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Music of Nevada

For most people, the music in Nevada is probably most closely associated with the Rat Pack and lounge singers like Wayne Newton playing in Las Vegas, Reno, and Carson City. However, Nevada has launched many other notable artists and bands from a variety of genres.

Alternative rock

The Killers formed in Las Vegas in 2001. They are seen as one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century,[1] and the most successful rock act to ever emerge from the state of Nevada, having sold an estimated 22 million albums worldwide.[2] They have achieved worldwide success as a live band, performing in over fifty countries and on six continents, headlining venues such as Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium.

Imagine Dragons is a Grammy Award-winning band based in Las Vegas. The have enjoyed immense international success and acclaim.[3] Imagine Dragons is the only artist or group with two songs in the Top Ten Most Downloaded Songs in Rock History "Radioactive" (No. 1) and "Demons" (No. 8).[4] They have had a #1 album on the Billboard 200 with the alternative Smoke + Mirrors in 2015.

Brandon Flowers, born in Henderson, Nevada and best known as the lead vocalist of The Killers, has released two solo albums, both of which reached #1 on the UK Albums charts.[5]

Big Talk is a rock band from Las Vegas formed by Ronnie Vannucci Jr, best known as the drummer of The Killers. The band released a debut, self-titled album in 2011 and a second album titled Straight In No Kissin' in 2015. Big Talk made their live television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on July 25, 2011.[6]

Panic! at the Disco is a rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada formed in 2004 and currently featuring the lineup of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie. They had a #1 album on the Billboard 200 with the pop rock Death of a Bachelor in 2016.

The Cab is a pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. They've been called "The Band You Need to Know 2008" by Alternative Press and were featured in the "100 Bands You Need to Know in 2010" by the magazine.[7][8][9]

Bassist Branden Campbell of Neon Trees grew up in Las Vegas. Singer Aja Volkman (of Nico Vega) resides in Las Vegas with her native husband.

Alt country

Several alt country bands including The Clydesdale and the The Yeller Bellies, both of whom have released multiple albums each, are a part of the Las Vegas music scene.[10][11]


NBC's America's Got Talent winner Michael Grimm is a Las Vegas resident who regularly performs in the valley.


The city of Elko, Nevada is an important center for cowboy music and poetry. In 1985, Hal Cannon, director of the Western Folklife Center, founded the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which has since spread across the country; Elko is also home to the Cowboy Music Gathering. Las Vegas' music scene includes a number of country and cowboy-themed hotel shows, many of them featuring big stars like Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.[12]


David Hopkins, a singer-songwriter from Ireland, relocated to Las Vegas where he released a 2010 album featuring Damien Rice and Laura Jansen.[13] His recordings have landed on the Irish singles top 40 chart and Las Vegas Weekly dubbed him "an Ace singer-songwriter". Hopkins also fronts the Aubergine Electric, a similar sounding group.

Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) grew up in Las Vegas and featured on the debut solo album of Brandon Flowers.

Jill & Julia are a local folk duo signed to Nashville indie label, Lamon Records.

Garage rock

Several garage acts have gained notoriety in Las Vegas. The Mad Caps mix blues and rockabilly with garage rock, while Rob Bell (of The Yeller Bellies) mixes country with garage rock in his project known as The Psyatics[14]


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Gladys Knight lives in Las Vegas and leads the Saints Unified Voices gospel music choir. Together with the choir, Knight earned a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album.

Hard rock

Post-hardcore group Escape the Fate have charted on the Billboard 200 three times. Two singles have charted on the Hot Rock Songs chart.

Post-hardcore group Falling in Reverse have charted on the Billboard 200 three times.

Adelitas Way have twice charted on the Billboard 200. Four singles have charted on the Hot Rock Songs chart.

Otherwise have charted on the Billboard 200 twice, and blend hard rock and alternative rock. They charted on the Hot Rock Songs chart with "Soldiers".

Slaughter have charted on the Billboard 200 three times, but more recent albums courtesy of an independent label have failed to chart.

Heavy metal group Hemlock have never charted on the Billboard 200.

In 2011, Five Finger Death Punch relocated to Las Vegas.


