A Guide for the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival

At any moment, Las Vegas is a different place for different people and you may have no idea what might be going on in another part of town. That could very well be said for the Route 91 Harvest country music festival – while the Strip will be flooded with country music fans between September 30th and October 2nd, half the people visiting Las Vegas during that time won’t even know there’s a festival going on.

For the country music fans who will be there, even if you don’t have a ticket for the festival you’ll find a slew of like-minded people who share your musical taste throughout the city. Here are 10 of the best places all over Las Vegas that all fans of country music will enjoy.

10. Coyote Ugly (New York-New York)

Sometimes the party has to start (or continue) at one of the most obvious places. The Las Vegas outpost of this worldwide chain of old country saloons has female bartenders, bar top dancing as well as free line dancing lessons throughout the week.

9. John Mull’s Meats

This “non-restaurant” is on the other end of the spectrum from Coyote Ugly. You may know John Mull’s Meats from various features on Food Network, but this is a unique store for Las Vegas and you won’t find others around town like it. This meat shop and BBQ joint is located far from the strip and is reminiscent of a roadside BBQ stand you might see in the south with simple picnic tables.

8. PBR Rock Bar (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood)

This is not a country bar. It’s a “country friendly” bar in the center of the Vegas Strip, at Planet Hollywood, that features a menu chock full of BBQ and a mechanical bull. Consider your musical main course to be rock n’ roll and your appetizer of mac n cheese to be the country music.

7. Double Barrel Roadhouse (Monte Carlo)

Double Barrel is a Vegas-style roadhouse where country meets rock n’ roll. Like you’d expect in a roadhouse, the restaurant features southern food and cocktails.

6. Whiskey Down Bar & Casino (MGM Grand)

Almost all of the country music fans I know love whiskey. This bar has one of the best whiskey selections on the Vegas Strip. In addition to being a whiskey bar, this is also a separate gambling area at MGM Grand. Sure, they have more than 50 different types of whiskey but they also have blackjack and video poker for the gamblers.

5. Hogs and Heifers in Downtown Las Vegas

Cheap drinks, loud music, and motorcycles outside are all hallmarks of this country and southern rock dive bar in downtown Las Vegas. I wouldn’t say anything goes here, but it’s a great place to be yourself. And head up to the Fremont Street Experience for some fresh air and catch the Viva Vision shows at the top of each hour.

4. Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill (Harrah’s)

This bar and restaurant has live country music at 9 p.m. every night and was named after Toby Keith’s song “I Love This Bar.” After you’re finished drinking and dining, head to the Toby Keith section of the casino. Better yet, see him perform at Route 91 Harvest Festival on Friday night.

3. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (Silverton)

There are a lot of great places to get a bite to eat or a drink on this list but Cracker Barrel is the only place you’ll get a good southern breakfast. The Las Vegas location for this national chain restaurant has the same food you’ve come to enjoy all around the country. I prefer the Sunrise Sampler with double hash browns and no apples. That’s just me. Whatever your preference, just make sure you get some biscuits.

2. Gilley’s Saloon & BBQ (Treasure Island)

This is the best country bar in any Vegas Strip casino. Enjoy country music, line dancing, a mechanical bull, BBQ and fairly priced suds in an atmosphere you won’t find in another casino on the Vegas Strip. ‘Nuff said.

1. Stoney’s Rockin Country (Town Square)

Stoney’s is easily the most popular country bar with the Las Vegas locals. It’s away from the tourist corridor and not too far from the festival. Oh, did you forget about the Route 91 Country Music Festival?! Live music, line dancing and plenty of specials. Visit stoneysrockincountry.com for specific groups and promotions when you’re in town.

Bonus: Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival

Las Vegas is host to many large events every year and this has become one of the most popular of the year. Major headliners like Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, and Toby Keith will keep Route 91 Harvest as popular as ever.

If you’re a fan of country music, you’ve probably already made plans to visit Las Vegas for the Route 91 festival. If you haven’t made plans you can still win your way into the festival. Mercury Insurance is giving away 2 VIP tickets, hotel room for 3 nights and a swag bag of goodies. Just click here to enter. If you purchase a new auto policy, your Mercury agent will give you two 3-day passes as a way of saying thank you!

I’m asked for recommendations on things to do whenever there’s a major event in Las Vegas. Gathering information like this is helpful for the readers of this blog, my followers on social media and for me since I have to know everything about Las Vegas.

Chef José Andrés & Friends Present Dine-N-Dash at SLS Las Vegas

Dine-N-Dash At Umami Burger At SLS Las Vegas
Umami Burger

I love dining and drinking events like Dine-N-Dash by José Andrés that will be held at SLS Las Vegas next year. I’m a fan of sampling lots of food and drink from different restaurants and chefs.

