The view from the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was breathtaking and ridiculous, a pairing the city knows well; the fourth-floor oasis sits above the Strip with sightlines to the fountain shows of the Bellagio and the Eiffel Tower model of Paris Las Vegas to the north and the signature golden lion of the MGM Grand to the south.
The Boulevard Pool now also has a different sight on many nights: a touring, buzzed-about music act, on a stage at its south end.
Thanks to an emphasis on attracting new and younger visitors and an increased availability of bands touring the Southwest, Las Vegas is quickly becoming a destination for one-of-a-kind concert experiences featuring indie musicians and music festival favorites.
The Las Vegas outpost of the Brooklyn Bowl, with its 2,000-capacity concert venue, is an anchor tenant for Caesars Entertainment’s open-air shopping center, the LINQ.
The Cosmopolitan even runs its own mini-concert series, called “Valley to Vegas,” which in 2015 included festival acts like St. Vincent, Hozier and Interpol playing headliner-length sets in one of the resort’s major venues.
The cumulative effect now in Las Vegas is a sort of music festival for those who may not be able to tolerate music festivals: full sets by bands, plenty of downtime activities and, most important, indoor plumbing.
Even Las Vegas nightclubs, long seen as high-profit ventures, are making way for live performance rooms.
The SLS Hotel & Casino opened in 2014 with LiFE nightclub as its major attraction; it was home to the Las Vegas residency of the dance music superstar Steve Angello, and it routinely hosted world-touring D.J.s like Erick Morillo, Fedde Le Grand and Gareth Emery.