What Are the Biggest Acts to Ever Play In Las Vegas? From Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, David Copperfield and more, the city and its casino scene is made of legends.
When discussing the biggest acts ever to play in Las Vegas, there is only one person with which to begin, and his name is Elvis Presley. The king opened at the International Hotel in 1969 but interestingly, before becoming a huge star, Elvis had previously flopped at the New Frontier, so success did not come easy to the superstar.
Las Vegas saw some of the greatest moments of Elvis’ career as he played over 800 shows at the International Hotel. People would form long lines to get into each performance and Elvis often had hundreds of fans crowding the front of the stage. Such was the desire of the fans to get close to their idol, Elvis would often end up with scratches on his arms from people trying to grab scarves he handed out during the concert. In fact, hotel employees kept buckets of water at the ready so Elvis could sooth his arms when the concert was over. Not only did Elvis perform his songs, but he was also a great all-round entertainer and would often tell jokes between songs.
In addition to the acts performing in Las Vegas, the city is known for casinos and the most popular casino games, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker remain in place today for visitors to enjoy. There is no doubting the extravagance of the casinos but when it came to performing, there was no one more flamboyant than Liberace. Known simply as ‘Mr. Showmanship’, Liberace was a superb pianist and wowed audiences with the speed he could play and while performing in Las Vegas during the 1950’s and 60’s, it is believed he was earning $50,000 a week.
Frank Sinatra is another legendary American icon who set Las Vegas on fire with his shows. Sinatra was joined by Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop and the group became known as the Rat Pack. During the first half of the 1960’s, the group were hugely successful and it is reported they played at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to over 30,000 fans on a daily basis. Many onlookers believe it was the influence of Sinatra that changed Las Vegas into the glitzy and glamours place we know today.
Not all the big-name entertainers in Las Vegas are musicians or singers and David Copperfield is a good example. The magician is still working in Las Vegas and performs at the MGM Grand, with 15 shows per week. Copperfield currently holds 11 Guinness World Records, including most magic shows performed in a year and the most tickets sold worldwide by a solo entertainer, underlining his continued appeal.
Staying with magic and Siegfried and Roy performed at The Mirage Resort and Casino until 2003 and the show was regarded as one the most-visited in Las Vegas throughout its duration. Both men have since died but they are remembered by Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, located at The Mirage in Las Vegas.