This event stands out because VIP admission includes food and drink from all restaurants at SLS plus cooking demonstrations from José Andrés and Curtis Stone AND admission to see AWOLNATION. This should be the first show at

This should be is the first show at The Foundry which is the new concert venue at SLS Las Vegas taking over the space formerly devoted to the nightclub LIfE. It’s always cool to be the first to do something in Vegas.

Details on Dine-N-Dash are below:

World-renowned chef, author, philanthropist, and SLS Hotels Culinary Director José Andrés will host Dine-N-Dash at SLS Las Vegas on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, benefiting Andrés’ nonprofit organization, World Central Kitchen, and locally-based nonprofit organization Three Square Food Bank. Modeled after the chef’s annual Washington, D.C. restaurant crawl, Dine-N-Dash will be a culinary tour of SLS Las Vegas. Guests will enjoy signature dishes and hand-crafted beverages from all seven acclaimed restaurants, along with eclectic culinary offerings throughout the casino, “cocktail theater” by renowned mixologist Rob Floyd and a live cooking demonstration by José Andrés with special guest chef Curtis Stone (Maude, Los Angeles).

“For three years, we have been celebrating Dine-N-Dash in DC’s Penn Quarter, and I’m so excited to be bringing it to Las Vegas,” said chef José Andrés. “What’s better than enjoying food and drinks from all of the incredible restaurants at SLS Las Vegas, all for a good cause! I am so proud of the work that my team is doing at World Central Kitchen to find solutions for hunger and poverty, and I’m thrilled this event will also benefit a local charity, Three Square, as we introduce Dine-N-Dash to Las Vegas!” 

The complete SLS Las Vegas restaurant portfolio will spotlight stand-out dishes and drinks at Dine-N-Dash, offering guests a taste of its diverse culinary offerings. Menu items will include:

  • Bazaar Meat by José Andrés: Oysters Gin & Tonic, Cotton Candy Foie Gras, Kobe & Caviar, Sloppy Joe, Gazpacho Shots, Beef Tartare Sliders, Beef & Parmesan Grissini and New York Sour
  • Katsuya: Kumamoto Oysters, Lobster & Truffle Chawan-Mushi, Scallop Sashimi and White Grapefruit Cosmopolitan
  • Cleo: Basturma with Halloumi, Hummus with Tahini and Clementina cocktail
  • Ku Noodle by José Andrés: Open Sesame, Fried Wonton, Mini Duck Pancake and Sake Punch
  • Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book: Truffle Sliders, Hatch Sliders, Cheesy Tater Tots and craft beer
  • 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria:  Assorted hand-crafted pizzas and Birra Moretti
  • Northside Café: Al Pastor Tacos, Barbacoa Tacos and margarita
  • Desserts by SLS Las Vegas Culinary Director Luke Forzano and Executive Pastry Chef Oralia Perez

In addition to tastings, guests will experience a one-of-a-kind cooking demonstration from José Andrés and Curtis Stone in The Foundry, SLS’ new live-entertainment venue, as well as mixologist Rob Floyd’s inventive and high-energy “cocktail theater” at the casino’s signature Center Bar.

A VIP Dine-N-Dash experience also grants guests access to a happy hour with José Andrés and Curtis Stone in Bazaar Casino, admission to a concert by AWOLNATION in The Foundry—before those tickets go on sale to the general public, on January 8—and an exclusive after-party featuring desserts and drinks from Bazaar Meat.

“We are thrilled to showcase SLS’ culinary array in one all-encompassing event headlined by globally celebrated chefs José Andrés and Curtis Stone,” said Matt Erickson, senior vice president of restaurant operations at SLS Las Vegas. “Dine-N-Dash will be unlike any other event in Las Vegas, and we can’t wait to give guests a taste of what makes SLS so unique.”

General admission tickets start at $99, and VIP tickets start at $199.  A portion of proceeds benefits Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank and a member of the Feeding America network, as well as World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit organization chaired by José Andrés that finds creative solutions to hunger and poverty worldwide. To purchase tickets, visit slsvegas.com/dinendash.

Life Is Beautiful Culinary Experience Announced

Life Is Beautiful Culinary
Life Is Beautiful Culinary

One of the signs that I’m getting older is that I’m more excited by a music and arts festival announcing their culinary segment than I was about the music portion. The Life is Beautiful fest in Downtown Vegas announced their food and beverage segment and it sounds awesome.

There are definitely some groups I’d enjoy watching like Run The Jewels, Duran Duran and Kendrick Lamar but they don’t really move me. I have spotify playlists for that.

