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Las Vegas Live Music Venues – 944 Magazine April 2011

18 Apr

Recently I was presented with an amazing opportunity and was asked to write a feature on Live Music Venues in Las Vegas for 944 Magazine.  Below is the four page story which ran in the April issue, highlighting five of the top venues in town as well as a side bar with a handful of other places to check out live music.  If you want to view the digital version, click HERE and go to page 76.

 (originally appeared in 944 Magazine Las Vegas – April 2011)

Big thank you to everyone for the support of my blog because without it, I wouldn’t have had the chance to turn my hobby into something more and end up writing a feature story for a magazine.

Cheers!

Craig

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TONIGHT: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – Las Vegas Best Be Ready

26 Jan

Today is officially one of the best days in 2011 at least for me as Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears descend on Las Vegas to begin a four-night residency at Book & Stage at Cosmopolitan.  I know I practically live there but you can’t blame me as they are bringing in some amazing groups to perform and let’s just say if you miss out on these Black Joe Lewis performances you are only hurting yourself.

Belting out blues, soul, funk and rock, Black Joe Lewis has the potential to be our modern day James Brown. I know that is a bold statement but come check out the shows and you’ll have to agree.  Having had the pleasure of seeing the group perform in a room of 200 and an arena of 14,000, these guys bring it each and every time and can get a crowd dancing and feeling the groove in no time.

On the verge of releasing their new album Scandalous on March 15, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears will have an arsenal of  sweet music to treat us to for the next four nights.

To get you in the right state of mind, check out one of my favorite tracks, “Sugarfoot” off their album Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is and see you at the Book & Stage.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas: CRSVR LV

13 Dec

This is an exciting week but especially special for my friends Eric Aguirre aka DJ Vice and Nick Sakai as they get set to open their second CRSVR Sneaker Boutique inside the brand new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on Wednesday evening.  A huge congrats as they open their doors and start outfitting you with brands like Nike and Supra for your feet and threads from The Hundreds and Five Four Clothing, just to name a few.

While the fellas are hard at work getting the store together in time for opening, check out some of the photos Vice just sent along.  We’ll have more to share after Wednesday.

Oh yeah, CRSVR LV also has a DJ booth so you know Vice and Co. are going to be throwing it down at all random times of the day and night.  As we say, L’Chaim!

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TONIGHT: The Black Crowes – The Joint – Las Vegas

10 Dec

Just hours away from rock and roll heaven as The Black Crowes farewell tour invades Las Vegas and The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. Each time I’ve seen the Crowes at The Joint it has been a wild good time and I expect nothing but the same if not better tonight. Also really excited about Truth & Salvage Co. opening. Chris Robinson signed these guys to his label in 2009 and everyone should take note because they are going to be big one day. Anyways, off to the show and to see true icons of rock perform one last time.

TONIGHT: Passion Pit – House of Blues Las Vegas

9 Dec

Stoked for tonight’s Passion Pit show at House of Blues Las Vegas now I just have to hope the next seven hours go by fast until they hit the stage.  Luckily Mister Heavenly is one of the opening acts and I’m excited to check them out, really digging what I’ve heard thus far.  Pepper Rabbit and We Barbarians are also performing tonight.

 

 

Ozomatli TONIGHT at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas

3 Sep

Happy Friday! Not only are we heading into a holiday weekend but tonight, Ozomatli returns to Las Vegas and plays the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Hands down one of the best promotions in any city, SpyOn Vegas hosts Friday Night Live throughout the summer and brings in some great concerts which are FREE.  I can never get enough of Ozomatli live and having seen them at Mile High Music Festival a few weeks back , I’m amped up for their performance this evening.  Plus if the show is anything like last year’s at the Hard Rock pool, we are in for a treat.  The energy and good vibes Ozomatli spread are going to make this evening a great way to kick off Labor Day Weekend.    

The Vegas Years – Part 1

2 Aug

It’s been almost six years of living in Las Vegas and I don’t even know where to begin with the musical moments I’ve had a chance to enjoy while living in Sin City.  My hope is that I have included a good amount of them below but given that my memory has slipped a bit since living here, I’m sure there will be plenty of “The Vegas Years” posts as I recall parties, concerts, performances, red carpets and the likes of.

