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The final curtain

After 13 years, the first Joint era comes to a close

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The Joint concludes its 13-year-run at the Hard Rock on Feb. 7 with glam-metal vets Motley Crue.
Scott Harrison/Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Not many venues in the world with a standing-room capacity of 2,000 can boast having had The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica on their stage. The only one in Southern Nevada with those credentials closes its doors for good this weekend.

The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel concludes its 13-year-run on February 7, after two performances by glam-metal vets Mötley Crüe. The iconic, rectangular room is destined to become casino space. “It feels like sending your kid off to college,” says Yale Rowe, the Hard Rock’s senior VP and GM of operations.

The good news for local music fans: Those impossible-to-score tickets for the Joint’s most momentous events will become slightly less impossible to score come April. That’s when the Hard Rock will roll out a new Joint—capacity 4,000—where the parking lot along Paradise Road once sat. “We wanted a bigger venue to take care of [increased] demand,” Rowe says. “Given the competition in the market, you have to step it up.”

Smoking Joint

These five burned brightest
The Weekly’s Spencer Patterson has covered more than 50 shows at the Joint since 2002. These are his most memorable, click here to read why:
1. The White Stripes, Sep. 20, 2003
2. Neil Young, July 26, 2003
3. The Who, Sep. 14, 2002
4. Sigur Rós, April 5, 2003
5. Green Day, Dec. 7, 2004
Read why these shows rocked here.

That competition—namely the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay and the Pearl at the Palms—has advanced Vegas’ case as a headlining destination, but there’s no denying the Joint’s role as the first “cool” casino venue in town, from the moment it opened on March 10, 1995. Just that first year, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, James Brown, The Ramones and Johnny Cash performed in the guitar-lined room, and the list ballooned from there. The Who, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, Alicia Keys, Robert Plant, David Bowie, Tool and Coldplay were among hundreds booked by longtime Joint promoter Andy Hewitt. The Stones downsized their arena show—twice—to get inside, in 1998 and 2002.

Seeing a band at the old Joint was “like having your favorite band play your living room,” says Laura Herlovich, whose firm, PR Plus, handled Joint publicity from its opening through 2006, when PR Plus took over similar duties for the Pearl.

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Despite its intimacy, the Joint was not without detractors. Complaints over high ticket prices, crowded conditions (particularly near the two back bars) and lackluster sound were far from uncommon. The facility also sat empty with more frequency after Hewitt moved to the Pearl in ’06. (Concert-promotions juggernaut AEG has booked the room since that time and will continue to do so for the new venue.)

Rowe says he expects the new Joint to operate roughly 100 nights per year, with an as-yet-to-be-unveiled resident performer holding down some 30 of those dates. He also promises superior sound, and avows the new Joint will remain “wildly intimate” despite its larger dimensions. “It will be a very similar vibe,” he says.

And ticket prices? Well, tickets for The Killers’ April 17 concert spanned from $51.50 to $146 and sold out the day they went on sale, so you be the judge.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is Las Vegas Weekly's Managing Editor, having previously served as Arts & Entertainment Editor, Music Editor and a ...

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