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Rock, with benefits

Penthouse’s music venue puts a brand new spin on “dancing”

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Photo: Richard Brian

Gino LoPinto looked at the Penthouse compound on Russell near Las Vegas Boulevard and saw three distinct venues: the famous gentlemen’s club, an afterhours hot spot (Obsession) and another room.

“I thought to myself, what is the other thing I would want to do if I was out having fun?” LoPinto, president of Vegas Alliance, asked himself. “Live bands.”

It’s opening night—Friday, March 6—and Vegas rockers The Stript, Lydia Vance and 7th Son are onstage breaking in that third room as live music space the Rock Room (capacity: 200), kicking off what will soon officially be known as Filthy Fridays.

Filthy is already here, in the form of a stripper wearing nothing but strips of black lace. She’s chatting with rock fans she’ll soon invite to the VIP room next door to “continue the conversation.”

Yes, Penthouse’s professional dancers are welcome in the Rock Room, an upscale space with dusky red chandeliers, smooth black tables and low couches, along with a spacious stage. “I want to have girls dancing all over the place,” says Jamie Visconte, general manager of the Rock Room. “Sex, rock ’n’ roll and afterhours—they all go together.”

Seven, bassist for local metal outfit Strikt-9, agrees. His band is booked for March 21, and he’s here to inspect the sound system. He’s impressed, but says he would have played regardless. “There are women next door without their clothes on—we’re for sure coming.”

Among LoPinto’s future plans for the 21-and-over room: national bookings (The Killers and Alice Cooper are on his list of hopefuls), poker and Wii tournaments, jazz nights, comedy shows and food service.

“In this economy, people want more bang for their buck,” LoPinto says. “I see the location as an entertainment complex, not just an adult cabaret. It will be a destination.”

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