Five places to catch bands Downtown

Velveteen Rabbit often features sets from some of Vegas’ best bands, as well as under-the-radar touring acts.
Photo: Spencer Burton

Backstage Bar & Billiards (601 E. Fremont St.) This still-newish space has shown a willingness to spread its musical wings, booking everything from metal badass Baroness to sonic explorers Man Man (February 21) to hip-hop duo Blackalicious (March 9). And it all happens in an intimate setting, so you’re never far from the action—or the bar.

Beauty Bar (517 Fremont St.) Fremont East’s original indie hangout remains the place to catch Pitchfork-generation faves like Ty Segall (March 20) and STRFKR and left-of-center vets like Stephen Malkmus (April 2) and Jon Spencer (April 12). Whether they’re playing in the hip indoor space or on the chill alley stage out back, you’ll be close enough to reach out and touch ’em … not that we’re saying you should.

Fremont Street Experience stages (Fremont St. at Main St., 1st St., Casino Center & 3rd St.) If you haven’t downed beer from a clear, plastic football, you haven’t really lived. And you’ve probably never watched a band play on one of the outdoor stages under the FSE canopy. Cover bands, Vegas bands, touring bands, anything goes here, amid the bright lights of Downtown’s old main drag.

LVCS (425 Fremont St.) Technically speaking, it’s short for Las Vegas Country Saloon, but you don’t have to be a Toby Keith fan to take the elevator to this second-story live-music mainstay. Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy, third-wave ska godfathers The Toasters and buzzed metal band Deafheaven (March 29) are just a few of the joint’s recent bookings, so head on over, whether or not you own a 10-gallon hat.

Velveteen Rabbit (1218 S. Main St.) The chalkboard beer list and the next-level cocktail program might be the main attractions at this much-loved Downtown crawl staple, but don’t miss out on the music. Many of Las Vegas’ best bands play on the regular inside and out back, along with under-the-radar touring acts that just might blow your mind.

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Mike Prevatt

Mike started his journalism career at UCLA reviewing CDs and interviewing bands, less because he needed even more homework and ...

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