This is a town posited on the tried and true maxim that bigger is always better – from buffets to bust lines.
Bit when it comes to concerts, this isn’t always the case.
One of the most unique aspects of concertgoing in Las Vegas is the number of arena or amphitheater-sized shows that get fitted into much smaller venues here.
Acts like Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Korn and scads more who normally play venues with a capacity of 10,000-plus routinely hit The Joint (2,000 capacity) or The Pearl (2,500 capacity), giving local music fans a chance to see big bands in a more intimate setting that virtually no other market is privy to on a regular basis.
Of course, as with everything else in Vegas, it comes with a price.
First off, these bands’ fees don’t drop because they’re playing smaller venues.
Instead, ticket prices are raised – often very significantly – to compensate for the fact that fewer tickets will ultimately be sold.
For instance, this Saturday, tickets for Steely Dan’s stop at The Pearl go on sale with a starting price of $128, going all the way up to $203.
In many markets, the tour is playing arenas or outdoor sheds and as such, tickets are much cheaper.
For the band’s show at Boston’s Bank of America Pavilion, tickets start at $45 and top out at $85.
For the group’s gig at Colorado’s famed Red Rock, tickets begin at $49.50 and go up to $95.
In addition, when larger package tours are squeezed into smaller venues, often times some of the bands on the bill are trimmed from the line-up.
When the “Taste Chaos Tour” hit The Pearl recently, hard rockers Avenged Sevenfold, who headlined the show in most markets, were dropped from the bill.
When classic metal troupe Heaven and Hell played the same venue last October, one of their touring mates, Alice Cooper, was left off the line-up.
And when multi-band packages like Gigantour or Sounds of the Underground hit the House of Blues, sometimes up to a half-dozen groups are pruned from the roster.
Plus, when less tickets are available in smaller venues, they can be much harder to come by.
So the question is, would you rather pay more to see big bands up close and personal?
Or would you prefer to save some dough and see them in larger rooms like they play in other cities?
Is the cost worth it to you?
Personally, I dig the uniqueness of seeing a band like, say, Tool, in relatively cozy confines.
But then again, I get into these show for free.
What’s your take?