Death of Rock ‘n’ Roll? Hardly

These hairstyles are headed for a heartbreak.

I came across an interesting post on a local blog mourning the closing of a number of local music venues — many of which closed years ago — and declaring the “once booming music scene of Las Vegas is nearly gone.” Really? Now, would that be the “booming music scene” that gave false hope to bands such as 12 Volt Sex, Professor Punn and Attaboy Skip? Because the music scene that came after the closure of Mr. Davis’ vaunted venues — The Boston, the Huntridge, Sanctuary — has not only spawned arguably Las Vegas’ most commercially successful music groups (The Killers, Panic at the Disco, The Cab), but has also seen the stabilization of centralized, small-scale venues (The Bunkhouse, Beauty Bar, Jillians) while those overpriced casinos continue to reinvest those ticket sales into music venues such as Wasted Space, Revolution Lounge and the forthcoming Rok nightclub.

Oh, yes, concert ticket prices are ridiculous. I agree. $65 for Foo Fighters at The Joint? Yipe. But one can’t deny the quality of music continuously coming through here: Bob Dylan, Mos Def and the Black Crowes are just three casino-bound artists coming in the next month, and at the off-Strip venues you can catch all sorts of rising and established bands such as Gogol Bordello, The Hold Steady, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and endless others.

But Mr. Davis claims that “now if you wanna see some cheap music you have to find something at the park or fight the crowds down [at] Fremont Street East to see live music.” Well, yes, sir, apparently the music scene is in such decline that … you have to fight crowds? Hmm. Suddenly, this argument is less sound, and appears to be simply a thirtysomething family man without the disposable income of his early twenties lamenting the good ol’ days of $12 shows at the Huntridge.

I feel you, man, I grew up in the Huntridge-Boston-Ozone-Espresso Roma-Wet Stop era, and if I had to pay for even half of the concerts I’ve been to in the last few years, I wouldn’t have gone. But if you’re unhappy with the “crowds” you’re fighting downtown, I’ll bet it’s because you only come down for the “Rock The Block” shows every three months to see rockin’ mainstream bands with, admittedly, ridiculous crowds. Remember your story about seeing Disturbed at Sanctuary? Well, on any given weekend, the next “#1 band” is plugging away on the Beauty Bar’s back patio for $5 a head. Get a babysitter, grab the wife and come on down to the Ice House on a Friday night, where admission is free with tattoos and the music is loud. Or swing by McFadden’s inside the Rio on Wednesday nights, where upcoming local bands play every week thanks to the support of our great local rock stations.

Then again — Pink E’s? Dude, it was a pool hall. With pink felt tables. If Winger and Dokken are what you consider “real acts,” then maybe it’s not the scene that died but the butt rock you held so dear. Just sayin’.

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