We’ve all had that fantasy of being a rock star at some point of our lives.
Mine started from watching my mom rock out to Billy Idol, INXS and Whitesnake, then getting my awesome Barbie and the Rockers set. And while I’m no expert on the drums, guitars or vocals, Rock Band and Guitar Hero gave me the confidence to bring out that inner rock star.
MGM’s Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp brings all of your dreams of becoming a star to reality. Not only will you get to dabble with instruments and have a jam session with experts, you’ll also get a chance to meet and jam with your favorite rock star. It doesn’t get any cooler than that! Before its permanent location in Vegas, Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp had gigs in New York, L.A., London, the Bahamas and Miami.
To kick things off, Gene Simmons of KISS headlines Oct. 10 – 14. Special guest rock stars include Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row and Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Black Label Society). Think of them as your music professors.
“Our counselors are all musicians and they’re all from that classic rock genre,” said Erin Calhoun, director of marketing for Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. “They’re amazing – it’s ridiculous how much they do and are still doing.”
The jam sessions take place at 3485 W. Harmon Ave., only a few minutes off the Las Vegas Strip. After your training sessions and rehearsals, you’ll have a live performance. And since this is a live performance, you have to leave that shyness behind! The day camp sessions includes the following:
- A jam session with a rock legend (approximately two to three hours)
- A chance to play in band led by a rock star counselor
- Rehearsal time and a live performance at MGM Grand hotel
- Time reserved to write and record your own song
- Master classes with world-renowned musicians
- Meals with celebrity musicians and other day campers
- DVD and MP3 of final performance.
The off-Strip music facility boasts 12 individual studios outfitted with all the rock star necessities. From the latest equipment furnished by Boss, Cakewalk, DW Drums, Electro-Voice (EV), Fender, Gibson, Roland, Roland Systems Group and Zildjian to your own tour manager and roadies, you’ll be living it up. The large sound studio includes state-of-the-art recording equipment and all backstage needs.
Aspiring rockers can do three to five-day camps or experience Rock Star for a Day for $299.
“This is for people who don’t have the time,” she said. “They come in a couple hours and jam, rehearse a song with a rock star and they’ll get on stage and perform it.”
Before you step on stage, an announcer will call out your band name (which you get to make up) that’ll hype up the crowd. In addition, a green screen behind you will make it look like you’re in a huge arena.
If you don’t mind playing in front of a large audience, you have the option of rehearsing and practicing at the MGM Grand resort instead.
Expert or not, all levels are welcome. Creator David Fishof (a former sports and music agent) has 20-plus years in show business. He designed this experience for everyone. So even if you don’t play an instrument, don’t worry – you can just sing the whole time.
Future headliners for the 2012 – 2013 season include:
- “Salute to the Blues” featuring Warren Haynes of The Allman Brothers and Jack Bruce of Cream (Nov. 7 – 11)
- Roger Daltrey and Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction (Jan. 23 – 27, 2013)
- Alice Cooper (Feb. 14 – 18, 2013)
- Sammy Hagar (March 6 – 10)
Not a fan of rock ’n’ roll? The team at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp can set you up with experts in any genre, from R&B and rap to pop. Schedule your jam session as soon as possible — these are sure to fill up fast.
“People come to Vegas to play golf, drive a race car or they [can] become a rock star,” Calhoun said. “We’re trying to add to that culture of Las Vegas, doing things out of your comfort zone, something exciting that you can’t do anywhere else. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”