (at least on our last visit) are the overzealous security staff (think TSA on steroids). That said, if your favorite band is playing here, or if simply like being frisked, this is a great place to catch a show at.
3771 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (702) 733-7625 hardrock.com
Editors Bonus Pick (In Memoriam): The Bunkhouse. Currently Closed. AGAIN!!!
Located on the fringes of Fremont St. in Downtown Las Vegas, the old Bunkhouse Saloon was a great place to throw back a few drinks and mingle with musicians before watching them play into the wee hours of the morning. It was bought by Downtown Project in 2013 and closed for major remodeling. It re-opened in 2014 and the future looked bright. Sure, the conversion to a smoke-free, gambling-free venue stripped away some of the Saloon’s original “charm,” but that’s how life goes sometimes. On the positive side there was a lot to love, including a kick ass sound system, a rad outdoor area, better food and, most importantly, a great list of gigs including major scoops like Bob Mould, The Breeders, Built to Spill, and even Brandon Flowers. Unfortunately it’s closed again. Ugh! When it’s rocking the Bunkhouse is, imo, the premier downtown music venue, and well deserving of a spot in our top 3. Hopefully it will re-open again soon. Third time’s a charm, right?
124 S. 11th St., (702) 854-1414 bunkhousedowntown.com