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Chances Are The Song In The Casino Is Pitbull Or Train

Pitbull And Train

Pitbull And Train – Who Ya Got?

My Vegas vacation last week took me to quite a few different casinos. In the past this meant I would hear a nice variety of music – even if it was surrounded adult contemporary or pop music. Every casino had their own vibe and the music reflected that. Nowadays there isn’t much variety in music whether you’re in the middle of the Vegas Strip or Downtown Vegas. (This speaks to a bigger issue of homogenization in Las Vegas but I’ll save that for another day.)

There was a time where I could go to the Hard Rock casino and hear only rock music. That was awesome. Those days are over and, while they still play some good rock jams, they’ve added pop and rap to the mix. This isn’t the exclusive rock soundtrack I want or expect from the Hard Rock casino but it’s better than most. With the exception of the Margaritaville section of Flamingo many casinos have a similar mix of today’s pop and rock hits.

My musical tastes are questionable (at best) but I listen to a lot of music and usually know what I’m listening to. Last week I found myself asking my friend to Shazam songs so we could find out what we were listening to. Almost every time we Shazam’d a rock song it was a song by Train. Like Lifehouse before them I know that I’ve heard Train but never knew who they were…until now.

If a disposable-middle-of-the-road pop-rock song wasn’t playing it was a pop song featuring my man Pitbull. Pitbull and I go way back to his days on TVT records when he was still rapping about butts in spanish. Now, he’s adding a little flavor to just about every pop song. I love and hate this but the world will always be a better place when I hear Pitbull. This song was the one I remember hearing most.

There’s no way to escape Pitbull or Train in the casinos so just learn the songs and make the best of it. Maybe a Pitbull and Train drinking game will distract you enough.

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Life Is Beautiful Fest Bands, Chefs, Mascots and More

My musical taste has been questioned my whole life. I never really cared about music growing up but hearing Pantera, Goo Goo Dolls and Soundgarden in college for the first time opened my eyes to music that wasn’t on the radio. From that point forward my taste in music has been a little off the wall. I find equal enjoyment from Britney SpearsEPMDPantera, Pitbull and Martyr AD.

Last night the lineup for the Life is Beautiful festival to take place in downtown Vegas was announced to a lot of fanfare.

Headlining this year’s festival, which will take place on October 26th and 27th in Downtown Las Vegas, will be two locally grown acts—The Killers and Imagine Dragons. Also, headlining will be Grammy-winners Kings of Leon and Beck. Childish Gambino, Jurassic 5, Passion Pit, and many others round out the roster.

The headlining bands of the Life Is Beautiful lineup is great if you like rock/pop radio. The great news for the music lineup at Life Is Beautiful is that like many festivals it’s complimented by a slew of lesser known bands like Portugal The Man and Youngblood Hawke that could steal the show. Click the image to view full list of bands.

Life Is Beautiful Las Vegas Bands

 

Life Is Beautiful will take place all over Downtown Vegas and include food from celebrity chefs and artists from a variety of Vegas shows. Much like Coachella and the other large festivals the bands are just part of the overall experience. Life Is Beautiful provides a great excuse to spend a weekend downtown to enjoy music, food and art.

Pro Tip: If you plan on going get a room at El Cortez. Many (if not all) of the events will be happening away from the Fremont Street Experience canopy.

Ticket packages will cost between $100 and $350 and go on sale this Friday. Follow @lifeisbeautiful for updates and more information. The Life Is Beautiful website isn’t very “share friendly” so head there for more details.

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Lunching Outside At Bagatelle Beach

Bagatelle Beach Club At Tropicana Las Vegas

Bagatelle Beach Club

Eating and drinking outside? I’m in!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to have lunch at the new Bagatelle Beach at Tropicana. This was the soft opening and a great way to kick off Cinco De Mayo weekend before losing every bet I made on the Kentucky Derby. Since this was the soft opening I was among the first guests.

