Top 6 Most Memorable Las Vegas Music Performances

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While Sin City is renowned for its legendary gambling scene, there is so much more that Las Vegas has to offer in the form of live music performances, to all whom the road takes to this desert wonderland. 

Besides its sprawling casino complexes, Las Vegas offers a plethora of entertainment options to suit anyone’s preference.  The city has a longstanding tradition of hosting some of the most notable names from across the global music industry.  For a city that swarms with tourists, many of whom have both cash and a desire for a good time, it makes sense that the entertainment offering would include top global musical performances.

According to stats, two-thirds of all visitors to Las Vegas attended at least one show during their stay.  The names of such entertainment greats like Elvis Presley have become intertwined with the soul of the city over the years, and the place continues to abound with his impersonators.

Here are the six top Las Vegas performances of all time:

1. Frank Sinatra

During his heyday, Frank Sinatra was a regular at The Sands, and many credit him with making Las Vegas what it is today.  He regularly took to the stage at the Copa Room, from where he wooed the audiences with his unique crooning voice.  However, Sinatra was also known to be a troublemaker. When the new owners of The Sands cut his sizeable casino credit, he threw a fit from the top of a poker table and took his business to Caesar’s Palace instead.

2. Elvis Presley

If there’s any artist that can be deemed to be the personification of Las Vegas, then it has to be Elvis Presley.  Presley’s Las Vegas stint began in 1969 with a sold-out show at The International, where the fans literally threw themselves at him.  With such a successful show, Elvis was signed the next day to perform each February and August, with a substantial annual paycheque of US$1 million.

Elvis continued to perform at Las Vegas until his untimely death eight years later.  Ultimately, he made it cool for established performers to become residence artists in Sin City, which allowed for easier scheduling and more stable lifestyle than touring.

3. Elton John

It is estimated that Elton John performed for more than one million adoring fans during his Las Vegas residency.  Following in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, Elton John continued with the tradition of bringing classy glamour and glitz to the Nevada desert.  John’s ability to appeal to both the older and younger audiences through his incredible musical talent has led to a fruitful business partnership between the singer and the city.

4. Celine Dion

Celine Dion’s record-breaking performances over the past 20 years have channelled millions of dollars into Las Vegas.  It is estimated that the singer directly or indirectly employed thousands of people and reignited the Las Vegas economy following the 2008 financial meltdown.

While Dion might not have been seen as a cutting-edge performer, neither is Las Vegas, and the two have made a complementary tandem.  Her nightly performances were always fun and entertaining, and through her image of stability, she drew in the crowds.

5. Britney Spears

For the better part of the 2000s, Britney Spears was one of the biggest names in the entertainment world.  But, following a very public meltdown, many wondered if her career would survive.  Surprisingly, it did, in Las Vegas.  By 2017, Spears’ Sin City stints had brought in a comfortable US$100 million to the city’s economy.

Unlike Celine Dion, who drew on a more mature crowd, Spears lured in younger fans and millennials.  Her large social media following, and often whacky and outright bizarre Instagram postings, have ensured that she remained relevant.  Las Vegas had also afforded Spears a more stable family environment where she could raise her two kids.

6. Backstreet Boys

While some might say that Las Vegas is stuck in the 90s with its musical repertoire, the fans think otherwise.  The Backstreet Boys residence is another record-breaker for the city, having grabbed the accolade for the quickest selling residency show in the modern history of Sin City.

With demand rising, the venue opened up even more seats, leading the group to perform for a record number of people too.  So, whether you “want it that way” or not, it is clear that Backstreet is back, alright!

Ultimately, Las Vegas’ relationship with both entertainment and gambling is what has defined this city over the decades.  Without either, it wouldn’t exist in its current shape and form.  And, we all hope that it will remain like this for years to come.

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Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

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