Buy at Amazon
Stevie Wonder
Run The Jewels
Duran Duran
Kendrick Lamar

I can’t imagine anything would rule more than having a couple of great drinks outside and under the stars while watching Stevie Wonder perform with Downtown Vegas as a backdrop. Whoa, I just got chills writing that. Maybe I should do something about it. 🙂

Here is what the Life Is Beautiful Culinary Experience will have for the eaters and drinkers:

Craft Beer Garden
Curated by Michael Shetler, guests 21 and older will savor a top-notch beer selection at the Craft Beer Garden, situated at the Ambassador Stage. 24 craft beers will be available including Alpine Beer Company, Ballast Point, Bohemia, Green Flash, Gulden Draak, Hofbräu, Left Hand, Original Sin Hard Cider, Oskar Blues, Rogue, Santa Fe, Seattle Cider, Shiner Bock, Stiegl, Tenaya Creek and Trumer Pils. There will also be 15 restaurant booths and four food trucks in the surrounding areas for quick bites to accompany a guests’ cold beer.
Culinary Villages
The popular Culinary Village experience will increase in size and flavors this year, seamlessly fusing with the overall festival landscape, featuring culinary displays installed at three of the festival’s music stages. Guests will enjoy spectacular vantage points while feasting on gourmet food from the best local restaurants that Las Vegas has to offer.  Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options will also be available throughout the festival.
Cocktail Program
Guests 21 and older will have the opportunity to sample a wide-selection of curated, handcrafted pairings of beer, wine and spirits from some of the world’s most distinguished mixologists, wine makers and brewers courtesy of Wirtz Beverage. Unlike any other music festival, attendees can choose from over 35 specialty cocktails and over 25 craft wine and beer selections. Ketel One Dutch Mule, alongside a selection of frozen cocktails including The Frozen Minty, Milagro Margarita, Yoghurt Stand and The Banana Slip. Sponsors and Partners include Wirtz Beverage Nevada, Dos Equis, Ketel One, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Milagro, Fernet-Branca.
Pop Up Culinary Demonstrations
Daily interactive pop-up culinary demos will be performed in the VIP area of the Downtown Stage with a live stream for festival attendees to experience. There will be three cooking expositions and two mixology segments preformed daily. The chef lineup for this intimate demonstration experience include Kim Canteenwalla, Elizabeth Blau, Duff Goldman, Hubert Keller, Sam Marvin, Rick Moonen, Carla Pellegrino, Steve Samson, Adam Sobel, and John Tesar. The mixology lineup includes Eric Hay, Andrew Pollard, Jaime Salas, Ricky Gomez, and Willy Shine.
VIP Offerings
Hometown favorite, Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar will be the exclusive cuisine only available for purchase by those who have VIP wristbands.

Life is Beautiful is September 25-27. Visit lifeisbeautiful.com for more information.

Casinos Are An Ariana Grande or Metallica Song Away

Ariana Grande and Metallica Master of Puppets

I was getting in my car to drive home from Suncoast casino the other day when “Love Me Harder” by Ariana Grande and The Weeknd came on the radio. I drove home by the before the song was over. I never noticed songs traveling to and from Suncoast before. Here’s the song for reference to how quick that trip was.

I listen mostly to rock music in some form when I’m not dorking out to cheesy pop jams or old school hip hop. The rock station here plays a lot of Metallica but one song stands out to me. I’ve probably gotten into my car at the beginning of “Master of Puppets” and exited about 15 times on my way to and from Red Rock Resort.

Red Rock is a little farther drive than Suncoast. Here’s the song to compare.

That’s all, I just have these drive time songs to and from casinos in my head. Sometimes I’ll pick which casino I visit based on the song playing when I turn on my car.

This is just a dumb thing rattling around my head and wanted to share. My next casino visit will be somewhere in Downtown Vegas. That’s 2 or 3 songs away. Enjoy the jams.

Buy Master of Puppets by Metallica
Buy My Everything by Ariana Grande

Journey Hard Rock Las Vegas Residency Details

Journey Hard Rock Las Vegas Residency
Journey Hard Rock Las Vegas Residency Poster

The long rumored Journey Hard Rock residency was confirmed today. Color me uninspired this announcement. Initial rumors were that this Journey residency was to include the original lineup featuring lead singer Steve Perry. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Shows at The Joint will be on The Joint on April 29 and then May 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16.

Even though current singer, Arnel Pineda, is fun to watch as the singer this is nothing more than a Journey cover band in my eyes. They could be playing at the Fremont Street Experience on a random Tuesday night. Maybe Steve Perry is happy singing along with the 7th inning stretch song a San Francisco Giants games.

