Music & Nightlife

Your guide to the best nightclubs, live music and concerts in Las Vegas

Music

The best Las Vegas nightclubs and music venues

See a live show, revel in debauched ultralounge excess or hit the Las Vegas dance clubs

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Bars

The best bars and lounges in Las Vegas

Parched? That’s OK, you’re in the desert. Welcome to Sin City’s finest drinking dens

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Things to do

LGBT in Las Vegas

Looking for the best places to indulge in Sin City’s LGBT scene? Find all you need to know right here

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Things to do

Performing arts in Las Vegas

Discover the theaters, concert halls and arts centers only the locals know about

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The best nightclubs in Vegas

Clubs

The Act

Performance art meets period piece meets burlesque. If you can wrap your head around this unusual combination, you’ll have a rough idea of what you will find at unique and edgy the Act, one of the Strip’s newest clubs located in the Shoppes at the Palazzo. The brainchild of nightclub designer Simon Hammerstein (creator of the Box in London and New York), The Act is a funky mind-melt, intended to be experienced instead of just witnessed. 

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Clubs

Gallery

Lovers of fine art and the fine female form unite! Both are on display at the appropriately named Gallery Nightclub, located in Planet Hollywood in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. OK, so the “artwork” isn’t likely to inspire any heated discussions among art history majors, but the vibe is plenty hot nonetheless: case in point, Thursday night’s Good Girls Gone Bad, which is bound to create inspiration of one kind or another.

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Clubs

Hakkasan

You really can’t compare any other nightclubs in Las Vegas with MGM’s newly opened, gigantic Hakkasan because that would be, well, impossible. With multiple levels and room for about 7,000 revellers, Hakkasan puts the “mega” in megaclub. To fill this aeroplane-hangar-like space when the club opened in the spring of 2013, MGM execs signed on some of the hottest DJs, including Calvin Harris, DJ Tiesto, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 for residencies. The strategy has worked. All 80,000sq ft of space is packed—from the Ling Ling Lounge to the main dancefloor—and for good reason. 

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Clubs

XS

Steve Wynn doesn’t do things by halves, and the opulent gold-plated nightclub at his newest casino-hotel sets a new standard of luxe. The 13,000sq ft indoor-outdoor space is gilded with rotating gold chandeliers, golden moulds of cocktail waitresses and balconies surrounding the huge dancefloor. The effect is Donald Trump’s dream nightclub. Still, all that shimmering opulence might be a little hard on the eyes, but the patrons sure aren’t. Book your spot well in advance if you want to have a look. 

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Clubs

1 Oak

In its effort to remain relevant in the face of its newer, bigger, hipper competitors on the Strip, the Mirage couldn’t have done any better than the opening of this West Coast branch of New York hotspot, 1 Oak. Since its debut in the spring of 2013, the club has hosted a veritable Who’s Who of A-listers: performers and attendees alike. Guest musicians like Flo Rida, Snoop Dog and Kayne West have all graced its stage, while others, like the ever-controversial Chris Brown, have merely partied down here. Want to see and be seen? No need to look elsewhere.

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Things to do

The best Las Vegas casinos

Whip out your wallet and place a bet at one of the gambling palaces that gives Sin City its name

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Best live music venues

Beat Coffeehouse & Records

Part coffeehouse, eaterie, bar, vinyl record store and music venue, the Beat is Las Vegas’s epicentre for all (anti-establishment) things Downtown. Local musicians play on the stage-less floor at the front of the store, while their fans and friends spill out on to the sidewalk of Fremont Street. Cheap food and strong coffee is available during the day; after 7pm even cheaper beer is served.

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Boulevard Pool

The Cosmopolitan started hosting live musical acts at Marquee before it realised what a gem it had in the Boulevard Pool. The logistics took some retooling, but the hotel-casino now features regular bands on a specially designed stage that overlooks its fourth-floor open-air pool. The music is varied—Hot Chip, Gary Clark Jr, MGMT—and the sound system (and experience) is beyond superb. Enjoy top-notch music overlooking the Strip, and don’t worry about the view: the bands are broadcast on to a four-storey screen adjacent to the pool. Best Las Vegas music experience, hands-down.

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Bunkhouse Saloon

This former country bar closed in the summer of 2013 for a makeover. While that wasn’t welcome news to Bunkhouse fans, who liked the taxidermy-and-cowboy decor, the management promised the redo wouldn’t sacrifice BH’s charm. It’s still too early to tell, but as long as the Bunkhouse keeps up the steady diet of fabulous music nightly, we’ll be OK with it.

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Bars

Double Down Saloon

No head for drink? Then hand over $20 for puke insurance: if you barf, staff will clean up. Otherwise, you’re on your own at this darkly chaotic bar. ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’, they bill it, and with good reason: the music is loud, whether from the impeccably curated jukebox—filled with ska, surf, psychobilly and punk tunes—or the regular bands, and the vibe is welcoming. Acts that have graced its stage include TSOL, Dickies and the Supersuckers. It’s also known for its tasty alcoholic concoctions such as Ass Juice and bacon martinis (no one’s ever had two). Beers are a better bet.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Hotels

Hard Rock

The casino itself may be like a zoo, but the upstairs guestrooms are remarkably peaceful and minimalist, with mod space-age-y furnishings that are part-Jetsons, part-I Ching. And, thanks largely to the fact that the Hard Rock isn’t that old, they’re also very spacious. Most rooms have been decorated with museum-quality photos of rock stars, and some of the suites—Stones Suite; Sex & Pistols Suite—take the music theme to the max.

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Vinyl

Looking for a more intimate—and diverse—experience than the acts at the Joint? You’d do well to check out the Hard Rock’s newer club, Vinyl. Opened in 2012, this 650-seater hosts everything under the sun, from heavy metal mariachi act Metalachi to Courtney Love to local crooners. Shows are often free, and if you’re not in the mood for music, check out bad-boy comedian Andrew Dice Clay, whose shtick is sure to offend even the most hardened sensibilities.

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