Comparing Bagatelle Beach to Encore Beach Club is only fair in that they’re the same concept but there’s nothing at Tropicana that’s done on the same level as Wynn so it’s really not a fair comparison. Besides I was at Bagatelle Beach for lunch outside and not to scope out bikini babes. Note: Every person serving lunch was a dude, the bikini waitresses seem like they are only for pool customers.

Bagatelle Beach is set up with separate areas for people who want to party at the pool and people who just want to grab lunch. There dining tables set up in a shaded are that are fairly secluded and above the action of the beach club. There are also a few booths closer to the pools with coverings providing shade as you can see below.

Lunch area - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

Le Diablo - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

Lunch began with a cocktail called Le Diablo. I don’t normally drink tequila but I usually enjoy a drink with fresh berries and ginger beer so I figured I’d give it a whirl. Since I was so early the fresh blueberries hadn’t arrived so they used strawberry instead. Both drinks were tasty but the original concept of the drink was much better. I always recommend sticking with blueberries when they’re part of the recipe. Additionally, ginger beer is probably my favorite mixer for cocktails.

Lunch - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

For lunch I had a chicken and turkey club on a croissant. The sandwich was good but nothing particularly special.  At $12 (maybe $14) this was priced similarly to most restaurant sandwiches on the strip. Combined with the al fresco dining and drinks this made for a fine base of food for the day. I wouldn’t be upset eating this sandwich again but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.

Iced Coffee - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

Since I had to drive after lunch I took it easy on the tasty boozy drinks and imbibed a few cups of iced coffee. I don’t look at a day/beach club as the kind of place that many people are ordering iced coffee so I was pleasantly surprised they had it available. While not the highlight of the day it was a nice way to close it.

Booth View - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

I saw some friends dining out in the booths as I was winding down my lunch so I grabbed this sweet view of the entire Bagatelle Beach complex which comes complete with Hooters in the background.

Bagatelle Beach isn’t for everyone. The music is very loud since this is a day club and the DJ mix is today’s EDM (Deadmau5Calvin Harris) and hip hop (Lil WayneDoctor Dre). I enjoyed the music and thought it added to the vibe but it’s not for everyone.

I only visit the Tropicana a couple of times a year or so and this may be one of the few times I visit during 2013. The Tropicana isn’t a hotel many people I know visit so there’s rarely an excuse to stop by. Actually, most people I know don’t even stay on the south end of the strip unless they have a conference at Mandalay Bay.

I would return to Bagatelle Beach if someone else wanted to go there for lunch but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to return. I’ve already recommend Bagatelle Beach to a couple of people as a place to dine outdoors on that end of the Vegas strip.

Lunch was paid for by Bagatelle Beach but my thoughts and pictures are my own.

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Best Places In Las Vegas To See Live Music

Queens Of The Stoneage At Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Queens Of The Stoneage

One of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas was Craig Nyman. He does a lot of things but his passion for music is something that I haven’t found in many people in this town and it’s awesome. He has a blog called Do You Hear The Music and has written concert reviews for a couple other outlets.

People often ask me where the best places to see bands in Vegas are so I figured I’d go to someone who’s out seeing bands much more often than me. Craig hit the places that I would recommend and then some. Enjoy and follow him on twitter.

It just so happens that I live in the city known as the Entertainment Capital of the World. And as such, I will never pass up the opportunity to catch live music in Las Vegas. Here’s a list of some of the spots I frequent.

