One of the highlights of any weekend in Las Vegas is the plethora of live entertainment you can find, changing nightly. This weekend alone you can find Lady Gaga, Coheed and Cambria, Porcupine Tree, the Dear Hunter, Rob Thomas, Ted Nugent, Rush and Yonder Mountain String, just to keep your musical tastes diverse. Don’t like any of the bands playing? Try again next weekend when a new batch of acts come through town.
That said, know that Vegas has a wealth of venues that only feature bands outdoors in the summer. Red Rock Resort, Mandalay Bay Beach, The Silverton and poolside at the Rio are just some of the venues that didn’t make our list but serve up live music all the summer. Instead, the Haute 5 live music venues feature concerts year round. Here’s a look.
MGM Grand Garden Arena
If Madison Square Garden had an equivalent in Vegas, it would be the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the massive venue that hosts the biggest tours that come through town. Think Bon Jovi, AC/DC or the Backstreet Boys, all of whom have played the stage there. The arena seats up to 16,800, depending on how the stage is set up. Tomorrow night, pandemonium hits the venue when Lady Gaga takes the stage with her Monster Ball Tour, followed by Rush Saturday night and Michael Bublé on Aug. 28.
MGM Grand Garden Arena, 702.891.7777, www.mgmgrand.com/entertainment/grand-garden-arena.aspx.
Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
When a concert venue opens with Gwen Stefani christening the stage, you know you’re in for a fun ride. The Pearl at the Palms is certainly intimate, seating crowds from 1,100 to 2,500, but no seat on any of the three levels will have you farther from the stage than 120 feet. When an artist wants to record a concert for a live album from Las Vegas, the Pearl is hard-wired to the Studio at the Palms for easy recording. Past concerts have ranged from New Kids on the Block and Conan O’Brien to Erykah Badu and Thirty Seconds to Mars. In the coming weeks, you can see Billy Idol (Aug. 21), Norah Jones (Aug. 22), Melissa Etheridge (Sept. 4) and the Scissor Sisters (Sept. 10).
The Pearl is located at the Palms, 702.942.7777, palms.com/pearl.
The Joint relocated and doubled in size in April 2009 when the Hard Rock Hotel renovated, but that hasn’t stopped Sin City’s first rock venue to rolling in the tunes. The former 1,500-seat venue closed in February 2009 with a concert by Motley Crue only to reopen with hometown favorite The Killers christening the stage and 4,000 seats. Keith Urban deemed it the only place he would perform this year. Carlos Santana calls the venue home. Brian Setzer, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Phoenix and Lyle Lovett have played this state-of-the-art venue. In the coming weeks, look for Coheed and Cambria and Porcupine Tree (Aug. 13), Primus (Aug. 14), Meat Loaf (Aug. 20) Sheryl Crow (Sept. 11) and Van Morrison (Oct. 3).
The Joint is located at the Hard Rock Hotel, 1.800.473.7625, www.hardrockhotel.com/listen/concerts/.
House of Blues
This relatively small venue seating 1,800 opened in 1999 at Mandalay Bay and dubs itself a place “where music and food feed the soul.” An open-air balcony overlooks the stage, and more than 300 pieces of original folk art decorate the walls. Look for the 50,000 bottle caps that make up Mr. Imagination’s mural decorating the entrance and a chandelier from the ballroom of the old MGM keeping watch over the crowd. In the coming weeks, you can see The Dan Band (from Old School and The Hangover) Aug. 20 and Cyndi Lauper with David Rhodes Aug. 21.
House of Blues is located at Mandalay Bay, 702.632.7600, www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/lasvegas/.
The Orleans Arena
While the Orleans Arena typically is home to the Las Vegas Wranglers and smaller shows such as Air Supply and Boyz II Men play the Orleans Showroom, you can find larger acts playing the big room. The 9,000-seat arena has seen Daughtry and Carrie Underwood rock the stage this year. In coming weeks, see Blake Shelton and Uncle Kracker (Aug. 14) and Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concert Tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael W. Smith and the Charlie Daniels Band (Aug. 27) at this off-Strip locale.
The Orleans Arena is located at The Orleans, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., 702.284.7777, www.orleansarena.com.