There is no shortage of live music to be found on the Las Vegas Strip. Cavernous, state-of-the-art venues with naming rights granted to well-heeled corporate sponsors host concerts for the biggest music artists in town, while all up and down the Las Vegas Boulevard stretch various lounges, bars, restaurants, and street performers offer up enticing song and instrument to entertain the strip’s 42 million annual visitors. Yes, the dayclubs and nightclubs of Vegas also do offer showstopping live performance spectacles featuring the best and brightest contemporary hip-hop and electronic music stars. However, if your musical tastes are less mainstream and more niche – think rock, blues, country, reggae, classical, or pop of yesteryear – and your party vibe more chill, then you’ll want to ditch the dance floors for comfy chairs, in-seat drinks, and great sight lines while watching your favorite artists perform live. And now, for some music to your ears, we present Discotech’s Top 10 best live music venues – big and small – on the Las Vegas Strip.
1. Brooklyn Bowl @ the LINQ Promenade – $$ – Center Strip
Located on the LINQ Promenade just steps away from the High Roller Ferris wheel, Brooklyn Bowl is an ultra-hip upscale bowling alley and also a well-loved restaurant by Vegas locals (their Blue Ribbon fried chicken is some of the best in the city). But where it really shines is as a concert venue showcasing heavyweight names in reggae, alt-rock, and other lightweight music genres that have rabid followings. Concerts here are standing-room only, but guests can also reserve VIP sections to the left of the stage which come with leather sofas, food/beverage table service, and use of the bowling lanes in between music acts (or even during, if you’re not a fan). Except on the 1-2 times a month a major artist drops in for a more intimate show, Brooklyn Bowl is one of the more affordable ways to catch live music on the Strip and thus always draws a crowd.
Closest nightclub to Brooklyn Bowl: Drai’s / Drai’s After Hours (@ Cromwell resort next door)
2. T-Mobile Arena – $$$ – South Strip
Home to the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and semi-annual UFC megafights, T-Mobile Arena is an ultra-modern gathering place (construction finished in 2016) that boasts a seating capacity of 20,000. It hosts the biggest music acts of any genre swinging through Sin City: Metallica, Bruno Mars, Elton John, George Strait, J-Lo, and Ariana Grande are just some of the megastars that have played the stage.
From a concertgoer perspective, the sight lines, acoustics, and lighting/pyrotechnics are what you would expect – A++ grade – and the venue has all the amenities and trappings of any of the big-city arenas on the back of your favorite band’s “World Tour” t-shirt. It even has its own upscale lounge – Hyde T-Mobile, run by the SLS Group of Hollywood and South Beach fame – which offers wonderful birds-eye views of the arena and VIP extras like bottle service and gourmet food. Oh, and did we mention that the venue is surrounded by The Park Vegas, an open-air street lined with casual restaurants and bars that are perfect for pre-partying? (And post-partying, since Vegas never sleeps duh.) There’s no intimacy to T-Mobile Arena: it’s new, it’s big, it’s corporate, and despite being flashy it’s borderline soulless. But hey, even if you have a soft spot for betting on those underdogs in Vegas, every once in awhile you should spend easy money to ride the big-dog favorite.
Upcoming events at T-Mobile Arena
3. Rose.Rabbit.Lie. @ Cosmopolitan – $$$$ – Center Strip
A popular hotel choice and rendezvous point for the beautiful twentysomethings and thirtysomethings of the world since the day it opened, The Cosmopolitan continues to stand out from all other high-end resorts on the Strip by maintaining its modern style and sophistication while consistently adding new attractions. Rose.Rabbit.Lie. is a singular jewel in Cosmo’s treasure chest: an unpredictable and unforgettable amalgamation of theater, club, restaurant, and bar.
This modern supper club carries an exquisite and frequently rotating fine dining menu; dinner with a special date is highly recommended, but if your budget is more modest you can post up at the bar to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail with the show. We can’t really describe the unusual type of entertainment you might see on any night, other than that live music and risque wardrobes will abound. Nor would we want to spoil the surprises in store for you, which you’ll talk about with friends back home for months after your Vegas vacation. So press and steam your best suit or cocktail dress – upscale cocktail attire is required here – and brace yourself for one wild night in Vegas.
