Pretty much every singer worth their Twitter followings makes a stop in Vegas on their national tour. While the big acts usually play the big arenas, some go for the more intimate rooms so you may get a chance to see your favorites up close and in person. Major headliner showrooms in Vegas include the following:
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com; [tel] 877/551-7778) has two venues, the laid-back, open-air Boulevard Pool overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, and the Chelsea, which is a surprisingly intimate venue considering the fact that it can accommodate more than 3,000 people. This converted ballroom feels less like that and more like an industrial-chic play space complete with reclaimed wood accents, subway tile, and a cheeky attitude perfect for the hotel in which it is located. Both draw big names including Lorde, Adele, and Bruno Mars.
- The4,000-seat Colosseum (in Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (tel 866/227-5938; www.caesarspalace.com)
- has been home to extended runs for big-name artists like Sting, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, and more, with shorter stands by big-name singing and comedy acts like Madonna and Jerry Seinfeld.
- Hard Rock Hotel’s (4455 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/693-7625 or 702/693-5000; www.hardrockhotel.com) The Joint was rebuilt in 2009 and now holds 4,000 people for rock concerts and special events. The smaller Vinyl club is like a rock-‘n’-roll haven on the Sunset Strip.
- The House of Blues can hold several hundred people for smaller rock and blues concerts and their weekly gospel brunch (in Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; tel 877/632-7400 or 702/632-7600; www.hob.com).
- Brooklyn Bowl has cornered the market on the indy-rock market for Vegas. The concert venue is intimate and relaxed; a perfect place to catch the general-admission shows from artists both edgy (Jane’s Addiction, Fishbone, and so on) and safe—hey, where have you been, Steve Winwood? (at the LINQ, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Suite 22; www.brooklynbowl.com; [tel] 702/862-2695).
- Mandalay Bay Events Center seats 12,000 people for arena-style concert tours and indoor sporting events (in Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; tel 877/632-7400 or 702/632-7580; www.mandalaybay.com).
- MGM Grand Garden Events Arena can hold over 17,000 people and is home to big-name concert tours and events (in the MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; tel 800/929-1111 or 702/891-7777; www.mgmgrand.com).
- Park Theater anchors the Monte Carlo as an intimate, 5,200-seat space where the furthest you can be from the stage is a mere 145 feet. Current residents include Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin and Bruno Mars. (in the Monte Carlo, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; www.montecarlo.com; [tel] 844/600-7275).
- The Orleans Showroom seats 9,500 people and often has concerts, ice hockey, traveling circuses, and other events (in the Orleans, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave.; tel 800/675-3267; www.orleanscasino.com).
- The Pearl Theater is a three-level venue that seats up to 2,500 people for pop, rock, R&B, and comedy concerts (in the Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Rd.; tel 866/942-7770; www.palms.com).
- Sam Boyd Stadium is a 36,800-seat stadium that features big concerts and sporting events (7000 E. Russell Rd.; tel 800/745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com).
- The Smith Center for the Performing Arts has a 2,000 seat concert hall for big stage shows (including a Broadways series), a 300-seat Cabaret Jazz theater, and a 200-seat theater for smaller productions. (361 Symphony Park Ave.; tel 702/614-0109; www.thesmithcenter.com).
- T-Mobile Arena is the latest mega-addition to the Strip that seats up to 20,00 people for large scale concerts (count Guns ‘n Roses, Billy Joel and the Rolling Stones among the venue’s inaugural acts), and is the home to Las Vegas’ new hockey team, the Vegas Golden Knights. (3780 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; www.t-mobilarena.com; [tel] 702/692/-1600).
- The Thomas and Mack Center is a 19,522-seat arena that hosts concerts and sporting events (UNLV Campus; tel 800/745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com).
- The Fremont Country Club is Downtown Las Vegas’ only real concert venue, hosting rock shows and other special events. (601 E. Fremont St.; tel 702/382-6601; www.fremontcountryclubvegas.com).
During its fallow days in the 1970s and ’80s, Las Vegas was the place where an entertainer’s act went to die. The headliner showrooms were the refuge for singers whose careers’ best days were years, and sometimes decades, behind them.
That all changed when Céline Dion came to town in 2003. Her 5-year engagement at Caesars Palace shattered box office records and made it safe for big-name headliners to call Vegas their home. In the last decade we have seen marquee-topping extended runs from Elton John, Cher, Bette Midler, Prince, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Rod Stewart, and more.Tickets are expensive, with the best seats going for upward of $300, and the concerts are not performed every week, so if you want to see one you have to plan your vacation around their schedule rather than yours. But many of the shows are exclusive engagements, meaning if you want to see the stars, you have to come to Vegas.
Sting announced his first headlining run at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (www.sting.com; [tel] 877/423-5463; show times vary, tickets $55-$250). Starting in May 2020, Sting: My Songs reprises his greatest hits, which is to be expected of any Vegas headliner, but these are retooled versions that have been released on his album of the same name. Sting may not have the 31-piece orchestra that backed Celine during her last tenure in this theater, but sometimes you don't need more than Sting and his guitar in a spotlight.
Sharing the same stage (but not at the same time, sadly), Rod Stewart, at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (wwwr.rodstewart.com; [tel] 888/435-8665; show times vary; tickets $49–$250), continues to tour with his show, simply and aptly titled, The Hits. Stewart’s canon of work is irreproachable: “Forever Young,” You Wear It Well,” “Maggie May” and of course his iconic “Do You Think I’m Sexy.” After 5 decades’ worth of hits, yes, Rod, we do.
Country icons unite in Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (www.thecolosseum.com; [tel] 800/745-3000; show times vary; tickets $60–$205), a show exclusively created for Las Vegas. Reba McEntire collaborated with country duo Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn for this fun, 90-minute honky-tonk, packed with plenty of number one songs from both their extensive catalogs.
Finally, icon Lady Gaga has taken up residency at the newest venue on the block, the Park Theater at Monte Carlo, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (vegas.ladygaga.com; [tel] 866/919-7472; show times vary; tickets $78 and up, and much higher for resale tickets), rotating performance schedules with other heavy hitters such as Bruno Mars and Cher. There are two iterations of the show: The first is the dynamic Enigma, where Gaga performs her huge pop hits with all the spectacle and costume changes for which she is known. The other is the more sedate Jazz & Piano, where she plays acoustic versions of her songs and other American standards. During her opening weekend, this was the show where her A Star Is Born co-star Bradley Cooper joined her on stage to sing their Oscar-winning duet, “Shallow,” proving that even without big production values, Gaga is still full of surprises.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.