Forget the gambling and the showgirls — with high-tech new music venues popping up like mushrooms, rock stars now have more reason than ever to make a pit stop in Las Vegas.

First came Prince’s Club 3121, and now there’s the Pearl, a new concert hall at the Palms Casino Resort. With its creation clocking in at $85 million, the 2,500-seat space raises the bar for entertainment, even by over-the-top Las Vegas standards.

“I wanted to create a special theater for live music,” says owner George Maloof, who designed the 88,000-square-foot, three-level theater with Pfeiffer Architects. “There are three things that make the Pearl unique to Las Vegas — great acoustics, great sight lines and intimacy between the artists and audiences.” No seat is more than 120 feet from the stage, and all the surfaces have been acoustically treated to ensure that no sound bounces back, a common complaint from music aficionados. And though the space is relatively small, concertgoers will find the kind of high-end amenities usually reserved for huge arenas, including video screens framing the stage and plasma TVs, as well as 18 VIP skyboxes with private bars and lounges that hug the stage.

The Pearl may also be the first venue in the world to be tied to a state-of-the-art recording studio — the Studio at the Palms — for live concert audio and video tapings that will be available as part of an exclusive three-year deal with iTunes.

The Pearl’s lineup kicked off with Evanescence on March 17, but the official grand opening will feature Gwen Stefani on April 21, followed by rock band Tool on April 27 and Fall Out Boy on April 29 — all wrangled by Andrew Hewitt, who defected from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino after a decade of booking the likes of Madonna.

Pearl Concert Theater, Palms Casino Resort, 4321 West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas 89103; 702-942-7777;

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