The Reopening of the Joint in Las Vegas

IT WOULD BE HARD FOR THE HARD Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to rock any harder than it already does. But with the reopening of the Joint, the concert venue at the hotel, they have upped the rock quotient considerably and have created one of the most guitar-approved places to catch a show on the planet. This is not a remodel, however, as Vice President of Entertainment Paul Davis explains.
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“We closed the old Joint back in February with two Motley Crüe shows,” says Davis. “That venue has been demolished, and the new Joint is built on what was a parking lot where we used to have concerts. The Killers are from Las Vegas and they played the parking lot two years ago. Now they’re playing the very first show here. This is a $60 million facility that holds 4,000—double the capacity of the old Joint. A lot of elements carried over from the original: the wood flooring, the handrails that have Flying Vs in them, and the general vibe and atmosphere. It’s all definitely in keeping with our history, only now we can do full-on arena sized shows in what’s still a fairly intimate environment.”

In addition to the great guitar playing that can be heard at the Joint (Santana is doing an extended residency there starting May 27), guitarists will find even more reasons to hang out there. “We had thought about lining the walls with guitars like we had in the old Joint and like you can see in the rest of the Hard Rock,” says Davis. “We decided to take that to another level and make the entire wall a rendering of a massive guitar fretboard. In true Hard Rock fashion, we made sure those were to scale. We had to push back a few times with the designers to make sure the dots were just right and properly spaced. Any guitar players that walk in here will instantly know that these are accurate.”

The inaugural weekend also included Avenged Sevenfold on Saturday and Sir Paul McCartney on Sunday. McCartney guitarist Brian Ray gives some insight as to why his boss might play a venue smaller than a soccer stadium.

“This place sounds and feels amazing,” he says. “There’s not a bad spot in the place from the audience’s perspective. The stage is huge and guitars sound perfect from up there. In this time of arenas with exchangeable corporate monikers, there’s a new kid in town: the Joint. Move over, big boys!”