TOP STARS WHO PLAYED IN LAS VEGAS
A lot of people who visit Las Vegas do so because they want to partake of the gambling on offer in this casino hot spot. They are often attracted by the film and television portrayals of these casinos, which depict them as dangerous, exciting and glamorous, but they are not all that the city has to offer. In particular, Vegas is a music city, with many of the top musicians in the world choosing to perform there.
It was during the 1950's and 1960's that Las Vegas truly developed its reputation for hosting major music stars. During the 1950's, flamboyant stars like Liberace made the city their own, but it was the arrival of the Rat Pack during the early part of the following decade that made history.
Combining crooning jazz and easy listening tunes with banter, the Rat Pack packed crowds in at casino/hotel resorts such as the Sands and the Riviera. The leader of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, became particularly associated with Las Vegas and continued to perform there throughout the rest of his career.
Vegas continued to be a hugely popular place for big stars to perform in as well, with the likes of Tom Jones making their debuts there during the 1970's and helping to establish the reputation of the resort for adult-oriented, easy listening music.
While this is the kind of music that many still associate with Las Vegas – and indeed singers of that type like Celine Dion and Elton John still perform lavish concerts at venues like the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, drawing crowds of thousands – Vegas has also attracted more edgy, experimental musicians during the last decade or so. One notable example of this was the late funk-pop star Prince, who took to the stage of the Rio towards of the end of 2006.
His residency there proved an enormous success and featured collaborations with the likes of Chaka Khan, with his presence helping to give the Vegas music scene a hipper image. The likes of Jennifer Lopez have followed in his wake, as she set up home at the Planet Hollywood complex there, proving that Vegas is not just for older music fans. Indeed the current era is seeing cutting edge dance acts like Afrojack choosing to perform there – as this DJ performed a successful set to packed crowds at the Wynn Las Vegas.
The next few months will see stars ranging from older singers like Rod Stewart, to younger ones such as Keith Sweat taking to stages in Las Vegas, proving that it is truly a musical center.