Some of the Biggest Rock Bands to Play in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known for being the world’s party capital. For decades, the city’s slogan has been “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” referencing the numerous rock ‘n’ roll activities available to visitors.

Boxing contests, live musical performances, white-knuckle thrill rides, designer and boutique shopping, luxurious cuisine, and casinos are all held in this desert metropolis. Many things have come out of Vegas throughout the years, including the casino resort, Mark Twain, Levi’s jeans, and the rapid divorce industry. It’s also where Texas Hold’em first gained popularity, and the World Series of Poker was started in 1970. Millions of people visit Las Vegas now to compete in this and other tournaments presented at legendary locations such as The Horseshoe, Golden Nugget, and Venetian.

However, even the most devoted professional poker players can be enticed away from the tables by some of the other entertainment options available in Sin City, mainly the numerous rock concerts performed at casino sites on the strip. Many of the most famous names in rock and metal have performed in Vegas over the years, and they continue to do so today.

Led Zeppelin

It’s a matter of much debate who was the first rock band to perform in Las Vegas but when Led Zeppelin ascended the stage at the Ice Palace in 1969, it’s safe to say they were one of the pioneers. Although historical records disagree on the actual date, it was most likely August 7.

Even though the band had only recorded one album at this point, Train Kept a Rollin’, Dazed and Confused, and You Shook Me provided plenty of terrific material for them to perform.

KISS

KISS’ second Las Vegas residency, was just confirmed by Gene Simmons. This will be the band’s final live performance, since he and Paul Stanley will be hanging up their guitars at the end of the year. When they do, they’ll be ending careers that have lasted over 50 years.

KISS first performed in Las Vegas in 1975, when they played two gigs at the Sahara Space Center. They were paid a pittance for their efforts, collecting only $700 for both performances. Even when adjusted for inflation ($3,600), the promoter, Gary Naseef, got a good deal.

Their two gigs were held on May 29th and 30th, 1975, with only a few hours between them, with the first beginning at 8 p.m. and the second beginning at 2 a.m. They were sold out because to Naseef’s massive marketing campaign, which used the band’s “unconventional” stylings, makeup choices, and extensive use of pyrotechnics to generate some eye-catching TV advertising.

The actual setlist played by the young KISS to their Army is unknown, but it was most likely their biggest singles from the Dressed to Kill, Hotter Than Hell, and KISS albums.

Guns N’ Roses

Las Vegas is no stranger to Guns N’ Roses. The band has performed in the city on multiple occasions, including during their three-year reunion tour, the Not in This Lifetime… Tour. This was a historic occasion for the band and its fans because it was the first time in 23 years that Slash, Axl Rose, and Duff McKagan performed together.

The Troubadour in West Hollywood was the first stop on the tour’s first leg, where Guns N’ Roses played an intimate show for 500 people. However, the actual concerts would begin at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In early 2016, the band played to roughly 29,000 sold-out fans over two days before traveling to Coachella the following week.

This would not be the last time Guns N’ Roses performed in Nevada; their most recent appearance was in late August 2021 at the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium.

Aerosmith

If you enjoy playing at casino sites, you may have previously tried a slot game based on Boston’s most renowned rock and roll band. However, those who choose to visit an actual casino in Las Vegas will have the opportunity to see this iconic band perform live.

Aerosmith maintains a residency at the Park Theatre in Las Vegas, part of the world-renowned MGM Resort. The Resort has hosted some of the city’s top artists, so it’s no surprise that Aerosmith chose it for their residency.

The band’s residency took place in April, June, and July of this year and included action-packed concerts featuring their biggest songs. Thousands of fans flocked to see several of the shows, which were sold out.

Def Leppard

Def Leppard, like Aerosmith, is another rock band with a slot machine dedicated to them. They’re also one of only a few major rock artists to have a residency in Las Vegas with Aerosmith.

‘Def Leppard Hit Vegas: Sin City Residency’ was the band’s title for a six-week residency at Planet Hollywood in August and September of 2019. Planet Hollywood is a household brand worldwide, but it is best known in Vegas for its excellent casino and hotel located in the heart of Miracle Mile. It was an accomplishment in and of itself to be able to perform there, as the venue only books the finest of the best.

Photo by Ameer Basheer on Unsplash

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