Las Vegas nightlife • The best clubs and live music venues in Sin City

Few towns in the US rival this one when it comes to nightlife—see a live show, revel in debauched ultralounge excess or hit the Las Vegas dance clubs

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No other city comes alive when the sun goes down quite like Las Vegas does. The daytime desert doesn’t do justice to the dazzling jewels that illuminate the sky after dark. And nighttime is, of course, the right time to head to the clubs in Las Vegas.

Plus, here in the desert, there’s a little something for everyone. Searching for the hottest dance clubs in Las Vegas? We got that. Hakkasan at MGM Grand continues to book an A-plus list of DJs and a packed floor night after night. XS at the Encore is another madhouse, with top-notch spinners and rabid fans waiting for the beat to … drop.

If you’re more of a live music fan, you will find plenty of Las Vegas clubs playing what you want to hear. The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan hosts amazing outdoor gigs from early spring through late fall on its fourth-floor pool deck overlooking the Strip. At the Hard Rock Hotel, bands with larger audiences rock its 4,000-person room, The Joint, and smaller acts play neighboring club Vinyl.

Want something off the beaten path? Head to one of the many live-music bars around the city. The Cheyenne Saloon in northeast Las Vegas is mighty far from the lights of the Strip. But there’s no waiting in line to get in, the cover charge is low, and the range of music (think “heavy” to “heaviest”) will blow you off your feet.

But if you just need a good laugh instead, there’s plenty of comedy in Las Vegas’s clubs. Some of the best stand-up in Las Vegas can be found at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club in the MGM Grand, conveniently located near the parking lot or, as Garrett says, “the basement.” Other comedy clubs include the improv at Harrah’s, which brings in three new acts a week and has been in the laugh-business for 50 years. That should tell you something.

The best nightlife in Vegas

1 Oak

  • Critics choice

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

  1. Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (at Spring Mountain Road)
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Beat Coffeehouse & Records

  • Critics choice

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

  1. 520 E Fremont Street, (at 6th Street)
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Body English

Hard Rock nightspot Body English was retooled in late 2012 following a four-year hiatus, much to the delight of its ardent fans. “Fans” is the operative word here. Visitors to Body English usually fall into one of two camps: love it or hate it. This probably has as

  1. Hard Rock, 4455 Paradise Road, (at E Harmon Avenue)
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Boulevard Pool

  • Critics choice

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

  1. Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (at W Hacienda Avenue)
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Double Down Saloon

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

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

  1. Paradise Plaza, 4640 Paradise Road, (between E Harmon & E Tropicana avenues)
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Hakkasan

  • Critics choice

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

  1. MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (at E Tropicana Avenue)
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Light

This club of the same name used to be located inside Bellagio, before operators the Light Group teamed with Cirque du Soleil (in that company’s first-ever nightclub venture) and moved the show down the road to Mandalay. Tiered balconies surround an intimate

  1. Mandalay Bay, 950 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (at W Hacienda Avenue)
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Vinyl

  • Critics choice

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

  1. Hard Rock, 4455 Paradise Road, (at E Harmon Avenue)
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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

  1. Encore, 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (between E Desert Inn Road & Sands Avenue)
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