As a result of the downtown Las Vegas restoration that began in 2006, mainly that of the Fremont East district, which spurred the opening of several new bars and clubs, a new music scene began sprouting up in Las Vegas. With the support of local press, independent musical artists such as the bands Black Camaro, The Big Friendly Corporation, Halloween Town, and A Crowd of Small Adventures grew large fan bases quickly in Las Vegas.[15][16][17]

The Las Vegas indie music community would soon form its own music festival to parallel that of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Founded by Thirry Harlin, James Woodbridge, and Jason Aragon, the music festival, known as Neon Reverb, which consisted of both national and local indie acts, experimented with genres such as Hip-Hop and punk rock as well as other culture related segments such as film and visual art that compliment the music portion of the festival.[18][19] The festival has grown to include a radio segment of the same name, founded by Donald Hickey and The Killers bassist, Mark Stoermer that broadcasts from 91.5 KUNV in Las Vegas.[20][21]

As a result of the continuing revitalization of downtown Las Vegas, a second wave of indie acts have grown prominent in the local music scene. In December 2011, songwriter Zach Ryan premiered his new band Zach Ryan and the Rouge, which has since been renamed Zach Ryan and the Renegades. Other second wave Las Vegas Indie acts include Restless Suns, and Alaska, who both arrived in 2012.[22][23] In October 2012, Las Vegas based band Bear With Me finished tracking an EP at Chrome Werewolf, a Las Vegas studio opened in 2011 by Black Camaro's Brian Garth. The EP marks Bear With Me's second release and features the song I Am a Fiesta.[24]


In December 2012 Trevor and The Joneses self-released There Was Lightning, their first LP. The band formed in early 2012, has performed over 150 shows, and has shared the stage with acts such as The Warlocks.[25][26][27] The band was the last to record in Brian Garth's now defunct studio Chrome Werewolf in downtown Las Vegas.[28]

Punk rock

Las Vegas is home to notable punk and hardcore bands such as Civic Minded Five (Recess Records), The Mapes (Recess Records), Caravels (Topshelf Records), Last Call (Broken Arrow Collective), Stolas (Blue Swan Records) and The Dirty Panties and The People's Whiskey (SquidHat Records)[].

Punks in Vegas is a website founded by Steven Matview in 2011.[29] The website publishes news, concert photographs and album reviews relating to punk rock, hardcore punk, ska, emo and indie rock with a specific emphasis on bands from or playing in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. The website began as a simple database of punk shows coming to the Las Vegas area and quickly expanded to include original content, most notably a series of acoustic videos called The Stripped Down Sessions.[30] The Stripped Down Session have featured such notable acts as Less Than Jake, The Bouncing Souls and Dead to Me playing acoustic versions of their songs, often debuting songs for the first time through the Sessions.[31] In late 2011 the website released their first music compilation, featuring new, acoustic holiday-themed songs from Forever Came Calling, Last Call and The Sheds.[32] More recently, has begun re-releasing out of print punk and hardcore albums digitally under the Vegas Archive banner.[33]


Ne-Yo is the only solo act from Las Vegas to have topped the Billboard 200, which he did twice, including with In My Own Words in 2006. He has released five studio albums that topped the R&B Albums Chart and three singles that topped the R&B Singles Chart.

Gladys Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips also resides in Las Vegas. She and the Pips have released six studio albums that topped the R&B Albums Chart and eleven singles that topped the R&B Singles Chart.

Producers in and from Nevada

  • Ron Aniello (Lifehouse, Jars of Clay, Bruce Springsteen) - Grammy Award nominee
  • Kevin Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, Hinder, Ozzy Osbourne) - Grammy Award nominee
  • Chris Cox (Cher, Hannah Montana) - Grammy Award nominee
  • Mark Stoermer (Howling Bells, The Killers) - Grammy Award nominee
  • Bjorn Thorsrud (Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan, The Dandy Warhols)

Major label artists (signed from Nevada)


Solo acts

Nevada music venues

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts

In 2012, Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a $470 million facility opened. The center is free of slots and gambling. Instead, it features fine arts productions including symphonies, Broadway performances, and international talents.[35] It is also the home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra and Nevada Ballet Theatre.[36]