House of Blues

House of Blues Las Vegas

When Mandalay Bay opened in 1999 and brought the House of Blues to Las Vegas, a new era for live music in the city was born. Today, HOB is still regarded as one of the top venues in town to see a concert continuously booking a multitude of acts ranging from rock and blues to metal and electronic artists, no genre of music is shunned. (Photo: UrbanPhotos)

Hard Rock Hotel: The Joint and Vinyl

The Joint at Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas

The “new” Joint has put itself on the map as one of the best concert venues in the country and at a max capacity 4,000 you regularly have the chance to see major bands that typically play 12,000-15,000 seat arenas in an intimate setting. Plus the acoustics and sight lines are second to none so you’re going to have an incredible experience at The Joint. (Photo: Sceno Plus)

The newest live music venue, Vinyl is by far one of the best places to catch a show in Las Vegas. The tiny spot gets rocking with a killer sound system and bands seem to respond well to the intimate confines and getting up close and personal with fans.

Quintuplet threat at The Cosmopolitan

Boulevard Pool Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

You’ve got the BLVD Pool, The Chelsea, Chandelier, Book & Stage and BOND. All five spots play host to live music from rocking concerts under the neon glow of the Las Vegas Strip to a jazz quartet at the sultry Chandelier, you can’t go wrong. I’ve seen some of my favorite concerts at this hotel. I could list them all but it’d go on for too long. Instead just visit my blog www.doyouhearthemusic.com and do a search. (Photo: Vegas News)

The Pearl at Palms

The Pearl at Palms Las Vegas

Real simple, great acoustics, solid sight lines, amazing shows in a small venue. With the ability to scale from 1,100 to 2,400 every show I’ve seen at The Pearl has been great. Cool fact, the venue is hard-wired into the recording studio upstairs at Palms; so you never know if that concert you attended may just be released as a live album by your favorite artist.

Hard Rock Café on The Strip

Hard Rock Cafe On The Strip Las Vegas

Chances are you haven’t been and that’s your first mistake. This 1,000 cap venue in the middle of The Strip gets some rocking shows and is a great room to catch a concert.

Double Down

Double Down Las Vegas

A 24/7 Institution. Grab yourself a Bacon Martini or some Ass Juice and embrace the legendary Double Down. Always open and always a good time with a slew of bands performing each night the only thing guaranteed is really not knowing what will happen when you step foot inside the happiest place on earth! (Photo: Vegas Seven)

Downtown Spots

Beauty Bar Las Vegas

  • Beauty Bar: Until recently, Beauty Bar was THE up and coming indie acts and while the competition has been getting a little fierce, the venue still does a kick ass job of bringing in the stars of tomorrow before. With an intimate stage inside and a backyard patio outside, you get two different experiences at Beauty Bar.
  • Commonwealth: The new kids on Fremont are cracking into live music with Sundays devoted to performances from talented local musicians. Add in the regular appearances by some awesome DJs and Commonwealth is quickly becoming a place to see sheer talent.
  • Insert Coin(s): Awesome DJs, video games and stiff drinks – in just two years IC has marked its place on the map for entertainment in Las Vegas.
  • Artifice: I love this place, what else can I say. It’s cozy, the staff is awesome and you can see some kick ass shows in this spot.
  • The Bunkhouse: If you’ve never been, put this on your list pronto.
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Rocking The Vegas Strip With Clutch & MyVegas

I have pretty strange taste when it comes to music. If you follow me on twitter you get a sample of those tastes every now and again but my love of Britney Spears and Queens of the Stoneage should give you a pretty good idea of where my tastes lie. A few weeks ago I received a press release that one of my favorite bands of all time, Clutch, would be playing the Hard Rock Cafe (on the strip, not the casino) March 23rd  and I nearly lost my mind (in a good way). I was told that they wouldn’t be playing Las Vegas any time soon. Thankfully, that changed.

Seeing Clutch live isn’t complete without a few beers so I’ll probably stay somewhere on the strip that night because even buzzed driving is drunk driving. Unfortunately, I’m losing my Total Rewards Diamond Status this year and my room offers show it. There’s not a comp to be found at any Caesars Entertainment property. I don’t mind paying for a crash pad but I like when they’re free. 🙂

A few people recently mentioned that they’re playing the MyVegas game on Facebook to get a variety of freebies to use at MGM properties. I decided that since I can’t get a freebie from Caesars, I’ll see what the MGM Resorts properties can offer.