Closest nightclub to Rose.Rabbit.Lie.: Marquee Nightclub (in resort on second floor)
4. Gilley’s Saloon @ Treasure Island – $ – North Strip
It’s all country music all the time at Gilley’s Saloon, but that singular focus doesn’t stop this wild watering hole from being one of the best live performance venues in Las Vegas of any musical genre. The Gilley’s recipe for fun is tried and true: take the spirited saloons of the Old West frontier days, add a pinch of upscale class and a dash of the fast-paced excitement of Las Vegas Strip, bring to a steady boil with non-stop country music heat, and pour on gallons of whiskey, moonshine, and Bud Light for a steady, long-lasting party.
Boots, buckles, and denim are common décor among visitors – especially on Vegas Locals Night Mondays where $2 drinks are served up – but the friendly barkeeps extend warm hospitality to the regular dressed folks as well. In fact, this place is the perfect spot for the country-curious, meaning those city slicker friends of yours who like that Blake Shelton, Dan & Shay, or Old Dominion song on the radio but are open to line dancing lessons (they offer them several nights a week), munching on Texas BBQ (they have quick-serve countertops), and being served cheap drinks by cute cowgirls while going deeper down the country music rabbit hole. Up-and-coming country bands perform live at Gilley’s 3-4 nights a week, and every so often a country music superstar in Vegas for a quick turn pops in unannounced for an intimate set.
Closest nightclub to Gilley’s: EBC At Night / XS (@ Wynn / Encore across street)
5. Zappos Theater @ Planet Hollywood – $$$ – Center Strip
The current version of Zappos Theater received an extensive facelift and new identity in 2000 after decades as the Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts in the old Aladdin Hotel. Its current Planet Hollywood proprietors – backed by the same team of rich and famous LA investors including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg that helped replace Aladdin with the PH resort over a decade ago – modernized the theater’s appearance and amenities, which in turn has attracted bigger-name music artists and higher-spending customers.
One-third the size of T-Mobile Arena, the 7,000-seat Zappos offers concertgoers VIP tables with bottle service (including a free bottle of Moet Champagne), flatscreen TVs displaying multiple stage angles, top-of-the-line acoustics that crank out professional-grade vocal and background sound, and even a post-show artist meet-and-greet (for an additional cost, of course). Past resident performers at Zappos include Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, and Def Leppard. Protip: it’s one of the few venues where parking is free, as it is located in the middle of Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops which provides this nice perk to draw shoppers to the property.
6. The Colosseum @ Caesars’ Palace – $$$$ – Center Strip
Originally created for music icon Celine Dion’s much-hyped “A New Day…” residency in 2003, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace has hosted almost 2,500 events over its lifetime. A multimillion-dollar renovation on the venue while painstakingly preserving its iconic, luxurious ethos was recently completed in September 2019. Upgrades include a new state-of-the-art sound system, a ginormous high-definition LED video wall, refurbished seat cushioning to enhance guest comfort, modernized moving light fixtures, and enhanced lobby bars and merchandise sales kiosks. Trust us on this: if The Colosseum – new and improved, top of the line, shiny AF – is good enough for fussy mega-divas like Celine Dion, Elton John, and Mariah Carey, then it will be plenty good enough for you, and well worth your time and money.
Closest nightclub to The Colosseum: Omnia (in resort on first floor)
7. The Chelsea @ Cosmopolitan – $$$ – Center Strip
A hotel popular with well-traveled and well-heeled young foreigners as well as in-the-know locals, Cosmo has always attracted the cool kids crowd with its buzzy restaurant/lounge scenes and its cadre of Instagram-worthy installations. Fitting right in with this ethos, The Chelsea has hosted well-known artists over the years – Imagine Dragons performed on NYE 2019 – yet their sweet spot remains either up-and-coming acts just starting to get notoriety, or once-famous acts that still retain a strong cult following (e.g. Foster the People, Alice Cooper, Foreigner, Lenny Kravitz, Nas).
Rustic brickwork adorning the walls, quirky on-stage props and sculptures, and a vintage lobby bar are can’t-miss aesthetics for music lovers; the Cosmopolitan high-lifer will surely be drawn to the marvelous grand staircase and sparkling modern architecture on the walk up to his/her luxurious VIP gallery boxes. A more intimate venue with a capacity of just 2,000, The Chelsea consistently carries elevated demand for its upcoming shows – general admission tickets are standing-room only, and mid-priced assigned seating sections often sell out quickly, so plan ahead accordingly.
