If you think the Las Vegas Country Saloon is just a country saloon, it’s been way too long since you stopped by. These days, the Fremont Street bar, restaurant and live-music venue—now mostly known as LVCS—is home to punk, alternative, hard rock and even hip-hop. Hell, they even took out the mechanical bull. And we’re not just talking about small acts; upcoming shows include Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy (August 15; see interview here), hip-hop legends Hieroglyphics (August 18) and Aesop Rock (September 1) and stoner-rock mainstays the Melvins (October 23). We caught up with booker Brandy Vinyl, who has been promoting shows at venues around town for more than a decade, to get the latest on the room.
What attracted you to LVCS?
The size, the location, the sound, stage, lighting ... Anything that you’d want in a good venue, they have. I’ve had my eye on that room for a long time. It’s a perfect-sized venue, not just for Downtown but for Vegas in general. And Andrew Northam, the guy I’ve been dealing with over there, has been really great to work with. He takes time to look into the acts I’m booking, and he really seems to care.
What’s the capacity?
Around 700, but the way it’s set up with the bar in the back you can have a few hundred people and it still seems kinda full.
How do you think the bigger hip-hop shows will do there?
I didn’t book those shows, but I love that stuff and I think it’s great they’re doing it. They’ve been doing a Tuesday hip-hop night [Hip Hop Roots] for a while.
Can the “Country Saloon” association be an impediment to attracting certain bands or crowds?
I definitely think it would be better if the name was changed, but my understanding is that they’re getting rid of the country décor. And either way, once there are more quality, notable acts playing there, I don’t think people will care.