MyVegas is a (very addictive) game on Facebook where you earn points playing casino games that can be redeemed for a wide array of prizes from MGM Resorts. After a few days playing MyVegas I have it to the point where I can leave slot machine games on autospin and do something else on my computer while the game plays and earns points in the background. Sweet!

If I end up staying at a new hotel you’ll see a link to a review on one of the various social media sites I have. In the meantime enjoy the new song from Clutch. “Earth Rocker” is the title track from Clutch’s new album.

You can buy all Clutch music on iTunes (They have a large catalogue. Feel free tweet me for recommendations). If you plan on being in Vegas March 23rd you can buy tickets to see Clutch at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip on TicketWeb.

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Roulette Is The Beast

It’s always fun when I can find an excuse to work Iron Maiden into my day. Today’s “Number Of The Beast” tidbit is that the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666. As we all know, 666 is the number of the beast. If you’re not aware, please enjoy the video below.

Here are some links if you want to add the number of the beast to your holiday gifts.

Iron Maiden – “Number of the Beast” remastered CD
Iron Maiden – “Number of the Beast” single download
Iron Maiden – “Number of the Beast” Vinyl Picture Disc
Roulette Wheel and Felt
Shot Glass Roulette Game

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Today: Guns & Roses, Tomorrow: Def Leppard, And Then…Van Halen?

It’s a great time in Las Vegas for 80’s heavy metal fans. First Hard Rock Casino brought you Motley Crue. Sure Vince Neil couldn’t sing more then two songs in a row, but it was MOTLEY F’N CRUE! Now they’re bringing a residency featuring Guns N Roses. Sure it’s just Axl Rose singing karaoke with a live band, but still…it’s GUNS N F’N ROSES!

Next March Hard Rock will bring Def Leppard to Vegas for a brief residency.

According to USA Today, Def Leppard will begin performing at Hard Rock’s The Joint on March 22. “We’re very happy to be part of what I call the first wave of rockers to take Vegas back from the lounge singers — Wayne Newton and his type,” singer Elliott told USA Today. Being dubbed Viva Hysteria!, the residency will find Def Leppard performing the album Hysteria in its entirety.

That’s right, DEF F’N LEP is coming to Vegas to perform Hysteria which was by far their best selling album. That’s about as cool as the Crue and GnR and should continue to bring the aging LA rockers in from Los Angeles to the Hard Rock. That’s the Hard Rock’s demo, the shows are selling well and people are having fun. Let it be.

So who’s next? A quick look at the 100 best selling albums from the 80’s on Amazon gives us a few ideas.

ACDC – Nope. They still tour internationally.
Dire Straits – Nope. The masses don’t care.
Bon Jovi – Nah. They’d probably do an acoustic/countryish thing for more money even though I’d like a Slippery When Wet show.
Van Halen – DING DING DING. We think we have a winner.

It seems as if the talent bookers at Hard Rock are just going down the list of best selling hard rock and heavy metal bands looking for their next resident and I think Van Halen would be perfect.

No matter who’s singing for the band they wreak of what the HRC used to be. They’re also one of the last remaining big selling hard rock bands that may do a residency since they’re based in Los Angeles and still trying to make money as a band (see last year’s release).

Besides, I know I’ve heard people say VAN F’N HALEN before and that’s really all you need to play at the Hard Rock.

Here are quick links to buy 80’s metal holiday gifts for your favorite friends.

 

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Come On Gimme The Number of the Beast!

I’m not the biggest Iron Maiden fan in the world, but I like them and know the hits. When I gamble I think about them often. Specifically when I play video poker and 3 Card Poker I think of Iron Maiden.

If I’m I’m dealt a pair of 6’s in either game I never ask for a third 6. I always ask for “Number of the Beast“. Sometimes I’ll say it to myself and sometimes I’ll say it out loud.

