Las Vegas Weekly

September 12, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | NOISE > HOME SWEET HOME The Hard Rock has played host to recent residencies from Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard (inset) and Guns N' Roses (below). C O N C E RT CULT WORTH FOLLOWING Ian Astbury and his mates sound Electric onstage After a relatively quiet summer, Las Vegas finally got the ass-kicking it needed last Friday, from British rockers The Cult. Celebrating 1987's Electric, the album that broke the band in the U.S. and moved its sound from post-punk to hard rock, The Cult played two sets: the Rick Rubinproduced album followed by a selection of hits and newer songs. Throw C O N C E RT S REINVENTING THE RESIDENCY The Hard Rock Hotel welcomes back Mötley Crüe—and considers what's next BY ANDREA DOMANICK hour-and-forty-five. Electric live was every bit the war machine it should be. The band was tight, and Billy Duffy's guitar licks were macho, crisp and on point, but the clear MVP was singer Ian aaaac Astbury. The THE CULT September 6, House of Blues. songs are so loud and aggressive, if the voice carrying them didn't measure up it would have been more horrible nostalgia trip than well-earned victory lap. But Astbury was dominant, hitting everything in the sweet spot. "Love Removal Machine," "Peace Dog" and "Aphrodisiac Jacket" were particular conquests from Electric, while "Sweet Soul Sister" and closer "She Sells Sanctuary" highlighted Set 2. Electric, it turns out, holds up remarkably well. The Cult proved that the band behind it does, too. –Jason Harris HARD ROCK RESIDENCY PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIK KABIK; THE CULT BY BILL HUGHES the Hard Rock sought to translate its model From the music blaring through the Hard of limited, exclusive engagements to a slightRock Hotel's speakers to the spandex tights MÖTLEY CRÜE ly younger, rock-savvy crowd. Eighties rock adorning its walls, '80s rock and metal have September quickly emerged as a prime candidate. It's a helped the property live up to its name since 18-October 6; genre rife with milestones to celebrate, includit opened in 1995. These days, however, you're Wednesday, ing 2012's 25th anniversaries of Def Leppard's just as likely to see the genre's stars on the Friday, Saturday Hysteria and Guns N' Roses' Appetite for hotel-casino's stages as in its display cases. & Sunday, 9 p.m.; Destruction albums. The Hard Rock has carved out a success$46-$196. The But timing alone isn't enough to get fans ful niche hosting residencies by hard-rock Joint, 693-5222. to flock to Las Vegas. "We're not looking for and hair-metal icons like Def Leppard, Guns a greatest-hits show; we're looking for unique N' Roses and Mötley Crüe, whose 2012 run opportunity," Reynolds says. That has meant providing drew an estimated 36,000 fans to the Joint over three fans with a show they can't see in their hometown. It weeks. The momentum shows no sign of slowing. Crüe might include an unusual setlist, like Def Leppard's full men Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee Hysteria run-through, or a big-budget production a band return for 12 more shows beginning September 18, and can't bring on tour, as with Mötley Crüe's pyro-loaded, Hard Rock reps say tickets sales have far outpaced those hyper-theatrical 2012 residency. of the first residency. It has also meant upping the exclusivity, by restricting "The proof is in the pudding," says AEG Live VP of when and where a band can tour, blacking out feeder marBooking Bobby Reynolds, who has helmed the Hard kets like Southern California to compel fans to travel to Las Rock's residency renaissance. "Our marketing plan and Vegas. Not that they seem to need much convincing. Much budget is real similar to the first one. Why are we so far of the crowd at residencies comprises original fans—those ahead of where we were last time? Because of the fan who have grown up with the band, and, now in their 30s experience. Because of word of mouth. Because people and 40s, land in the demographic casinos crave. had a great time, and either they want to come back again "They're older now, they have money, they have jobs, or they told their friends." they take time off," Reynolds says. "They can afford to go Though the Hard Rock had made forays into residento the steakhouse prior to the show. They can afford to cies with past stints by Santana and Tiësto, the property party after." began to pursue a different type of While the metal model is workmultiple-date run before the new ing, Reynolds says the hotel is by no Joint was completed in 2009, part means confined to the genre; rather, of an effort to market the off-Strip he explains, success has only bolcasino—which can't rely on foot stered a confidence to branch out. traffic—as a tourist destination with "I think people are starting to take its own distinct draws. notice now. I think fans start to look Taking a page from AEG Live's to see what's going on at the Hard successful residencies—Celine Rock, and that's always an exciting Dion, Elton John and others—at time for us." the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, in the encore, and it was a powerful 44 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 12–18, 2013 44_Noise_1_20130912.indd 44 9/11/13 4:15 PM

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