Thursday, November 3, 2016


Vegas' Best Concert Venues

It’s no secret that Las Vegas offers some of the world’s best entertainment. But what about a good old fashioned rock concert? Flashy variety shows and imaginative magicians are great, but you want fewer gimmicks and more substance. These local concert venues are for music enthusiasts in search of orchestral finesse, garage band glory and arena-shaking anthems. The venues on this list vary widely in size, shape and demographics. There are some amazing performance spaces inside Strip resorts, but we avoided including theaters dedicated to specific casino productions.

T-Mobile Arena
(3780 Arena Drive)
Having already hosted huge names such as The Rolling Stones (on debate night no less) and Drake, T-Mobile Arena has quickly positioned itself as the preeminent venue for big-name touring acts. MGM Resorts International and Aneschutz Entertainment Group shelled out $375 million to build the 20,000-seat venue that opened April 6, 2016. With Las Vegas’ NHL team moving in for the 2017-2018 season and events like Professional Bull Riders World Finals and UFC bouts on the horizon, checking the T-Mobile Arena schedule is a must when planning any Vegas vacation.

The Joint
(4455 Paradise Road)
Hard Rock maintains the well-deserved reputation as a reliable purveyor of rock ‘n’ roll. The Las Vegas iteration’s concert venue, known as The Joint, offers an intimate concert going experience despite a maximum capacity of 4,000. The open layout helps the general admission public feel front and center. It’s played host to such music luminaries as Aerosmith, Def Leopard and The Black Keys. Don’t pass up an opportunity to add to your already impressive Hard Rock t-shirt collection.

Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall
(4505 Maryland Parkway)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Performing Arts Center houses the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. The calendar of events is filled with interesting performances and lectures every year. From the Nevada Conservatory Theatre and the university’s dance program to the choral ensemble and touring orchestras, you’re sure to find something of interest on the docket. The performances you’ll want to highlight on the calendar are anything from the jazz ensembles. UNLV’s jazz program is one of the country’s finest.

Backstage Bar & Billiards
(601 Fremont St.)
Do you remember the disc jockey from Los Angeles hip hop trio House of Pain, DJ Lethal? Neither do we, but he is the co-owner of one of the best concert venues in town. Backstage Bar & Billiards is a rock ‘n’ roll hot bed in Downtown Las Vegas. The leather-clad interior boasts numerous pool tables, an impressive collection of rock memorabilia and a full bar. The Fremont East Entertainment District location means you’re within walking distance of some fantastic restaurants, bars and casinos. Grab a margarita from La Comida across the street after the show!

Smith Center
(361 Symphony Park Ave.)
In direct opposition to the myth that Las Vegas is devoid of any culture, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts may prove to be one the city’s best investments. The approximately $400 million building is stunning thanks to the stylish art deco architecture, lavish interior d├ęcor and pristine campus grounds. Hot ticket events here include performances from the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Nevada Ballet Theatre and local theater company Broadway in the Hood. Also located within the Smith Center, the smaller Cabaret Jazz venue is an intimate 240 seats and offers small bites as well as an extensive wine list.

House of Blues
(3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd.)
Yes, just about every major U.S. city has a version of this concert venue chain, but Las Vegas’ HOB is the only one that can claim a Carlos Santana residency. Look for the legendary Mexican guitarist to continue making magic this November. Big name artists like Billy Idol and lesser known groups like Beach House grace the stage. If Sunday brunch is on your Vegas vacation agenda, you won’t find a more uplifting option than the weekly Gospel Brunch.

The Bunkhouse Saloon
(124 11th St.)
Since 1953, The Bunkhouse Saloon has offered visitors to Downtown Las Vegas a reprieve from the clanking of slot machines. Since the ‘90s, it’s been a haven for connoisseurs of independent music. The venue underwent a vast transformation under the guidance of the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh-backed Downtown Project in 2014. You’ll find plenty of flannel, facial hair and craft beer here. Past acts of note include former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould and local favorites such as Rusty Maples and Same Sex Mary. It’s a dive, but it’s our dive.

Next time you visit Las Vegas, consider seeing a concert at one of these venues. Then share your photos with VegasDaze on Facebook! Be sure to check back for more Vegas travel advice, fun facts and recommendations.

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