Other venues

Music festivals

Recording studios


  1. ^ Vegas, Eve Barlow in Las. "Brandon Flowers on The Desired Effect: 'Every song on this album is a single'". the Guardian. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "The Killer so scared he fell off the stage! Brandon Flowers's UK debut". Mail Online. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Imagine Dragons | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "The 15 Most Downloaded Songs in Rock History". Yahoo Music. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Brandon Flowers". Official Charts. 2015-11-17.
  6. ^ "Big Talk To Perform On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Album Premiering Now At". Epitaph Records. 2011-07-13. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "7 renowned bands, artists besides Panic! At the Disco with Las Vegas ties - Las Vegas Sun News". Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Las Vegas' Panic! at the Disco playing House of Blues after weathering lineup changes | Las Vegas Review-Journal". 2011-06-17. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Duck, Allison. "Weekend best bets: Chinese New Year celebrations, Splendor in the Glass and Imagine Dragons - Las Vegas Sun News". Retrieved .
  10. ^ "NIGHT BEAT: Clydesdale in it for the long haul". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2005-01-25. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "The Yeller Bellies release follow up to debut: "Here to Suffer"". No Depression. 2010-02-01. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Byron, pgs. 146-149
  13. ^ "What's new in: local music". Las Vegas Weekly. 2011-03-30. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Psyatics' verve: rough and rumble". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2012-04-12. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "What's new in:local music". Las Vegas Weekly. 2011-03-23. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Las Vegas' Big Friendly Corporation releases its third album". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "CD review: A Crowd of Small Adventures 'A Decade in X-Rays'". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Neon Reverb a labor of love". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2009-09-17. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Las Vegas guide to Neon Reverb". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Las Vegas Arts and Culture: Neon Reverb Radio LIVE on KUNV". LV Arts and Culture. 2010-04-08. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Music: Radio Reverb". Desert Companion. 2011-09-08. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Getting personal: Zach Ryan, new band in tow, gets to the heart of the matter -- his heart". Las Vegas CityLife. 2011-12-08. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "New bands worth scouting on the local music scene". Las Vegas Weekly. 2011-05-30. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Teenage wasteland". Las Vegas CityLife. 2012-10-31. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Concert review: Trevor and the Joneses". Vegas Seven. 2013-03-05. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "From beach to garage: Trevor and The Joneses will blow your brains out". Las Vegas CityLife. 2013-01-30. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "CD Reviews On With the Show, There Was Lightning, Spawn of Evil". Vegas Seven. 2013-01-31. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "Trevor And The Joneses end Chrome Werewolf studio's run on a high note". Las Vegas Weekly. 2013-02-06. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "The ePunk era: Punks in Vegas has put a national spotlight on local acts". Citylife. 2013-05-31. Retrieved .
  30. ^ "Blooger Spotlight: Steven Matview". haulix. 2013-09-16. Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Videos: Dead to Me: "The Monarch Hotel" (acoustic)". PunkNews. 2013-09-08. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "Punks in Vegas Holiday Compilation". AbsolutePunk. 2011-12-21. Retrieved .
  33. ^ " to reissue iconic local hardcore music". Las Vegas Sun. 2012-04-12. Retrieved .
  34. ^ Chris Willman (2013-09-21). "Toni Basil at 70: Thirty Years Past Singing, But Still Cutting a Rug". Retrieved .
  35. ^ "No slots or showgirls at new Vegas culture megacenter". USA Today Travel. 2012-03-23. Retrieved .
  36. ^ "History". The Las Vegas Philharmonic. Retrieved .
  37. ^ "". Retrieved .
  38. ^ Schultz, Barbara (2010-01-01). "Battle Born Studios". Mixonline. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "Las Vegas Recording Studio | Palms Casino Resort". Retrieved .
  40. ^ "WM Studios". 2014-06-20. Retrieved .


  • Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Feral House. ISBN 0-922915-71-7.
  • Byron, Janet (1996). Country Music Lover's Guide to the U.S.A. (1st ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-14300-1.

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