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Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without music, from jazz to soul to swing. But what defines the city most at the moment is rock ’n’ roll. Here, a look at some of the city’s more hip happenings.
This story first appeared in the August 12, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Since its November debut in Vegas’ newest hotel, the Palms Casino Resort, Ghostbar, the 55th-floor bar and lounge has attracted scores of scenesters looking for a rockin’ view — 450 feet up — of the Strip. The white and chrome Mod-industrial setting and open-air Ghost Deck are perfect for spotting visiting musicians, who lately have made this perch their hangout. Ghostbar, The Palms, 4321 West Flamingo Road, 702-938-8000. Open all night.
Earth, Wind and Fire
This multilevel, 25,000-square-foot nightclub/concert venue at the Palms has also become one of the hottest rocker spots in town. When it’s not hosting a headliner band, deejays spin dance music for those who actually like music, not techno-industrial pounding noises. It’s a little like a bigger Studio 54 with fire, wind and water effects (hence its name). Rain in the Desert, The Palms, 4321 West Flamingo Road, 702-940-RAIN. Open Thursday-Saturday, beginning at 11 p.m.
For those who remember Rick Springfield from his “Jesse’s Girl” heartthrob days in the Eighties, this show is a must. The Australian singer is still as charismatic as ever and performs several highlights from his 30-year career. The show bowed in January 2001 and is set to run indefinitely. But if just Rick’s not enough for you, there are also 70 singers and dancers, 6,000 lights and, appropriately enough, given the theater’s name, 250 special effects. EFX Alive, Starring Rick Springfield at MGM, 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South. For reservations, call 702-891-7777 or 800-929-1111. Showtimes are Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Self-proclaimed Elvis expert Chris Davidson opened his tribute museum to house his growing collection of memorabilia. Now it contains such treasures as an 80-foot-long mural, three of his cars (including his 1955 Cadillac limousine) and his speedboat. Of course, it also contains the requisite clothes, jewelry, piano and furniture. There are also eight live shows daily, either “All Shook Up,” featuring 18-year-old tribute singer Justin Shandor singing the hits from the Fifties through the Seventies, and “The King in Concert,” with Sonny Boline performing Elvis music circa the Seventies. Needless to say, a stop at the gift shop’s a must. Elvis-A-Rama Museum, 3401 South Industrial Road, 702-309-7200. Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
And Still More Tributes
l If the shows at Elvis-A-Rama aren’t enough to satiate your appetite for the King and his music, check out Craig Newell, another acclaimed homage artist, doing that swivel-hipped thing he does at Fitzgerald’s Casino Hotel on historic Fremont street. Tribute to Elvis at Fitzgerald’s Casino Hotel, 301 Fremont Street, 702-388-2411. Shows are at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Thursday-Monday.
l The Frontier Hotel and Casino has two shows designed to win the hearts of golden oldie fans: The first, “Rock ’n’ Roll Legends,” covers rock greats like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond and, of course, Elvis, while the second, “Daytripper,” focuses only on the Fab Four. Even those who don’t know all the words by heart will be happy to hum along. Tickets are $19. Rock ’n’ Roll Legends and Daytripper, both at New Frontier Hotel/Casino, 3120 Las Vegas Boulevard South, 702-794-8200. Showtimes daily
4 p.m. and Saturday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.
l It’s almost too good to be true, but Las Vegas’ most visible (and tallest, at 115 stories) landmark, the Stratosphere, also houses one of the most entertaining tribute shows in town. This one features living legends-in-the-making, including Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Michael Jackson and Madonna and is suitable for fans of all ages. Tickets are $29.95. American Superstars at Stratosphere, 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South, 702-380-7711. Showtimes Sunday-Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Beauty and the Beach
Not that the pool at one of the hippest hotels in town needs any help attracting more females to its sandy shores (it’s built to resemble a beach)… but now the Hard Rock Hotel’s swimming hole is the home of a weekly party called “Pink Beach.” The three-hour girlfest features free cocktails for the first hour and a plethora of beauty treatments like $5 nail polish applications, half-price Botox injections by a local plastic surgeon, seated massages and MAC cosmetics for sale. Chippendale’s dancers also provide poolside entertainment, along with the requisite deejays. And if you haven’t blown all your green on a wrinkle-free face, there’s gaming options in the main. Free admission for women, $10 cover charge for men. Pink Beach at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 4455 Paradise Road, 702-693-5000. Wednesdays, 7:30-10:30 p.m.