Where to hear [insert favorite music style here] in Las Vegas

Music can make or break any clubbing experience. You want to hear the stuff you like and not the same three songs remixed a billion times. We get it, DJ, you like big butts. Sometimes we wish you would lie about it. But finding the right music can be tricky.

We’re gonna be honest with you. Most of the time it’s more of a crap shoot than actual craps tables. Clubs like to mix things up and never want to lock themselves down to one style. You might here a dozen different styles in one night and you might not even recognize them all. But to give you some places to start, here are a few clubs that are usually safe bets for finding your groove.

Skrillex at XS. Because we can't deal without our dubstep. Photo courtesy of XS.

Skrillex at XS. Because we can’t deal without our dubstep. Photo courtesy of XS.

EDM

This is the easiest to lay down. EDM is everywhere and it’s such a broad category that it could encompass everything from trance to house to dubstep. You’ll find EDM everywhere in town, pretty much, unless you find one of those rare clubs that hates having customers. But we don’t usually promote those places. A few of our favorites are:

They’ve got great lineups of DJs from Skrillex to Dash Berlin and Above and Beyond. These are some of the top spots that we like to send people who want classic club tunes. You’ll get a mix, you’ll probably get some decent mixes, and you’ll have a great time.

Vanilla Ice at LAX. Alright stop. Collaborate and listen... Photo courtesy of LAX.

Vanilla Ice at LAX. Alright stop. Collaborate and listen… Photo courtesy of LAX.

Throwbacks

This one’s pretty easy too. LAX. Boom. LAX recently launched a Throwback Thursday event that brings in some of the hottest names from the ‘90s grace the deck including Vanilla Ice, Naughty by Nature and Coolio. This club has always been a favorite and has a fantastic history of going their own way when it comes to music. If you want to relive the days of gangsters’ paradises and $1.50 gas, this is definitely the spot for you. Just don’t ask Mr. Ice to play the Ninja Turtles rap. It’s not that he hates it, there are just some licensing issues. Turns out Shredder bought the rights in 1996.

Nelly getting Drai's going. Photo courtesy of Drai's.

Nelly getting Drai’s going. Photo courtesy of Drai’s.

Hip-hop

Now things are getting a bit trickier. It’s not that hip-hop doesn’t exist in Las Vegas. Some of the bigger clubs like Drai’s and 1 OAK have great shows with the likes of Lil Jon, Rev Run, 50 Cent, Nelly and many more. Both clubs are big on bringing in live performances that take the show aspect of club life to new levels. We’ve caught some amazing performances and if that’s what you’re looking for these are the spots to try.

DJs even battle for prizes at White Label Thursdays. Photo courtesy of Sayers Club.

DJs even battle for prizes at White Label Thursdays. Photo courtesy of Sayers Club.

House

So you want actual underground house in the middle of Las Vegas. First off, good luck. Not to be cynical but most clubs don’t want to plug in your phone and blast that dope track you downloaded from SoundCloud. You gotta remember that clubs are businesses who need the popular songs to make money. That said, you’ve got a few options.

After is an ongoing party that moves around from venue to venue. They have a very clear list of rules for their DJs that includes forbidden artists and policies for pre-mixed sets. When After is happening you know you’re getting the best.

Sayers Club at SLS offers White Label Thursdays that bring out real turn tables for DJs. For you GD millennials, turn tables are how DJs used to spin records before everything was done for them laptops. This party is all about the true art of spinning and it’s something purists and all music fans will adore.

Downtown Cocktail Room is more of a bar/lounge/speakeasy located downtown, but it’s got local DJs spinning some deeper tracks you won’t find in the bigger clubs. There’s not as much dancing room, but if you’re there for the drinks and the music this is a great spot.

A basic look at what happens at Double Down, minus the drink spilling and loud sound. Photo courtesy of Double Down Saloon.

A basic look at what happens at Double Down, minus the drink spilling and loud sound. Photo courtesy of Double Down Saloon.

Harder ish

Maybe you don’t want that dance stuff at all and you just need some distorted guitars before your ears start to bleed from a lack of power chords. That’s ok. We understand. Sometimes you just need to get your mosh on – respectfully and within the bounds of appropriate dive bar behavior.

Las Vegas Country Saloon is on Fremont Street and brings in some harder bands like Powerman 5000, Orgy and the Dead Kennedys. Yeah. The actual Dead Kennedys. Go there. See that. Do it.

Double Down Saloon is somewhat more of a locals joint but they get some fantastic bands through there and the whole atmosphere is like what the inside of Johnny Rotten’s brain-hole probably looks like. In other words, it’s awesome in every possible way.

Finding music in Vegas is sometimes a matter of trial and error. Different nights bring on different sounds and DJs like to shake things up too. You’ve got your start now so go out there and find the sounds you crave. And don’t forget to check out our Vegas nightclubs page for more clubbing ideas.

Comments

I came from a little town in the Midwest. And believe me, I’m never going back. It’s probably nice if you love grass and snow; but I love the lights, the glamour, and the flocks of tourists seeking fun and fortune. Once the sun goes down, I’ll be the first one out hitting the clubs or just wandering the Strip for a little nighttime adventure. Passing through Bond on my way to Lily Bar, or taking a shortcut through Double Helix before landing at Parasol Up/Down, I’m the one you’ll randomly bump into – only sometimes literally – strolling through Sin City’s liquored veins – and loving every minute of it.