Las Vegas has always celebrated the comp, and music fans on a budget are still in the right city to see quality acts without charge.
The casino lounge once inspired images of cheesy cover bands, but the Lounge at the Palms and Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan have stomped that stereotype by offering groups like Franky Perez, Lovesick Radio and the Jennifer Keith Quintet.
Beyond the lounge, Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel frequently hosts cover-free nights and aftershows with the likes of Guns N' Roses guitarist Bumblefoot. Brooklyn Bowl has started no-cover shows sprinkled into its all-star lineup— punk and jam acts like Brown Sabbath ( June 6, midnight), Greyhounds (June 12, 10 p.m.) and The Stooges Brass Band (July 12, 8 p.m.).
Downtown, you can see monster acts like Three Doors Down and Deep Purple gratis at the Fremont Street Experience (June 14, 9 p.m.). A bit more under the radar, Velveteen Rabbit has started to put together some great Thursday-night shows pairing local favorites with emerging regional and national acts. Artifice offers late-night performances that span the spectrum from goth to jazz. And finally, the Griffin’s back room offers close-range rock and never charges.