Las Vegas truly is the entertainment capital of the world. Not only is Vegas famous for its casinos, the city has also hosted most of the biggest names in music. Many of these bands and musicians have taken up a residency at one of the city’s major casinos. While many associate singers like Frank Sinatra and Celine Dion with having a Vegas residency, some of the world’s biggest rock bands and stars have also played for an extended period of time in Vegas. So here is a list of five famous rock residences.
In April, Steven Tyler and company began their Deuces Are Wild residency in Sin City, and it has been a big hit. Variety described Aerosmith’s debut as a multi-sensory performance, with “floating toys, pyrotechnics, immersive sound experiences and 230 booming speakers.” In fact, the show has been so successful that the band added 15 more shows for 2020.
Like Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe is rock royalty. They also rocked Las Vegas with a pair of residencies at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The band first invaded Vegas in February 2012 when they held a 12-show residency called Mötley Crüe in Sin City. It was a rousing series of shows that left rock fans demanding more. That happened a year later as the band were back in Vegas for An Intimate Evening in Hell. Both residencies gave audiences the full Mötley Crüe experience, with the band, as always, rocking out with their famous intensity, all while donning their hell-inspired costumes. What’s more Mötley Crüe were pioneers in Sin City, as they showed that hard rock bands could have a successful Vegas residency.
After Mötley Crüe opened Las Vegas’ residency doors to hard rock bands, Def Leppard entered the scene. In 2013, the English rock icons brought their special brand of rock to the same hotel Mötley Crüe had played in. Def Leppard’s Viva! Hysteria was an 11-show residency spanning March and April, and it featured the band playing the entirety of their Hysteria album. This year, Def Leppard returned to Vegas for their second residency, Def Leppard Hits Vegas: The Sin City Residency. After the success of Viva! Hysteria, the English rock icons performed at the bigger Zappos Theater within the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
Guns N Roses
Another rock band with a pair of Vegas residencies is Guns N’ Roses (GNR). The band’s first residency was in 2012, titled Appetite for Democracy. It was a 12-show residency celebrating 25 years of Appetite for Destruction and 4 years of Chinese Democracy. In 2014, the rock icons were back in Sin City, this time for No Trickery! An Evening of Destruction. This 9-show residency gave their worldwide tour a fitting final act.
The rock residencies above all stand on the shoulders of Elvis Presley. He was the first rock act who had a residency in Sin City and showed that audiences wanted livelier acts than the usual casino crooners. Elvis started his residency at the then newly opened International Hotel in July 1969. It lasted until 1976, with Elvis playing over 750 sell-out performances. These shows raised the profile of the International Hotel, which in 1971 was rechristened the Las Vegas Hilton. Just as important, it resurrected The King’s sagging career. Time describes his Vegas residency as a career-turner, with Elvis bringing back his roaring hits from the 1950s, much to the delight of the always sold-out crowds.
Post-Elvis the hotel continued to thrive through its connection to the famous star as well as its exclusive poker room. This remained popular until 2010 when it was shut down. However, in 2017 the since renamed Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino re-launched their famous poker room. Nolan Dalla’s review of the Westgate poker room commended the room’s setup and gave it high marks. The reopening of this gaming room shows how poker, like live music shows, continues to be one of Vegas’ biggest draws, especially in the city’s most iconic casinos. This demand for more places to play is reflected in the number of online outlets that help new players get up to speed with poker. Partypoker’s wide variety of articles on Texas Hold’em shows how players are easily able to learn about every aspect of the famous card game online. Using these online resources means that players not only get to play in some of Vegas’ most famous halls, but also have a good chance of being a great poker player themselves. Today, crowds come to the Westgate poker room to experience what only can be described as a truly authentic Vegas experience and maybe even sit and play where the King himself once did.
Thanks to Elvis in the seventies and Mötley Crüe in the 2000s, rock residences are now a huge part of Vegas’ entertainment heritage. Next time you visit the city be sure to check out which rock band is in town.