Despite being known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” Las Vegas was all but devoid of major touring music acts through the late ’80s. There was the odd concert at the Convention Center, the Aladdin Theatre, and the Thomas and Mack Arena, but it wasn’t until the Grateful Dead sold out the 45,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in 1991 that live music became serious business in Sin City.
With the Dead providing proof of concept, the floodgates opened and in less than three decades Las Vegas evolved into one of the top-five live-music cities in the U.S.!
Rock Vegas - Live Music Explodes in the Neon Desert follows the arc that began with Van Halen, U2, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, and the Dead and extends to Las Vegas’ current live-music juggernaut that includes residencies by Celine, JLo, Britney, Santana, Rod Stewart, and the Who, along with frequent performances by everyone from Bruno Mars to the Rolling Stones. Las Vegas also hosts several monster music festivals, like the Route 91 Harvest Festival, Life is Beautiful, and Electric Daisy Carnival, and by 2020, the number of live-music venues will include 10 theaters, five arenas, and two stadiums.
More than just a concert log, Rock Vegas chronicles the contemporary history of the key venues, promoters, and marketers, as seen through the eyes of one of the movement’s most prominent participants. As the director of Las Vegas Events, author Pat Christenson was an integral part of more than 500 live-music shows over 35 years. In these pages, Christenson shines a spotlight on the events and circumstances that made this revolution possible, with emphasis on the behind-the-scenes innovation that let Vegas rock and opened the door for one of the greatest live-music explosions in American-entertainment history.
Rock Vegas is an Oversized trade paperback ($19.95) available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major booksellers, and in e-book format ($9.99) for Kindle and all major digital platforms.
Huntington Press is a specialty publisher of Las Vegas- and gambling-related books and periodicals, including the bible for value-conscious Las Vegas visitors, Anthony Curtis’ Las Vegas Advisor, now in its 34th year.