Tickets for Journey at the Hard Rock at over $60 after fees and taxes and go on sale January 16th. If you’d rather save the money you can see an hour of Journey’s concert in Manilla below (or buy DVD on Amazon for less than $30). It’s pretty awesome if you like Journey.

Thanks To Britney Spears, Caesars May Finally Go Broke

New Britney Spears
That’s Not The Britney Spears I Saw At Planet Hollywood

Sure, she’s never been ugly but my fandom for Britney Spears has never really been about her looks. Her name is attached to awesome jams and that’s what does it for me.

For better or worse (see my thoughts on Vegas Chatter) Britney Spears is now a fixture in Vegas with her “Piece of Me” show (original set list) at Planet Hollywood. Her new look may be what it finally takes to send Caesars Entertainment into bankruptcy. Let me explain.

It’s no secret that Caesars Entertainment is strapped for cash and on the brink of bankruptcy. There’s news about this just about every day. With Britney’s new look/face/abs(?) Caesars will have to change all of their marketing materials for the show. That’s everything from photo shoots that will change all print ads, billboards and press photos.

These things don’t come cheaply when you’re dealing with star like Britney Spears. I’m only half serious here. I know this won’t break the chapter 11 camel’s back but it certainly won’t help.

On a related note, my dude @Dribbleglass put a name to #NewBritney’s new face for me.

Dribbleglass on Twitter

@MeltzVegas Scandal: Britney Spears Steals Heidi Klum’s Face.

Photo – BuzzFeed http://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/pretty-sure-thats-not-britney-bitch?bftw=main

The Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio Looks Good

Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio Las Vegas
Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio

I’m not a Tiesto fan nor do I dislike him. He’s one of the most famous DJ’s in the world and whatever. I just prefer a different kind of house music.

Regardless of how I feel about the music the team that puts together the shows for the Fountain at Bellagio did a really good job choreographing the water to the music.

The Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio looks good and doesn’t seem out-of-place visually. Sonically is another story. Check it out. The second song starts around 1:50 and that’s really where the cool is.

Photo: Vimeo

Weird Al Sums Up Las Vegas With “Tacky”

Weird Al
Weird Al

I love Vegas.

I hate Weird Al.

Weird Al’s new song and video for “Tacky” really encompasses everything you’ll see in Vegas in a given day. This is part of what makes Vegas so great.

Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black are all in the video if you see some people who look familiar.

Sorry for the autoplay. I can’t control that.

Photo: IFC

BABYMETAL Is Coming To Las Vegas!

BABYMETAL Performing At MGM Grand Las Vegas

A couple of months ago a friend shared a BABYMETAL video on Facebook. I was fascinated by 3 little Japanese girls singing over extreme heavy metal music. I don’t know if I like BABYMETAL but I’m intrigued.

If you haven’t heard them before BABYMETAL is a strangely interesting combination of over produced pop and metal. If nothing else, it’s unique. I’ve fallen into the BABYMETAL YouTube hole where I’d watch their videos for way too long.

Lady Gaga has tapped BABY METAL to open 5 west coast shows, including Las Vegas. The list of Lady Gaga shows with BABYMETAL is below:

7/30 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ US Airways Arena
8/01 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/02 – Stateline, Nev. @ Harveys Lake Tahoe
8/04 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Energy Solutions Arena
8/06 – Denver, Colo. @ Pepsi Center

I think I need to see BABYMETAL on August 1st. I don’t want to see Lady Gaga so it will be an early night for me.

Watch the BABY METAL video below and I’ll see you at MGM Grand. First round of drinks is on Sigma Derby!

Photo: No Clean Singing

You’ll Never Believe How Much Money Hard Rock Made On 3 Guns N Roses Shows

Axl Rose and Guns N Roses at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel Las Vegas
Axl Rose and Guns N Roses at the Hard Rock

The second Guns N Roses residency at the Hard Rock has done amazing business. Check this out from Billboard.

Venue: Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
Date: Jun. 04th, 06th & 07th, 2014
Gross Sales: $853,785
Attendance: 9,221
Capacity: 10,130
Ticket Prices: $195, $129.50, $85, $69.50

I don’t think it’s a surprise that a lot of people went to the GnR shows at the Hard Rock but selling more than 92% of the tickets for the 3 shows is great.

Def Leppard and Motley Crue have done well at the Hard Rock before and Bruno Mars is selling out his limited “residency” shows at the Cosmopolitan. These short blast residency events are working for casinos.

Expect to see more short-term residencies than long-term residencies in the future. This includes KISS who are rumored to be coming to the Hard Rock later this year (see details at Vegas Chatter).

If you’re curious about how other heavy metal bands are selling show tickets check out the full post at Metal Sucks.

Photo: VegasNews.com