Closest nightclub to The Chelsea: Marquee Nightclub (in resort on second floor)
8. Park Theater @ Park MGM – $$$ – South Strip
MGM Resorts is one of the founding fathers of live music entertainment in Vegas. Barbra Streisand – just a catchy hook for the EDM generation but the Adele of the Baby Boomer generation, ask your parents! – was the inaugural performer for MGM’s now-legendary Grand Garden Arena on New Year’s Eve 1994. The legacy of great entertainers continues twenty-six years later with MGM’s newest concert venue at its newest Strip resort. Formerly the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, the upscale Park MGM Las Vegas opened in 2018 after a multimillion-dollar renovation, providing a casual and cool atmosphere catering to younger travelers (mid-twenties to early-thirties).
Its cozy 5,200-seat Park Theater provides intimate and immersive views and experiences that resonate with younger clientele; enhancing the audio and visual spectacle are a 140-foot wide stage, a 240-foot wide projection surface with projection mapping technology, and 9 gargantuan HD / 4K Projectors. The venue also features 7 separate bars and terraces with stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip, The Park, and T-Mobile Arena and as an added bonus is a short walk from the foodie haven that is Park MGM, where ultra-hip(ster) offerings such as Eataly and Roy Choi’s Best Friend are must try nosh spots post-concert. So make those plans today to go gaga for Lady Gaga or turn back time with Cher: a walk in the Park Theater is as refreshing and as stress-free as… a walk in the park.
Closest nightclub to Park MGM: On The Record (in resort on first floor)
9. House of Blues @ Mandalay Bay – $$ – South Strip
Staying ever true to its Southern Hospitality theme across all of its worldwide locations, the House of Blues unveils for its Las Vegas version the intimate aura of an upscale Bourbon Street boogie. The stage and the music hall are the centerpiece of every HOB layout including this one; the area directly in front of the stage is first-come first-serve and standing-room only. Colorfully bold Mardi Gras vibes emanate from state-of-the-art audio/visual technology within an environment carefully crafted with the goal of bringing fans and the artists they love closer together. It’s a great venue for guitar-heavy musical genres; rock legend Carlos Santana loves playing here and visits several times a year to perform for swooning sold-out crowds. One of the most unique live music experiences in Vegas is the long-running House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch, where guests are treated to soulful performances of Gospel / R&B music while enjoying mimosas and a scrumptious Southern-style brunch buffet.
10. Nine Fine Irishmen @ – MGM Grand – $ – South Strip
One of the city’s best Irish pubs, Nine Fine Irishmen was designed and built by Ireland’s top craftsmen and shipped piece by piece to Las Vegas. 9Fine brings the charms of the Emerald Isle to Las Vegas in other ways as well: food, spirits, camaraderie, and of course music. Your favorite Irish dishes – the ones you wolf down only on St. Patrick’s Day – are on the lunch and dinner menu perennially; an impressive variety of Irish beers and drinks will allow you expand your horizons past Guinness and Jameson. Happy Hour runs from Monday-Friday from 2-5 pm; While the restaurant closes at 11pm, the bar stays open until 3am (which makes it the most convenient pre-game / rendezvous point for groups headed to nearby Hakkasan Nightclub).
Once the alcohol starts flowing at Nine Fine Irishmen, the live music entertainment takes the stage to keep the crowd’s toes tapping. In particular, the energy reaches crescendo levels in the evening around 9:30-10pm, when the house band bangs out a mix of traditional Irish music, wild electric jigs and reels, and classic sing-along songs. Granted, the atmosphere here can get a bit rowdy and dodgy, especially during big soccer matches when 9Fine takes on the feel and atomsphere of an edgy Euro-style sports pub. That being said, getting tipsy and creating your own live performances by singing amateur karaoke at the top of your lungs is strongly encouraged here. For that reason – the whole DIY aspect of live music creation – it’s impossible to leave Nine Fine Irishmen off any list of great Vegas live music venues. Erin Go Bragh!
Closest nightclub to Nine Fine Irishmen: Hakkasan (in resort on first floor)
OK, so you’ve gotten your “live music in Vegas” itch scratched, and for your next chapter in your storybook Vegas weekend you’re ready to let loose on a pulsating dance floor, amirite? What’s the next step??? Line up your late evening or next day party plans in advance and set aside the appropriate budgets (or sign up for guest lists) using our Discotech app. Available in both the App Store and Google Play and featured on BBC Travel and highly reviewed on Yelp!, Discotech is here to make sure the dayclub and nightclub chorus of your weekend stays in harmony with the rest of your Vegas soundtrack.