Who were the first performers to play Las Vegas’ best-known stages?

This week’s announcement that Bruno Mars will be the first headliner at the Cosmopolitan’s new music venue, the Chelsea (opening night: December 29), got us thinking: Who was onstage the night some of Las Vegas’ other live-music rooms launched? Click through and see ...

    • Neil Diamond

      Neil Diamond

      Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts

      When: July 2, 1976

      Who: Neil Diamond

      How cool/weird would it be for the voice behind “Sweet Caroline” to be back onstage the night Britney Spears relaunches the place (now PH Live)?

    • Barbra Streisand

      Barbra Streisand

      MGM Grand Garden Arena

      When: December 31, 1993

      Who: Barbra Streisand

      A big night in Vegas was big for Babs, too, marking her first public performance in more than 20 years.

    • The Eagles

      The Eagles

      The Joint (old room)

      When: March 10 & 11, 1995

      Who: Assorted acts, including The Eagles, Iggy Pop, Weezer, Sheryl Crow, Al Green, Duran Duran, Billy Idol and Bo Diddley.

      Reportedly, Jack Nicholson, Salt N Pepa and Corbin Bernson were among the celebrities in attendance. No word on whether they sat at the same table.

    • Bob Dylan

      Bob Dylan

      House of Blues

      When: March 2, 1999

      Who: Bob Dylan

      Bono joined him for “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” during the encore.

    • Luciano Pavarotti

      Mandalay Bay Events Center

      When: April 10, 1999

      Who: Luciano Pavarotti

      The opera star returned to the same arena one year later with Three Tenors mates Plácido Domingo and José Carreras.

    • Celine Dion

      Celine Dion

      The Colosseum at Caesars Palace

      When: March 23, 2003

      Who: Celine Dion

      The don’t call it the house that Celine built for nothin’.

    • Evanescence


      The Pearl

      When: March 17, 2007

      Who: Evanescence

      Trivia time: Which band was original scheduled to open the Pearl before postponing the show until later that year? (Answer below)

      Answer: Tool

    • The Killers

      The Killers

      The Joint (new room)

      When: April 17, 2009

      Who: The Killers

      Paul McCartney (April 19) and Avenged Sevenfold (April 18) helped usher in the iconic room’s second phase.

    • Chris Cornell

      Chris Cornell

      Hard Rock Live

      When: October 15, 2009

      Who: Chris Cornell

      Also, guitars were smashed to mark the occasion at the Strip’s Hard Rock Cafe, by the likes of Holly Madison and ’N Sync’s Chris Kirkpatrick.

    • Brandon Flowers

      Brandon Flowers

      Cosmopolitan's Boulevard Pool

      When: December 15, 2010

      Who: Brandon Flowers

      He’s opened two venues, played Vegoose and will perform at the inaugural Life Is Beautiful Festival next month. You’d almost think he was from Las Vegas or something.

    • Jennifer Hudson

      Jennifer Hudson

      The Smith Center

      When: March 10, 2012

      Who: Willie Nelson, Carol King, Jennifer Hudson, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples and more for an all-star gala hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

      Country singer Randy Travis technically played the stage first—for a pair of private concerts open only to construction workers who helped build the performing arts center.

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    Spencer Patterson

    Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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