While a residency show is always worth checking out – Britney Spears, Celine Dion or Elton John are some of the big names playing in 2017 – a visit to Vegas is not complete with exploring the real Vegas. A visit to the smaller bars and clubs that play host to live music every night are a must. From blues to rock, jazz to rap – there’s a bar out there for every musical taste.
With the help of the Vegas experts at Travelbag, we go through a few of the venues, the (self-professed) dives and the bars that showcase the best live music in Sin City.
Don’t Tell Mama
517 Fremont St, Las Vegas
This 2014 winner of Best Piano Bar in Las Vegas is like a New York cocktail lounge transported to the Nevada desert. With nightly open-mic sessions, punters are encouraged to come onstage and perform, singing their own songs with the help of the resident pianist. Just be prepared – waiting staff are hired for their own musical ability and will at any point suddenly burst into song. This place is great to go to hang out with a few friends, and sing along to a few tunes.
House of Blues
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
This chain bar promises up and coming rock and blues acts – Food is of a good standard, and expect large portions of authentic southern dishes like jambalaya, shrimp’n’grits and po’boys. Gospel choirs gently wake Sunday brunchers while big names takeover the late night weekend slots.
The Dispensary Lounge
2451 East Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas
This bar is charmed personified, and a place to sing, eat, drink and gamble. It wears “Playboy’s 4th Best Dive Bar in the Country” award with pride and its owners Adele and Doug welcome everyone to their dimly lit saloon-style bar for a night of live music and fun. Best known for hosting the best jazz nights in Vegas, this a must for fans of improv and freestyle.
3545 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas
The Brooklyn Bowl plays host to punk and rock tribute bands as well as polished acts like Toots and the Maytals and Modest Mouse. The venue boasts 32 bowling lanes and critically acclaimed food from NYC’s Blue Ribbon which include rock and roll fries, chicken platters and catfish entrees. The Bowl has been seen as a game changer on the strip with its contemporary approach to music, food and games.
Saddles ‘n’ Spurs
2333 North Jones Boulevard, Ste 108, Las Vegas
Las Vegas’s last remaining real honky tonk bar, Saddles n Spurs is a friendly tavern which offers live music pretty much every night, together with gaming, food and drink. The bar is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – with happy hour running for a record breaking 16 hours a day. Order a bite at the Chuck Wagon Kitchen, click your heels and enjoy a hoedown on the dance floor while the band plays on.
MGM Grand Garden Arena
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
As part of the MGM complex, the arena hosts comedy acts like Joe Rogan, music acts like Green Day and Ricky Martin and performances from Cirque de Soleil – so every night promises something new. Food can be enjoyed at the countless bars, grills and restaurants – but the Arena is where you go for a ‘big’ Vegas show.