I was playing 3 Card Poker at Paris Las Vegas after dining at Gordon Ramsey Steak (see review at Vegas Chatter) when I saw two 6’s and just put the cards down. I was joking with the pit boss all night and sometimes when he walked over he’d look at my cards. This time he did and I asked if I got the number of the beast he replied with “you and I are probably the only 2 people in here that might get that reference.” After we chuckled I asked again and he said “no.”

I finished that session even, but had a blast with the players, dealers and pit boss. I also had a handful or Grand Marnier, which didn’t hurt.

While writing this I learned that “Number of the Beast” is now 30 years old. I guess that would make this classic rock? You can get “Number of The Beast” at Amazon for $13 on CD. It’s only $8 for digital files. That’s how I roll.

The pic of Chris Mason’s mask comes from Metal Insider. They link to his old Iron Maiden mask too.

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Rumor: Britney Spears Making Vegas Her New Home?

Norm Clarke reported on a rumor likely to be true that Britney Spears will be following Motley Crue with a multi-week residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Britney Spears’ first multiweek deal as a Las Vegas resident headliner is being discussed with the Hard Rock Hotel.

Vegas Confidential has learned Hard Rock President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Pusateri and Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph, have been talking.

Britney Spears isn’t quite rock music, but does it really matter any more? The theme’s of the hotels in Las Vegas, don’t really matter anymore. For years the Hard Rock has been playing non-rock music.

I’ve had a thing for Britney for years (you may know that already) and I hope this happens. My first run in with Britney was at Rain at Palms waaaaaaay back in the day when she did a few short 3 song sets preparing for a tour. My friends and I also met Paris Hilton that night. There may have been a Dennis Rodman sighting that night, but it may have been John Sally. Things got a little fuzzy.

Later, my friends and I saw her in New Jersey for the Onyx Hotel Tour. We tailgated for hours listening to Metallica and Slayer. It was awesome.

Britney had a breakdown shortly thereafter and was difficult to watch. The soft spot in my heart sunk. Watching her gaze without, seemingly, knowing where she was looking wasn’t easy to watch. In recent year her performances have been more sad than anything else.

I’m hoping that if this Hard Rock residency happens and is better than Motley Crue’s. I’m also hoping that it brings her closer to the performer I enjoyed back in the day. Watch the intro to the concert I saw (then “Toxic“) and tell me it isn’t awesome.

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50 Cent Blackjack!

I still remember the first time I heard a song by 50 cent. I was driving down the mean streets of Springfield, MA in a Cadillac when a friend popped on the song “Heat“. He told me it was the hardest beat he’d heard in a while. It may not have been the hardest beat, but it was awesome. “Get Rich or Die Tryin” instantly became one of my favorite rap albums of the moment. Today, it’s one of my favorite rap albums of all time.

I can talk about that album forever. I saw that 50 cent has a new Blackjack game on Facebook and figured that it was a good excuse to talk about my love for that album. The game is free to play and made by the people at GSN (Game Show Network).

Use your winnings to deck out your avatar in nicer fashions and upgraded bling — you can also buy chips for the casino and tokens for customizing your look. Tokens can also be spent on in-game boosts such as the “I’m Killin’ It” boost, which tells you whether you will bust on your next card, and “Ace Rich” that lets players immediately gain an ace in their hand. If the players at your table win enough hands, the co-op boost “Table Heat” turns all twos in the deck into aces for a limited period of time.

Yeah, just like 50 Cent’s music, this game sounds like something that’s about 5 years past it’s prime. I’d still like to play blackjack with 50 Cent. There’s an app in development for iPhone and Androids, but it’s not available yet.

If given the choice, I’d listen to “Get Rich or Die Tryin” and do something else. If you don’t have one of the best rap albums ever grab the MP3’s or CD.

Get Rich or Die Tryin

Get Rich or Die Tryin

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas