Erik Kabik/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Monday, April 19, 2010 | 2 p.m.
Up on the second balcony of The Joint during Saturday night's Them Crooked Vultures show, a woman was getting into it. Dressed in jeans and a cropped shirt she whipped her hair around her and danced in a style reminiscent of a 1970s rock-doc. It was hypnotizing.
And she wasn't the only one rocking out. Opposite the anonymous fan, Them Crooked Vultures also were feeling it, albeit with a bit less hair action, except for drummer Dave Grohl, whose furious head swinging might have given a lesser man whiplash. But this was not a night of weak-necked men or half-hearted rock. Them Crooked Vultures are what media folk love (and musicians loathe) to call a supergroup — singer Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. In case you're wondering where in that list you should scream the loudest, it's when we get to Mr. Jones. Ready? Woot! Woot!
Indeed, despite his talented band mates — and the addition of none-too-shabby utility man Alain Johannes on guitar — the Vultures' two-hour Joint performance likely could have been called The John Paul Jones Show and drawn the same crowd. If we'd had one of those hokey noise-o-meters the mere mention of John Paul Jones' name would have cracked the red zone, and not without reason. Jones easily was the star of the Joint's one-year anniversary show, taking turns on at least half a dozen instruments, including keyboard, keytar, something fiddle-ish and more varieties of bass than I previously knew existed. The man's got chops to spare and an instrument closet befitting his decades in the music business.
As the foursome played through songs off their self-titled first album like "Dead End Friend," "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I" and "Bandolier," each band member added their own ingredient to a solid rock stew that ricocheted between blues, psychedelic and hard rock without ever sounding unnatural. The Vultures don't genre hop so much as they slip into each style like they're putting on a well-made coat. Somehow, they all fit.
And they play the role of rock stars just as easily. Josh Homme in particular performs with so much swagger he practically could style his hair with it. Without coming off like a total jerk, the man smoked cigarettes mid-set and swigged vodka straight from the bottle. When he said he'd been kicked out of nearly every bar and club in town, I was inclined to believe it wasn't all talk.
Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.
— Originally published on LasVegasWeekly.com