A major part of the allure of fabulous Las Vegas is its reputation as “The Entertainment Capital” of the world. Massive marquees that line the famous Strip have been emblazoned with names of celebrated entertainers who in recent years have played extended Las Vegas engagements. Nevertheless, the city’s standing in the entertainment world is often reinforced by renowned performers who limit their play to a weekend gig of one, two or three shows. To accommodate them, Las Vegas has some of the best venues for live music anywhere in the world. — Mike Donahue

No Doubt performs at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. (Credit: thejointlasvegas.com)

The Joint

The Hard Rock Hotel/Casino
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 693-5000

The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel is Las Vegas’ best live music venue, providing the ultimate for concertgoers seeking an intimate music experience with the biggest names in the entertainment world. The Joint’s acoustics put the performers in your lap no matter where you’re sitting, and a recently improved stage layout gives entertainers ample room to groove. The Joint most deservedly was voted the Best New Concert Venue at the 2010 Pollstar Awards. Past concerts by Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys and David Bowie provide sufficient proof of the venue’s special place in the eyes of world’s elite entertainers. Hours: vary depending on scheduled concerts.

Despite the large space, sounds at the Garden Arena are clear. (Credit: mgmgrand.com)

MGM Grand Garden Arena

3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89119-1006
(702) 891-1111

The MGM Grand Garden Arena is one of the best concert venues in Las Vegas featuring the biggest and brightest stars in the entertainment world today. Though not as intimate as smaller Las Vegas concert spots, its sounds are clear and compellingly pure, despite the space in the arena. The MGM provides excellent seating for standing-room-only crowds who fill the big arena when the top entertainers — including Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli and Eason Chan — perform. The arena comfortably seats more than 16,000, and state-of-the-art lighting gives each seat a good sightline. Hours: Vary depending on scheduled concerts.

The House of Blues is a close, intimate live music venue that features an amazing yearbook of world-class entertainers. (Credit: houseoflblues.com)

The House of Blues Music Hall

Mandalay Bay Hotel/Casino
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89119-1005
(702) 632-7600

The House of Blues is a close, intimate live music venue that features an amazing yearbook of world-class entertainers who have played the hall since it first opened in 1999. It has an open-air balcony and a warm atmosphere that makes every concert enjoyable. A unique venue, the House of Blues plays an array of music every night of the week ranging from blues to reggae to rockabilly. Hours: music hall opens for scheduled concerts.