In the clubs, performances lent themselves to be everything from one song to a couple hours depending on the musician and where the night was going.  I’ve worked and seen everyone from The Killers at PURE and Jay-Z at TAO to the Black Crowes at Studio 54 and New Kids on the Block at LAX (this might have been the most insane crowd I’ve ever seen at a club).   Dare I even say we had an event at PURE for Paris Hilton’s CD release party and at LAX Heidi Montag debuted her first single during her 21st birthday but I was also part of far better events that included Christina Aguilera, Diddy, Ludacris, Britney Spears, Usher, Ne-Yo, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Gavin Rossdale, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Lil’ Jon, LMFAO, Big Boi, Flo Rida, Korn, Switchfoot, Fat Joe, R. Kelly, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Timbaland, Panic! At the Disco, Puddle of Mudd, Busta Rhymes, Fall Out Boy, Dave Navarro, Wyclef Jean, Travis Barker, Fabolous, Too Short, Korn, 30 Seconds to Mars, Vanilla Ice (was hysterical), The Game, Rick Ross, Juliette Lewis and The Licks, Kid Cudi and Asher Roth, John Legend, Coolio, Doug E. Fresh, Ray J, DMX, The Sugar Hill Gang, Naughty by Nature, Crazy Town and of course the Pussycat Dolls (since we had their lounge at PURE).  The list goes on and on but so many memories and what an unbelievable feeling to look back on.

I was also spoiled with the best DJs in the world on a nightly basis.  When DJ AM signed a residency with PURE it was like musical euphoria when he was spinning and for a few years you couldn’t ask for anything better until LAX opened at it became unfathomable to be able to listen to DJ AM and DJ Vice on a weekly basis.  Two people who I consider the best club DJs and can make a party rock but more importantly, genuine human beings.

Add in that Vegas is a mecca for international renowned DJs and so it became a regular occurrence to bounce around from club to club and pool to pool to hear the very best (and still happens J); from Oakenfold to Paul Van Dyk and Ferry Corsten to Erick Morillo, Tiesto, Steve Angello, Robbie Rivera, Carl Cox, Donald Glaude, Chris Cox, Laidback Luke, Deep Dish, Roger Sanchez, Fedde Le Grand, Sander Kleinenberg, Deadmau5, Kaskade, John Creamer & Stephane K, Dave Aude, Ivano Bellini, Oscar G, Bob Sinclar, Markus Schulz, Victor Calderone, Afrojack, Chuckie, Nathan Scott & Tony Arzadon and so on it is truly incredible the music that descended upon the desert of Las Vegas.  Spoiled is an understatement.

As I mentioned, one benefit of working with nightclubs was the fact that I had the opportunity to not only facilitate many of these events but being a music lover, see many acts that I wouldn’t have in concert.  Here are some of my favorite nights of music in Vegas clubland.

1)      DJ AM and Travis Barker first time at LAX Nightclub: The way LAX was built and with the stage setup in the middle of the dance floor it felt like you were in the round as a packed house of partiers were witness to 45 minutes of intense DJ/Drumming to old school and current tunes.  You could see the genuine fun AM and Travis were having and while I had seen this collaboration before at PURE, there was something magical about the performance at LAX.

2)      The Killers at PURE Nightclub:  We had this thing called the Summer Surprise Series with different music acts popping up on Industry Tuesday nights and really the cat was let out of the bag days in advance but to kick off the 2008 series, this performance was kept pretty much under wraps until about the day of (which is an eternity in Vegas and quite frankly shocking when you consider the nature of people to keep it quiet).  With a packed house on hand, The Killers took a break from recording their album down the road at the Palms and delivered a two song performance, their first in a nightclub and very fitting as they are Vegas boys. A club version of Mr. Brightside and a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” were the tracks of choice for the evening.

3)      When we opened LAX Nightclub, Bob Sinclar was one of the hottest house music DJs in the world and we had him spin and Gary Pine who is the vocals on many Sinclar tracks (World Hold On, Love Generation) on-hand to sing to track.  At LAX the DJ booth has a loft above for live performances and sure enough you had Sinclar spinning with Gary Pine above belting out the vocals – truly a crazy fun night of work.

4)      2007 MTV Video Music Awards Weekend was probably one of the craziest times to work in a nightclub in Vegas.  Coming off of a week straight of MAGIC parties and then the grand opening weekend of LAX Nightclub with Britney Spears, MTV Video Music Awards made it 14 straight days of parties let alone having four nightclubs to look after (luckily I had a great team working with me).  With LAX brand new, the first night was hosted by Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship and on a personal note that night ruled because Mark Ronson made an appearance and I think he is one of the most gifted musicians in the world.  The second night Christina Aguilera hosted a big bash (it was the event where Paris Hilton outted her pregnancy) and the third night at LAX was hosted by Diddy and DJ AM which was complete insanity after Diddy announced on-air at the Awards his after party at the club.  I practically lived at Luxor that weekend and bounced over to PURE at Caesars Palace where Diddy hosted an event one night and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls hosted the next.